With the SACMI PCR 2120 quality is multiple
. So says Francesco Maturo
, CEO of Italgraniti
, a company founded in 1994 and a pioneering developer, together with SACMI, of the first Continua technology.
“In 2002 Italgraniti came up with the initial Continua technology concept that we then developed alongside SACMI’s technicians and engineers. It was a revolutionary ceramic principle: continuous compaction of a spray dried powder bed. The idea originated out of the Cotto Calvetro production process, an extrusion technique that was then in use at our Rubiera factory. Historically, it might be said that the concept was already widespread in other industrial processes, such as paper-making”, explains Francesco Maturo, as he shows us the model of a historic ‘paper press’, kept in his office to symbolize an entrepreneurial and family history that goes back a long way.
Today’s market is encouraging - thanks also to a spike in orders after a 2020 on the defensive – yet has undergone significant changes in recent years. One of Italgraniti’s key goals is to achieve a ‘zero warehouse’ solution and successfully manage small lots, different sizes and the hundreds of different products in the catalogue, all at the same level of efficiency
“This is why we chose the PCR 2120. Part of the Continua+ family, this innovative solution combines all the acknowledged advantages of this technology - enhanced quality, versatile size changeovers etc.- with those of a traditional press, namely productivity, cost control and use of the same bodies
The first piece of added value provided by the PCR2120 comes from the ability to process ‘tiles’, not just slabs, thereby multiplying quality and efficiency on these product types.
“On the one hand, we need to schedule very different orders and very small production lots, without being constrained by size changeover times or the minimum efficient size
needed to saturate a traditional press line. On the other, we need to guarantee perfect process quality and repeatability across the various tile sizes that are often used to put together a single architectural project”, points out Francesco Maturo.
To strengthen this approach, Italgraniti has partnered up with several internationally renowned architects with a view to optimizing ceramic product design: “More and more ceramic design-decor projects require different sizes, so we need to have a sound solution that ensures the same tone and texture
across the entire lot”.
In a traditional approach to a ceramic project, then, even minimal differences - a setting, a size - can take on considerable importance. Hence the need for a solution that can process the same body regardless of size
, ensuring results are high quality and always perfectly repeatable. Further advantages stem from shorter set-up times
and the ability to multiply the sizes being produced by integrating state-of-the-art cutting solutions
Minimizing stock is another Italgraniti priority. “We must equip production departments according to a work-to-order
philosophy”, highlights Francesco Maturo, “so we can provide a real-time production response to market inputs without affecting productivity, efficiency or line saturation.
The extraordinary thing is that, with the PCR 2120 and the accompanying unfired/fired cutting solutions, each individual size made in the compactor can be converted into at least 4 distinct but identical formats
From an efficiency perspective, Continua+ allows a qualitative leap: scrap is minimal regardless of the size
and can, as we’re already doing, be fully recycled back into the process. Last but not least, this machine has just a little over a third of the installed kilowatts of a standard solution”.