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1/20/2004
Staying on top in ceramics through service, tradition and innovation

The Sacmi Imola tile laboratory: generating new trends in ceramics and tiles

Know-how, technological training, consulting, product research/industrialisation and customer assistance: for the Sacmi Imola Ceramics&Tiles laboratory - a hub of activity producing innovations capable of influencing the world ceramic market – all this is in a day’s work. Here, customers can test raw materials and get the information they need to optimise their use on the production line. It is also where in-depth research into aesthetic potential is carried out. At present much of the lab’s efforts focus on porcelain tiles. All these activities are carried out by the 26-strong Technological Laboratory team, headed by Dr. Silvano Gigli. To ensure organisational efficiency, the team is sub-divided by field of specialisation and activity. Consequently, the laboratory consists of several departments (each with its own manager) as follows:
- Know How and Training: follows all “turnkey plant” activities (i.e. those concerning the supply of technology). Also runs training courses for customer’s personnel.
- Consulting: examines all those situations that concern the long-term evolution of the customer’s production facilities, including upgrades designed to lower production costs and the solution of more immediate problems. This department can also carry out detailed step-by-step inspection and all the checks needed for careful evaluation of the different stages of the production cycle.
- Product research: the SACMI laboratory is frequently contacted by customers requesting assistance vis-à-vis the future development and evolution of a certain ceramic product as they need to understand how to optimise future production facility investments. This is an important area for the customer: consequently, SACMI has recently boosted this internal research division so as to provide a more customer-specific response and remain up-to-the-minute with regard to both technology and plant engineering and their effective application.
- Product industrialisation: this stage follows on from the previous one and aims to shorten the time that elapses between an initial idea, its development, its prototyping and, ultimately, its application on an industrial scale. This stage also aims to establish technological parameters regarding product quality and productivity.
- External services industrialisation: product research concerns that which is produced within the company and that which is on the external equipment market. This department aims to enhance the opportunities presented by such equipment as regards their use with new products, to improve inter-machine performance and to attain a better understanding of individual machines so they can operate as an efficient “whole”, even where made by different manufacturers. Such research also involves testing of individual equipment item performance and optimised coordination of equipment use with an eye to future output.
- Instrumental laboratory: to ensure customers get nothing less than the best possible service, Sacmi also has an instrumental lab - one of the most advanced in the entire ceramic industry - which carries out the actual scientific testing in research/production monitoring.

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