Spotlight

Advanced technologies for tile sorting and packaging

15/01/2019

Amongst the flagship machinery manufactured by System Ceramics are the quality control and packaging automations, such as Qualitron XXL and Multiflex.

Qualitron XXL is the vision system developed by System Ceramics for quality control of large ceramic surfaces. One of the most advanced processes in the world, it films the ceramic tiles using two digital cameras, one black and white and the other colour. The tiles are illuminated by a special light generated by a lighting system purpose-designed by System Ceramics to allow for accurate inspection of structural and decoration defects. A special micrometric positioning device aligns the inspection system perfectly with tiles and slabs of different thicknesses. The system is able to examine the surface textures and decorations of large-size tiles and slabs and submultiples in meticulous detail. The automatic sorting process is designed to operate even without an operator present in keeping with smart manufacturing and Industry 4.0 principles.

One of the most important features of Qualitron is the powerful software developed entirely by the internal team of IT engineers, who have created one of the world’s most extraordinary machine learning programs. An automated procedure allows the product to be set up completely automatically. The software recognises the various types of defects and transmits them to the control logic of the sorting machines downstream of the Qualitron XXL. Each machine is equipped with an industrial PC specially designed by System System Ceramics and a 21” Copilot human-machine interface complete with a full HD high-resolution graphic display.

In the field of packaging, System Ceramics has developed a technological update for its Multiflex packaging system which allows for greater flexibility and customisation.

Multiflex is an advanced packaging machine designed to pack ceramic tiles of various sizes using neutral or pre-printed cardboard sheets. Starting out from the neutral flat sheet, the machine creates a box by adapting the packaging according to the stack of tiles so as to manage any variation in terms of calibre and stack height. The material used to obtain the necessary strips comes in a standard 120x120 cm size and is subsequently cut to create a totally tailored package. The machine then automatically forms the cardboard packaging that encloses the tiles of sizes up to 120x180 cm. The control panel is fitted with a latest-generation industrial Copilot PC with 15.6” full HD touchscreen and simple and intuitive management software.

Multiflex is able to produce up to 10 boxes a minute with considerable savings in terms of cardboard (up to 80% depending on the size). Designed with a focus on anti-waste packaging and reduced consumptions, the technology allows for optimised production costs, while protecting our environment, thanks to energy and raw material savings.

The new version of Multiflex adds further process innovation to the characteristics described above. The first major change is the positioning of the 4 carton storage units, which can be managed either in a single row (right or left) or on both sides (2 on the right and 2 on the left). The dimensions of the storage units have been increased to enable them to handle pre-printed sheets and consequently operation in submultiples.

Secondly, boxes can be formed for different sizes with extremely rapid size change operations, while the graphics printed in real time on the package can be customised on the machine. This is largely achieved thanks to the simplified mechanics, which are capable of producing the final package in a small number of steps.

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