The ceramic factory 4.0 by ICF & Welko


ICF Welko has upgraded all its product lines with the aim of becoming a key player in the development of the “ceramic factory 4.0”.

In the field of raw materials and powder preparation, it has implemented extremely precise and reactive machine checks to achieve optimal process control and consistent behaviour in the downstream stages; the continuous mills and fine roller mills stand out for their versatility and simplicity of management on the part of the operator, who is able to control all the main machine and product parameters; in the spray drying stage, control of the powder temperature and particle size allows for a rapid response to process drift.

Moving on to the forming of ceramic materials, the simplicity of the man-machine interface allows for ease of learning, operation and tuning of the machine throughout its entire life cycle. In day-to-day operations, the self-adaptivity of the control system to correct for drift in raw materials enables the product’s characteristics to be stabilised for subsequent steps.

On kilns and dryers, ICF Welko has simplified the machines with the most complex operation, solving the longstanding issues of incoming production discontinuity and the consequent problems of tone, calibre and form. Improvements in the energy efficiency of thermal machines allow for unprecedented levels of performance in terms of consumption. This is a result of virtual modelling and CAD simulation of the top-quality materials used as well as individual control of the energies involved through the control of volumes and temperatures inside the firing channel. Virtual models of the machine’s behaviour allow size changes to be performed with guaranteed finished product quality.

Thanks to the integration of forming control in the end-of-line stage, the line can be monitored and managed as a single unit through to control of the finished product in the warehouse.