Laminam starts up its fourth production line
Laminam, a member of System Group of Fiorano and the world leader in the production of large-format and thin ceramic panels for architecture, interiors and design, started up its fourth production line on 15 July.
The ribbon was cut by Chairman Franco Stefani, Vice Chairman Alessandra Stefani and Managing Director Alberto Selmi, who outlined the characteristics of the new line and the goals that the company has set itself with this major new investment (15 million euros).
Following 30% turnover growth in 2014 to reach 40 million euros and in line with the 50 million euros forecast for the current year, Laminam is aiming to expand its product range and consolidate its presence in a range of market segments, including kitchen worktops. While the 3 existing lines produce 1000x3000 mm ceramic panels in thicknesses of 3 and 5 mm, the fourth performs 50 pressings an hour to produce 4,000 sq.m/day of extra-large panels up to 1600x3200 mm in size and with thicknesses of between 6 and 20 mm.
Laminam's total production capacity will reach a million panels a year. The new series of panels with a 1600x3200 mm size and 12 mm thickness will be unveiled at Marmomacc, the major stone industry exhibition to be held in Verona from 30 September to 3 October.
At the heart of the new production system lies the Gea 33000 mouldless press, which deposits powders directly only the belt without using dedicated feeder carriages. This eliminates all stresses from the panels, which are able to expand without constraints and are consequently free of defects even in the new extra-large sizes. At the same time energy consumption is reduced by 50% compared to conventional pressing systems. The panels are decorated using three maxi Rotocolor® units and two Creadigit digital printers, which ensure unique precision with even the most complex designs. The new 140 metre long kiln (compared to the 80 metre length of the previous models) can be used to fire increasingly large panels in under 100 minutes.
The fully automated plant is a jewel of technology that stands out for its cleanliness and rational design. It is complemented by the innovative vertical warehouse served by laser-guided vehicles that move independently without the need for a human operator.
Laminam was set up in 2001 by Franco Stefani and now has 160 employees. It was the first company in the world to industrialise the revolutionary process for manufacturing large-format ceramic panels, a process created and patented by Stefani himself. This technology is continuing to expand all over the world and is currently used for a global production of 30 million sq.m of large-format panels a year.
Some pictures of the inauguration of the new production line