Founded in 1953 in the province of Buenos Aires by the Rico family, the brick manufacturer has become an institution in the Argentinian ceramics sector. It is committed to quality and has continuously invested in the latest technology over the course of its 60 years of company history.
In recent years, La Pastoriza has made extensive investments in, for example, new facilities with considerable improvements of the machinery and equipment for clay preparation. Objective of this modernization was to reduce the grain size of the raw material to increase production capacity and improve the quality of the final product. In the course of these improvements, the Rico family noticed that one of the aspects that could be optimized was the durability of its extrusion dies. For this purpose, La Pastoriza called in Morte as an industrial consultant.
As a starting point, the existing working conditions were analysed. It was established that the clays used to extrude the final product had high shrinkage. This made it necessary to work with narrow tolerances, which meant a very strict control of the dies, which were chrome-coated locally.
On the basis of these assumptions, Morte proposed testing its technology on one of the products with the highest production rates, in a process divided into two phases. First a die was manufactured from treated steel, an ideal material for the introduction of new products since the elements of the die manufactured in this material can be modified if required (conicities, inclinations…). Morte’s Technical Assistance Service made the necessary adjustments to the die on site to ensure its optimum operation and an acceptable extruded product.
Once this process was successfully completed, the second phase was undertaken in 2017. The elements exposed to most wear (cores and frames) were made from MOR-05 tungsten carbide. This material exhibits very high wear resistance and its cost efficiency is much higher than that of hard chrome. The parts made of MOR-05 have performed well, the weights and dimensions of the extruded hollow bricks being maintained, and production of the plant stabilized.
On the basis of the good experience, production of a new die was started. Those elements exposed to the most wear are produced directly from MOR-05 tungsten carbide.
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