Kerama Marazzi has embraced the potential of SACMI Deep Digital to strengthen its pivotal role on the Russian market as a manufacturer of high quality designer ceramics. Founded in 1992 and now one of the industry's leaders with 21 offices and over 350 single-brand stores across the Russian Federation, Belarus, Central Asia, the Caucasus, Ukraine, the Baltic States, Romania and Moldova, Kerama Marazzi recently invested in a doubling of its SACMI Continua+ line that integrates the very latest Digital Decoration & Glazing solutions. Viktor Osetskiy, Marketing Director of Kerama Marazzi, illustrates the reasons behind this investment decision.
How long have you worked with SACMI?
«Ours is a long-standing relationship that goes back to 2007 when we placed our first orders. Ever since its founding, the Kerama Marazzi mission has been to supply the Russian market with the highest quality ceramic. Hence our reliance on the best technology the market has to offer so we can offer our customers new products and services that meet the strictest quality and design standards».
Why invest in a doubling of the SACMI Continua+ line?
«Because it's the world's best, most versatile technology for the manufacture of traditional slabs and every type of sub-size. With Continua+ we can count on high speeds, less waste regardless of size, fast double filling, quality, and full repeatability thanks to digital synchronisation of the entire process».
And the outlook for your own products?
«Our investment stems from specific market requirements that demand not just high quality products with outstanding aesthetics but, above all, the ability to produce different sizes and decorations with the utmost versatility, free from the restraints of fixed sizes and traditional decoration systems. That's why our doubling of capacity has seen us turn towards SACMI Deep Digital, the new platform integrated on Continua+. This platform lets us synchronise dry and wet decoration processes and deposit colours and materials, all at extremely high resolution, allowing us to make products with revolutionary aesthetics».
More specifically, how is the new line configured?
«Downstream from the compactor, the line features the SACMI DHD inkjet decorator. Further downstream comes the DDG, which can perform selective application of a grain layer to give the tile rich texturing and depth effects. Installed and started up at the end of 2019, this solution immediately made managing the existing tile/slab portfolio much more efficient, allowing us to think about developing and launching new products».
What are most popular sizes on the market at the moment?
«Kerama Marazzi, of course, has its sights set on the medium-to-high end sector. With Continua+ we currently produce sizes spanning from 80x80 up to very large slabs, all with the same quality and efficiency. We must always bear in mind that being competitive on today's market depends on the ability to work efficiently with small batches; thanks to the seamless integration of ink and material application systems, we're free to focus on creativity and maximise added value».
Any new investments on the horizon?
«As I said, we're very pleased with SACMI Deep Digital and may, in the future, double DDG capacity so we can incorporate further glaze or material deposits. In the current configuration, synchronisation of powder application with upstream DHD graphics already allows us to create never-before-seen nuances and decorations that differentiate Kerama products from those of our competitors».
How do you see the hoped-for post-Covid recovery of the Russian market playing out?
«Our investment policies have a medium-long term outlook and we're confident that the markets we supply will bounce back. International supply chains are already returning to normal and, together, we're counting on the desire to kick-start our communities, which have been hit hard by the emergency. Of course, doing so means having the right tools. Our company's strength is rooted in continuous investment in the best available technology, a factor that, today, allows us to look to the future with determination and confidence».