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Rak Ceramics and Sacmi: new sizes of tile with CONTINUA PLUS

Expected to start producing very soon, the new Continua Plus line will allow the manufacture of large technical and glazed porcelain tiles

Rak Ceramics, one of the world’s leading multinational ceramics manufacturer based in Ras Al Khaimah,, United Arab Emirates, has commissioned Sacmi to renew its large tile production line.

Founded in 1989 with the support of the royal family of the Emirate of Ras Al Khaimah,, Rak Ceramics chose to make its initial investments with Sacmi. It was the start of a breathtaking period of expansion. By 2010-11 the company achieved staggering success, becoming the “world’s biggest tile manufacturer”, with a total output of 117 million square metres/year, including also the production in numerous overseas plants beyond the UAE, like Bangladesh, India, China, Sudan and Iran. Sanitaryware and tableware manufacturing facilities were also established.

Rak began manufacturing large tiles back in 2001, when Sacmi supplied (for the very first time outside the Sassuolo district) the technology needed to make tiles as big as 1200x1800 and up to 2 cm thick, a result then achieved with traditional pressing methods and a high-tonnage PH7200 press. Now, the large slab market is - thanks to the forward-thinking guidance of Abdallah Massaad, CEO of Rak Ceramics – once again the focus of a series of investment projects aimed at boosting efficiency and renewing the product range.

An all-new CONTINUA PLUS line for the manufacture of technical and glazed porcelain tiles is currently being shipped: this will produce tiles as big as 1500x3000 with different thicknesses.

CONTINUA PLUS is the evolution of the now consolidated Continua, a technology developed and patented by the Sacmi Group to manufacture large slabs. While, on the Continua line, an initial on-conveyor pre-compaction phase is followed by final pressing with a high-tonnage press, the Continua Plus line, thanks to a “super-compactor” able to press ceramic powders at a pressure of 450 kg/cm2, continuously feeds a bed of spray-dried powder and “instantly” transforms it into a firing-ready ceramic material. This ensures significant advantages in terms of both the reduction-rationalisation of its installation-production costs and the outstanding flexibility and scope of output.

And maximum flexibility is just what this line, developed by the Sacmi Group’s engineering department in close collaboration with the RAK Group, aims to provide: a line capable of being incorporated in the existing plant without compromising the already impressive output capacity.

The order includes the powder loading unit with dry DDD digital machines, full-body APC filling devices and the accessories needed to make double filling and multi-layer effects, also with micronized powders; this will enable RAK CERAMICS to implement extensive expansion of its production range and dry graphic effects. The pressing section includes the PCR1600 PLUS super-compactor; able to compact a ceramic slab of unlimited length and a maximum unfired width of 1600 mm, this is followed by a new single-layer drier with a 3500 mm wide inlet to dry very large slabs.

Completing the line is a COLORA HD 1808 digital decorator, the latest in the range by Intesa, the Sacmi Group company dedicated to developing digital decoration. Able to print on tiles as large as 1800 mm using 8-colour inks, this printer will - in close collaboration with prestigious graphic design studios and leading colour producers - be used to make slabs of outstanding aesthetic value.

Thanks to co-development of the project together with RAK’s technicians, it will be possible to exploit the full potential of the line both in its traditional CONTINUA configuration (i.e. with repressing) and in the CONTINUA PLUS one (i.e. with dynamic compaction only). A project, then, that is highly innovative, a real technical challenge and a clear demonstration of the ever-more strategic role the Sacmi Group plays as a quality-focussed technological partner. 



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