SACMI's talk at the symposium organized by the Portuguese Ceramics and Glass Society generates huge interest. In the audience, protagonists from the tile, tableware and sanitaryware industries sat alongside instructors and experts from the University of Aveiro and Coimbra ISEC, a key Portuguese ceramic training and research facility
At the ‘Automation and robotics in the ceramic industry’ conference, held in late October in Aveiro, Portugal, SACMI presented an audience of over 150 customers - including representatives of tile, sanitaryware and tableware companies – with its main solutions and innovations for automating ceramic-making processes.
Drawing on the success of projects completed worldwide, SACMI’s talk (by Gianluca Radice, Area Sales Manager in the Sanitaryware & Tableware BU) detailed the tangible advantages automation has to offer, namely: greater production efficiency, higher product quality and improved working conditions.
Tiles – Robotic large slab picking
Achievements in the tile sector include pioneering robotic applications for handling large slabs. These feature a new handling station, developed with Gaiotto, that lets manufacturers handle slabs as large as 1600x3200 mm and as heavy as 250 kg: a highly innovative solution that takes the industry to the next level and heightens the versatility and efficiency of end-of-line management.
Tableware – Automation extended to cup handle casting/gluing
In tableware, the production and subsequent glue-on of cup and mug handles is still largely the realm of manual work. Hence SACMI’s presentation of the first solution on the market able to cast the handle directly onto the cup, again with the aid of a robot. This method has the benefit of being applicable to any end-of-line set-up (i.e. cups made via jiggering, as in the illustrated case, but also via isostatic pressing and so on), with considerable advantages in terms of quality, task repeatability (zero errors due to manual gluing) and waste reduction.
Sanitaryware – The ‘last mile’ of automation with RobotClean and RobotLoad
In recent years sanitaryware has, more than any other sector, gone about implementing a logic of total automation by making extensive use of robots across the key stages of production. Robots, of course, are a common sight in sanitaryware casting and glazing departments and SACMI has now extended their use to the delicate finishing and automatic kiln loading stages. With RobotClean and RobotLoad, SACMI has completed the ‘last mile’ of automation on sanitaryware plants. This yields advantages that range from product quality to improved working conditions thanks to zero manual handling and zero exposure to harmful dust (e.g. in finishing, all tasks are performed in a protected robot zone using special tools).
In combination with the development of dedicated software, again fully designed and developed by SACMI, the deployment of automation and robots also plays a vital role in reducing the environmental impact of the plant. A truly all-round partner, SACMI offers different levels of automation and personalized projects based on the customer's actual needs to maximize the resulting advantages.
SACMI also took part in the final round table, in which talks were moderated by Nuno Ferreira, lecturer at the Higher Institute of Engineering of Coimbra (ISEC).