When Ceric Technologies acquired the Pelerin brand, we decided to bring to new heights the expertise of this company already well-known for the reliability and ease of use of its machines. The power of the brand on the market had also been somewhat diluted in favour of other European manufacturers in the former Ceric group. Changes had to take place to bring the situation back to normal”, reminds Thierry Petra, Director of Industrial Operations of Ceric Technologies. And the efforts are bearing fruit as the Pelerin machine and equipment range includes over 70 references from clay crushers and steel (or rubber band) apron box feeders to de-airing extruders or bucket excavators. All these machines are designed and constructed at the manufacturing facilities in Soissons. Noticeable improvements have been brought to a number of machines in very short time.
Improving the reliability of feeders
“By simplifying the assembly and maintenance of our feeders, we also sought to increase their performance and reliability”, says Petra. The engineering office also reviewed the design of the chippers to allow them to run without any jerks, thanks to a new helical geometry that prevents large chunks of clay reaching the downstream machinery.
Excavators tailor-made for the new generation of plants
The current trend is to build large plants that require big clay storage facilities that guarantee their throughput. Ceric made the life of its customers easier and adapted its range to their needs. The structural stress calculations have been revised and a bucket excavator (unit capacity of 100 l) over a 20‑metre wide pit developed, which is capable of removing 130 m3/h. As these units are located in areas where maintenance operations are complex, the complete range of Pelerin excavators has been fitted with direct transmission gear motors on all translational axes.
Ceric extruders have proven their reliability and ability to handle varied types of clay, but the customers wanted easier access to the grids of the extruder, a more generously dimensioned vacuum chamber and larger throughput capacities as well as the best possible technical performance to eliminate dry clay particles. In Pelerin extruders, clay pushed by the mixer, forcefully enters the extruder through grids, then it is cut into chips directly in the vacuum chamber. As the Pelerin machine type is simple and reliable and generates few dry clay particles, it was retained but Pelerin has introduced significant improvements. The vacuum chamber has been lengthened, the geometry of the grids has been modified and recesses where clay could build up have been eliminated. The access hole to the gates has been broadened. And the auger shaft of the extruder is now fully cylindrical. The dimensions of the 12-25 mixer have not been modified but actions have been taken to improve the wetting and mixing operations and accelerate the product transfer. The enlargement of the outlet auger diameter combined with the development of new one-piece paddle holder (no assembly bolts) and the use of feeding propellers have enabled a significant increase in the mixer throughput while simplifying the cleaning and replacement of these parts. Furthermore, the changes introduced have enabled a 10-% cut in power consumption.
The new 730 extruder (8 m long x 7 m wide), which weighs 45 tonnes and offers a total installed power of 560 kW, will soon be erected at a customer’s plant in Algeria.
The entire range of Pelerin extruders including all these innovations will be available in 2013. The 730 extruder offers another significant advantage: this new generation of extruders requires less foundation work because it is mounted on a one-piece frame. The extruder is installed quickly so production line downtime is limited. In addition, the machine is located at a maximum height of 1.20 m above the ground, giving the operator easy access to it. That is a big plus when maintenance has to be done on the 2 000 kg motor or the 10-t gear motor of the 730 extruder!
A revamped customer service
Ceric Technologies has also revamped its customer service and now offers inspection and repair services and preventive maintenance for clay preparation equipment or firing facilities. A repaired burner or tailor-made retrofit kits for machines allow our customers to make substantial savings. Besides, when original equipment manufacturer parts are mounted by qualified staff, this further guarantees the safe and long-lasting operation of strategic machinery and the quality of finished products. But quality also means relocating the manufacture of key components to the Soissons production facilities or making final inspections oneself. All machines, from the smallest to the largest ones, are fully assembled and tested on site before disassembly and shipment to the customer. This golden rule is systematically applied.