El Moumtaza – “state-of-the-art” roofing tile factory in Algeria
Equipceramic S.A. supplied the entire production plant from dry grinding of clay, through to a chamber dryer with automatic cycle and a sealed kiln.
State-of-the-art technology has been applied, including robot technology for loading and unloading in the refractory kiln furniture, as well as extensive automation and control of the plant by means of advanced software and hardware packages.
Clay preparation and grinding
Following thorough laboratory analysis of the raw materials to be used, Equipceramic advised El Moumtaza on the process applied for clay preparation and grinding and the equipment necessary for this. A high-quality final product was always the main target.
A dry grinding process on the basis of state-of-the-art technology was ultimately selected. Particular attention was paid to the installation of a clay dryer, so clay is delivered to the manufacturing process with the optimum moisture content. The clay is then ground in a hammer mill to obtain the ideal grain size to shape the manufactured products.
Cutting and loading
At the exit of the extruder, the clay column is fed to a cutter and the resulting clots are led to two presses equipped with special rubber moulds for the manufacturing of roofing tiles.
The green tiles are dried in a chamber dryer with a longitudinal ventilation system. Trays with a load capacity of eight clay roofing tiles are used as drying supports. These are loaded and unloaded fully automatically. The roofing tiles are picked up from trays by means of a multiple gripper coupled to a motorized transfer car with no on-board driver and equipped with a turning platform. Then they are sent on a conveyor to the setting area.
Setting and dehacking of the U-setters
Top priority for the customer in this project was to assure excellent quality of the finished products. For this reason, Equipceramic opted to use refractory U-setters as kiln furniture in order to ensure homogeneous coloration and quality over the entire setting. To meet the high level of quality demanded by the customer, the decision was taken to install robots for setting and dehacking the roofing tiles on and off U-setters. These ensure accurate and gentle handling of the products and therefore a high quality of the finished products. The use of robots makes this roofing tile factory one of the most modern production plants in Algeria and the whole of Africa.
Roofing tile sorting
A roofing tile sorting system has been installed at the exit of the kiln in order to ensure that tiles meet quality criteria at the end of the manufacturing process. This system comprises the following stages:
Delivery of roofing tiles on two conveyors for the sorting of pieces on a one-by-one basis
Having passed quality control, the roofing tiles are set on packs adapted to the pallet format
Automatic strapping of seven roofing tile packs and distribution for collection by robot for their final packaging and wrapping
Packaging of the roofing tiles
Roofing tile pack-making and film wrapping is performed automatically by means of robots. Two rows of roofing tile packs are stacked four layers high on pallets. The robot inserts a thin sheet between layers to protect the products. The pallets loaded with roofing tiles are shrink-wrapped.
Production: 12 mill. roofing tiles/year; 3 600 roofing tiles/hour
Products: Roman and Marseilles-type pressed roofing tiles and accessories
Dryer: Chamber dryer
Kiln: Sealed kiln