“Dark is Bright” <br>SACMI Sanitaryware’s tour of the lights out factory</br>

“Dark is Bright”
SACMI Sanitaryware’s tour of the lights out factory

Over 1000 participants from 50 nations join SACMI Sanitaryware’s special online event on the technologies and processes of the future sanitaryware factory. The key feature is process automation.

The lights out factory is a safe factory, where people and robots work together to create a better, more sustainable and competitive product. The key feature is automation and this was the main theme of the special “Dark is Bright” event conceived by SACMI Sanitaryware & Tableware involving customers from all around the world.
More than 1000 participants from 50 nations joined the virtual event which was presented by the journalist and Radio 24 presenter Sebastiano Barisoni. SACMI aims to look forward to the future and does so by showing a true “factory eco-system” where automation is synonymous with better quality, economic and environmental sustainability and health & safety in the work environment. “Our customers are the guiding light of this evolution and it is they who become our real and true partners with whom we work every day to create the best solutions”, explained SACMI’s President, Paolo Mongardi.
RobotCasting. Starting from the casting department, SACMI’s lights out factory removes all the heavy-duty tasks from the worker in order to carry out a production process that is higher performing, with greater respect to the environment, health and final quality of the product. From this point of view, the event presented the RobotCasting ADM and ALV high-pressure casting solutions for the fully automatic production of console and designer washbasins. These machines are equipped to operate without workers thanks also to an innovative system for the application of a bar code for product traceability using digital printing.
The new developments in design and the latest flushing system concepts mean that the finished products are more and more complex pieces to manufacture. Here the best results can be achieved thanks to the RobotCasting AVI casting cell which is served by a robot performing all operations such as piece loading and unloading, mould handling and change-over, loading to the pre-dryer and loading onto the conveyor belt for the next production stages. Flexibility, quality, constancy of the production process; these are some of the distinctive features of this solution, which is also highly customizable according to the level of automation requested by the customer and suitable for all types of WC bowl – from siphon to rimless to the “hull/engine” type and one-piece.
Lasermove. All the subsequent stages are carried out by laser-guided vehicles, where the smart factory becomes synonymous specifically with total traceability of the single piece from casting to firing. With this solution, all handling operations can be controlled automatically by a PC according to the required priorities. By connecting the various work stations and coordinating the productions flows it is possible to control the progress of the production process by monitoring the position of the vehicles and checking where the products are in the factory. 
RobotClean. The sanitaryware factory of the future must be dust-free. In fact this year a new European Standard came into force limiting the acceptable level of crystalline silica in the factory environment to  0.1 mg per cubic metre. Particularly unhealthy, due to the quantity of dust produced during the process, are the piece finishing operations which can be carried out in the future with “RobotClean”. During this stage, a robot and a set of abrasive tools operate independently inside a closed-off area thus preventing the dispersion of dust into the working environment whilst, at the same time, guaranteeing maximum quality and repeatability of operations.
RobotGlaze. A well-established system in SACMI’s range of solutions is robotized glazing which has the key feature of allowing a mix of complex articles to be controlled using a single platform thus maximizing efficiency and preventing wastage of glaze and raw materials. Alongside customized machine layout, with RobotGlaze, Sacmi offers the customer advanced programming technologies which can be self-learning or off-line.
RobotLoad. Even today piece loading into the kiln is mainly carried out manually but these operations too can be entrusted to a robot. This means a lower risk of piece deformation and breakage and, once again, better protection for the workers who typically carry out hundreds of handling operations for each work-shift. Among the other advantages of this solution, which is set up with two robot cells positioned at the loading and unloading ends of the kiln respectively, is the possibility to make use of loading algorithms which optimize kiln operations, also in relation to the stock of glazed pieces available.
Qualitrack. Identify, check, sort and trace. These are the values of a modern quality control department. The new SACMI Qualitrack digital platform for quality control assists the operator in identifying each type of defect thus ensuring maximum repeatability, precision, zero margin of error.  Provided with a sophisticated system of cameras and sensors, Qualitrack inspects the pieces and automatically identifies any deviation from the pre-set quality parameters. “One of the great advantages of Qualitrack – explained the SACMI Sanitaryware technical team during the event – is that it enables the user to keep a history of the data” and this data is available at all times remotely or from any device (e.g. smartphone, tablet) connected to the company internet network. It is therefore a useful solution, not just to obtain better products, but also to obtain feedback and intervene to correct any inefficiencies in the process.
The success of the “Dark is Bright” event was achieved thanks to the active involvement of and contributions by the entire staff of the  SACMI Sanitaryware & Tableware Division. “The event was devised, not just to find an alternative channel of communication with our customers compared to the tradition trade fair, - explained Daniele Coralli – but also and above all to discover new ways for the future to extend and improve contact between the customers technicians and SACMI’s technicians”. Following the event, staff are already making dedicated calls to customers to give further in-depth details about the solutions presented. “The SACMI Sanitaryware team has organized a full conference call schedule for the next few weeks to further discuss the innovations shown and develop new ideas and future projects with interested customers”.
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