So ends the first 4-day Green Economy Festival held in the ceramic-making district of Fiorano Modenese, an event that saw a host of meetings and debates focusing on the extent to which the green economy represents a development opportunity for both the ceramic industry and Italian industry as a whole. Energy saving, then, is good for the environment, yet also beneficial for business as it represents a key enterprise competitiveness factor.
This edition placed particular emphasis on the “good practices” established in the district. Among these was the Eko Kiln, the innovation presented by Sacmi Forni, which won one of the “district green economy prizes” awarded during the festival. The outcome of design work begun in 2009 - and now operative at a major ceramic factory in the Sassuolo area - this new ecological kiln, now available on the market, is accompanied by a sincere ambition: that, explains Andrea Avallone, managing director of Sacmi Forni, of “changing the way ceramic tiles are fired, ensuring completely automated management with reduced consumption and emissions”.
An award, then, that crowns an achieved goal: that of having made the first “variable-length” kiln in the history of ceramic machinery. Basically, with Eko Kiln, heat does not counter-flow through the firing channel longitudinally but, instead, enters transversely into many modular heat cells. The result is that it is possible to “re-draw” the kiln’s heat profile over a lower number of cells and deactivate those that are unnecessary, one at a time.
In other words, it’s like having a variable-length kiln in which specific consumption is maintained even where the effectively fired volumes are lower, thus reducing fuel consumption. This provides an effective response, then, to that burgeoning need for production flexibility – and cost containment – that represents a not-to-be-ignored competitiveness factor throughout the district. A deserved award, then, since Sacmi Forni has, with Eko Kiln, responded to both needs and that’s without taking into account the reduced emissions associated with the reduction of “environmental costs”, essential for sustainable yet quality development.