Expected to become operational in the second quarter of 2024, the new plant will provide the market with a range of products in sizes all the way up to 3200x1600mm. The order also includes the new FMA Maestro kiln and a 7-tier E7P dryer featuring cutting-edge heat recovery systems that boost energy efficiency.
Ceramica Nulense was founded in the 1970s. It had 32 employees and a 60,000 m2 facility producing high-quality ceramics at competitive prices. Since then the company has grown enormously thanks to a consistent policy of investment and expansion.
Currently operating under the name Grupo STN Cerámica, the company’s industrial facilities now cover over 1,000,000 m2. With an output capacity of 100 million square meters per year, it has established itself as Europe’s second-largest ceramic manufacturer and the world’s seventh-largest. STN exports to more than 140 countries.
The new STN Group production site dedicated to the manufacture of large tiles and slabs will be located in the municipality of Nules and operate under the brand name VENUX. Featuring SACMI's Continua+ technology, it aims to excel in the large-format segment for which market demand just keeps on growing.
“In recent years, our group’s fast-paced expansion”, comments Juan Carlos Barberà, General Manager of the STN Group, “has been driven by continuous investment in the best available technology for ceramic products and processes. Hence our keen interest in Continua + by SACMI, which we assessed as being the best solution on the market: it offers outstanding versatility when it comes to managing different sizes and thicknesses, ensuring we’re able to respond to market demand step by step with the development and launch of new products”.
The heart of the new plant, the Continua+ line - to be started up in spring - is equipped with a PCR2000 compactor and a TPV on-the-fly cutting machine, alongside APB feed devices and DDD digital dry decoration. New top-of-the-range products to be added to the portfolio include the 1600x3200 and 1200x2800 mm. The portfolio also includes the most popular sub-sizes on the market.
For this project, STN Group decided to join forces with SACMI not just for the Continua+ but also the other main machines on the line. The goal? To maximize quality and sustainability at every stage of the process. More specifically, SACMI has supplied STN with a new, ultra-long FMA Maestro kiln - SACMI's market-leading modulated air-gas solution - together with the 7-tier E7P dryer and EUP pre-kiln dryer. The firing and drying department uses the latest SACMI solutions to retrieve heat energy. For example, the RVE system (which retrieves hot air from the kiln and feeds it to the dryer) significantly reduces consumption, emissions and costs.