Ceramica Lourdes has decided to use Lamina technology and the LAMGEA moldless press, making it the key manufacturer in the Americas for porcelain stoneware using the System process. Thanks to the foresight of Jorge Oscar Gallo, president of Ceramica Lourdes and industry innovator, the market will soon offer ceramics products featuring high-end design and innovative technical features, formats, thicknesses and decoration.
The ceramic slabs exiting the Burzaco factory located 40 km from Buenos Aires can be produced in widths up to 1.6 x 3.2 m with thicknesses that vary from 3-12 mm. The plant using Lamina technology employs advanced processing systems making it a highly flexible factory that also stands out for the ability to produce sub-formats easily.
Ceramica Lourdes has embraced a range of automated processes, in addition to the moldless press for the slabs, including digitization of decoration phases, and control of quality, selection, packaging and palletization of the tiles.
The high-definition decoration of ceramic products will be performed by Creadigit, a system that along with Rotocolor and other enameling applications, allows the creation of decorative graphics with high-quality technical qualities matching those of marble, natural stones and wood.
The fine quality of the end product using the System technological process means that marketing can be diversified within the design and furnishings sector.
The System plant will be installed in the Buenos Aires factory over the course of 2017.
The System plant at Ceramica Lourdes
Surfaces of porcelain stoneware slabs produced with Lamina technology are compact and uniform. The new system for distributing atomized powders features three dosing units regardless of the format to be obtained. The mix of materials is distributed on a belt that transports the powders to a moldless press called LAMGEA, which performs a precise work cycle for each action. The rigorous operation of the compacting mechanism guarantees a perfect de-aeration of the material, as the press exerts a force up to 30,000 metric tons.
The possibilities for aesthetic expression are defined right from the pressing phase. The surface of the belt matrix can be laser cut down to a depth of 2 mm with clear definition of details. When the slabs exit the press, the surfaces of the atomized powder are compact, flat, and with limited dimensional variations and standard moisture content. In the specific case of Ceramica Lourdes, the large ceramic surfaces in sub-formats are divided after firing.
After exiting the dryer, the tiles undergo the decoration process, which employs different technologies according to the product. The system is flexible and is complete with airless, digital and Rotocolor devices for the application of enamels; the digital decoration system called Creadigit; and airless mechanisms for materials application.
The Ceramic Lourdes system is designed for continuous production. The input buffer ensures constant feeding of the kilns, while the output buffer allows any possible treatment of the end product to be performed (cutting, grinding, lapping, backing, etc.).
When the ceramic pieces have been processed, the sorting process is started for products up to 1.2 x 1.8 meters. This area of the plant contains Qualitron, the automatic system for visual selection, and the automations for controlling size and planarity. The Multigecko sorter, working rapidly and silently, divides pieces according to the quality classification identified by the previous control equipment; the 4Phases automatic packaging system then creates the pack of tiles directly in the machine without cardboard waste. The packs of porcelain stoneware are handled by the Griffon palletizer, which takes the packaged units and composes the pallet according to the different symmetries.
The entire production process of the System plant at Ceramica Lourdes is managed automatically and in adherence to the most highly developed smart manufacturing criteria via a human-machine interface of the latest generation.