This latest solution joins the PCR 2000 and PCR 3000, the standard-setters for the slab, tile and sub-size manufacturing market. Also: new 'smart features' on traditional presses and molds
The most productive and versatile compactor ever, the PCR 2180 can produce up to 21,500 m2 per day of fired, polished slabs and tiles up to 1800 mm wide. Presented to the market yesterday during a special on-line event organized as part of SACMI Ceramic Innovation Days, this solution completes the SACMI Continua+ range, a standard-setter for the global ceramic industry.
An evolution, explains Gianluca Pederzini, director of the SACMI Tiles Division Forming PU, that begins with the tile size and the best technology to make it. “Thanks to the greater effective width of the compaction front - which, with the PCR 2180, rises to 1800 mm - this new machine offers the highest productivity on the market, especially with 60x60 and 90x90 cm formats and their sub-sizes”.
The event attracted over 500 participants from 53 countries. They were able to attend the presentation via a new interactive platform that's designed to illustrate SACMI's various technological innovations and encourage discussion on individual features according to a logic of partnership and collaborative innovation.
Flexibility and low consumption
The key characteristics of this latest solution are more flexible, efficient size management and a smaller footprint, making it suitable for a broad range of line configurations and ensuring minimum changeover times. The PCR 2180 complements the tried and tested PCR 2000 and PCR 3000 to expand manufacturing opportunities even further, especially as regards the most in-demand sizes on the market.
With Continua+, there are no theoretical limits to slab length. Thanks to integration with cutting systems, manufacturers can create any sub-size they wish, with fired thickness ranging from 3 to 20 mm (from 3 to 30 mm on the PCR 3000). And that's not all. “Thanks to higher speeds - against a modest increase in installed power - and thanks to higher productivity, the PCR2180 still has the lowest specific energy consumption in its category”. The outcome? Higher productivity - with increases of up to 160% on certain sizes such as 90x90 cm - without affecting operating costs.
Automation and digital controls
Offering flexible management of the different bodies and raw materials, Continua+ natively integrates with SACMI HERE supervision software. This lets ceramic-making evolve naturally towards 'lights-out manufacturing’, characterized by high automation, total order/flow traceability and constant performance monitoring.
As with previous solutions, the PCR 2180 again limits scrap to 3%, whatever the size being produced. What is new, though, is that all scrap can be fed back into production, with advantages for the environment and savings that - based on current plant sizing - can exceed 60,000 euros per year. In addition to the market's lowest OpEx for medium-large sizes (70 kW of installed power), the PCR 2180 also has the lowest oil consumption in its category (200 liters), just 10% of that of a discontinuous press.
A further optional takes the form of motorized automation of size changeovers (in terms of both the width of the powder bed to be pressed and thickness). Opportunities available to the customer therefore include ‘complete digitalization of sub-size setting operations’, now manageable via a change of recipe directly on the HMI.
Outstanding configurability (number and type of APB feeders), integration with cutting (TPV), glazing and digital decoration (DDD and DHD) and inspection systems (SVV) complete the range, allowing SACMI to provide customers with close support to create a new order-stock-warehouse management pull logic.
Traditional pressing, SACMI smart r-evolution
Innovations presented for the traditional pressing market are heading in a similar direction. Indeed, the three keywords around which SACMI has developed the latest generation of VELOCE presses are availability, quality, and performance. By taking a global approach to pressing technology, SACMI has optimized its separate aspects (filling, pressing, the mold) to deliver the best productivity on the market (up to 14 cycles/min on the pivotal 60x60 cm size).
What's more, customers can count on new smart features for fully automatic diagnostics control. “Ever since the Smart generation was launched on the market, SACMI presses have featured advanced sensors and predictive diagnostic functions”, observes Gianluca Pederzini. The next step is to develop a true 'self-diagnostics kit' that allows for real-time management of the most common failures without any margin of error, thus boosting plant availability.
“By teaming up with customers around the world we've developed a series of simulations in the field. The result: thanks to integration with self-diagnosis solutions, the average resolution time is reduced by more than two thirds, thus increasing machine availability and, therefore, overall plant efficiency”.
Smart molds, SACMI's new R2 generation
SACMI's traditional pressing solutions now include 'smart' management of ceramic molds. With over 25,000 units built, sold and installed worldwide, SACMI is the world's leading mold supplier. “A SACMI M&D high-tech product line, R2 already includes special punches for large tile sizes. As of today, it also features molds with their own incorporated 'intelligence' thanks to IoT technology”, notes Federico Cucchetti, General Manager of SACMI Molds&Dies.
In practice, every single mold is equipped with RFID devices; these incorporate innovative radio-frequency technology that can save, store and return all the information about the life-cycle of an object as necessary. The result: proactive management of all components subject to wear, helping users plan and anticipate maintenance while, again, implementing innovative pull logic for warehouse management purposes.
Simply framing the QR-Code of the mold or punch displays all its features directly on your smartphone or tablet, saving even more time and eliminating any chance of error. The last step is automatic recognition by the press; once it receives the mold, it autonomously recognizes the data, performs automated adjustment of the axes and updates the counters regarding the mold and its parts in real time.
Streamed worldwide at 10 a.m. and again at 3 p.m. in order to capture the widest possible international audience, the event was simultaneously translated into seven languages (Italian, English, Spanish, Russian, French, Chinese and Portuguese) and gave participants the opportunity to ask the team questions and take part in surveys on the main innovations being presented.
After taking a close look at forming, SACMICeramicInnovationDays will continue over the coming weeks with further in-depth meetings on other stages of the tile manufacturing process. The next appointment on 22nd December will explore the SACMI Smart Powder Plant, the most complete, integrated body preparation solution on the market.