Flexibility, high speed, and sustainability are the key features of Superfast technology from System Ceramics: claimed to be the first ceramic press in the world without a mould. Superfast can to produce, in a simple, flexible and rapid manner, all formats of porcelain stoneware starting from 600, 800, and 900mm modules in thicknesses from 3 to 30mm … and is said to achieve nominal productivity of more than 16,000 sq. metres per day.
Due to the absence of a mould, the Superfast press ensures maximum flexibility in the change of format, which occurs completely digitally via software without any mechanical intervention and without having to change the belt. It is achieved, instead, with a simple operation that resets a number of parameters, making format changes very rapid. This puts this pressing technology at the cutting-edge and is said to make it unique in the world. In addition, because there is no mould, all formats can be produced on a single belt, thereby significantly reducing production costs.
From a sustainability angle, Superfast makes a fundamental contribution in the recovery of ceramic material coming from the pressing and cutting phase. The recovered material is dry ground directly at the side of the press, and is then mixed and dosed so that it can be introduced directly into the dosers of atomized coating material, and reused in production without having to pass to the atomizer. This recycling process is made possible by an unfired cutting system, that allows the slab to be cut after pressing and before introduction into the kiln.
This operation is managed by software that makes it possible to dose appropriate percentages of the recovered material and new atomized material coming from other silos. It is thus possible to reuse – in real time – the entire recovered component, mixing it into the lower layer, contributing significantly to the creation of the overall thickness of the ceramic product. By reduce the quantity of material required for ceramic production, the Superfast system can deliver significant savings in raw material use.
The environmental sustainability of the process is also underpinned by very low energy consumption in the pressing phase; 70% less than traditional ceramic presses.
This development reflects System Ceramics’ objective of offering the global market technologies with increasingly flexible high level performance, that can satisfy a manufacturing sector that requires lean and rapid processes, reduced production costs, and just-in-time production oriented towards product customisation.
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A new post by Joe Simpson, Diary of a Tile Addict, October 2019.