Technology

Diversa, a new concept in ceramic tile production

25/02/2015

Encouraged by the success of the Creadigit decorating machine, System began developing a system that would be capable of performing digital glazing using piezoelectric DOD technology, the same technology that is successfully used on what are now considered standard decorating machines.

The choice fell on a simply engineered head with recirculation, allowing for the use of water-based products with a particle size of 6 μm.

The resultant machine, called Layerdigit, is able to load a maximum of 4 different products and deposit up to 400 g/m2 of material per application.

The Layerdigit philosophy involves depositing a sufficient quantity of material on the tile to ensure total coverage with maximum uniformity and absorption of the deposited material. The 360 dpi resolution is important in order to achieve perfectly uniform product application and to completely close the surface porosity. Due to the large quantities of product deposited on the tile, it is essential to develop materials with a high percentage of water together with the solid component and organic phase in order to avoid burning large quantities of solvents.

System is currently working closely with the glaze and colour producers based in the Sassuolo ceramic cluster to develop products and raw materials that can be used with this technology to achieve very high yields.

Layerdigit is the first station on the ceramic production line of the future, called Diversa. By using digital technology, this line will be capable of glazing, decorating, creating effects and reliefs and depositing protective layers on the tile - all in a space of just 25 metres. It will be possible to install high-resolution (400 dpi) and low-resolution (200 dpi) decoration stations on the line to achieve the highest production flexibility.

The entire line will be equipped with a single high precision conveyor belt to ensure perfect synchronization between all the printing stations. With applications including glaze-engobes, glazes, coloured, gloss and matt effects, colour designs (up to 16 colours), metallic effects, protective layers and powder applications with Windpowder etc., the new line will combine cuttingedge technology with outstanding scope for creativity in ceramic production. The minimum printing width of 1200 mm will enable the same levels of productivity to be achieved with a belt speed of 10 m/min. as narrow highspeed lines. This will make it possible to work simultaneously on different sizes with different applications loaded on the machine bars.

Water-compatible standard inks are also being developed to harmonise the line’s applications and guarantee the maximum compatibility between one decoration station and another.

The Diversa system introduces the concept of working in layers, allowing tiles to be decorated with the utmost flexibility in production runs as short as an hour.

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