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3/31/2004
The “Continua” evolution of Sacmi

The world ceramic industry focuses its attention on an innovative tile production technology

Much talked-about during the last edition of Qualicer and Cevisama 2004, Continua has captivated the attention of the world’s ceramic manufacturers. Following Twinpress and Monolithos, Continua completes Sacmi’s comprehensive range of porcelain tile production technologies. Unlike traditional press feed systems, Continua (presented and launched last Autumn) combines high productivity with outstanding flexibility: it does this thanks to a technology that allows modification of both aesthetics and size and leaves the producer plenty of margin when it comes to customisation. The innovative powder compaction system provides both on-the-surface and total, full-body decoration. Randomisation of decoration makes each tile absolutely unique, as in nature. Moreover, improvements on traditional press filling systems have speeded up output and augmented line flexibility, thus allowing production of large slabs which can then be reduced to any required size.
Continua produces tiles with through-body effects, does not bind the producer to the geometry of the grating and eliminates the problems of powder re-mixing and poor definition of effects. These results are achieved by depositing a continuous bed of spray dried powder on a conveyor belt, with the desired effects. The belt then feeds this bed into the PCR compactor (made up of two belts which taper to compress the powder) to obtain a continuous, compacted strip of a density and bending strength comparable to the pre-compacted item in Twin Press technology. Moreover, thanks to elimination of the grating, producers are freed from pattern repetition. The pre-compacted article cannot, at this stage, be used as a tile and requires a secondary pressing. Above all, since it is a continuous strip, it can be sub-divided into slabs; as the slabs have to be inserted in a downstream press die with the play normally used on standard Twin Press lines, a TPV cutting machine is installed after the PCR compactor. The TPV trims the strip parallel to the direction of feed and cuts it at right angles, doing so continuously without having to halt the strip.

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