Sabo reconstructs production line for pressed roofing tiles at Labasa, Mexico

Laminados de Barro S.A. (Labasa), a leading manufacturer of clay roofing tiles and other ceramic products, recently completed an extensive reconstruction and upgrade of the whole drying process for its existing production line. The project was a very important investment for the company, which is located in the city of Piedras Negras in Northern Mexico, on the border with the United States. Following a rigorous selection process and detailed technical discussions and decisions on the objectives and needs to be satisfied, Sabo was entrusted with the realization of this project. It involved the remodelling of the existing roofing tile production line starting from the presses up to unloading of the dry tiles. The main objectives were the capacity upgrade of the dryer and at the same time a higher quality of the product to meet the needs of the export markets. In addition, energy consumption was to be reduced. The project was therefore important in strengthening the market position of the company.

To meet the requirements, the Sabo team designed and engineered state-of-the-art and effective handling equipment. Not only was a high product quality ensured, a daily production capacity of 40 000 pressed tiles in just one shift was achieved.

The project involved the installation of a totally new automated dryer loading and unloading system. After leaving the four single presses, the tiles are loaded onto dryer trays, which are then collected and loaded onto the dryer cars. Special attention was paid to the design of the galvanized frame to obtain ideal air circulation and optimum drying of the product. The solution included the complete remodelling of the chamber dryer and its equipment. The products are now dried with the help of double travelling axial fans constructed with several special features to ensure higher performance, low power consumption and ability to work without any problems at high temperatures. The equipment in the dryer is controlled with an automatic Scada system, which permits the exact, automatic regulation of all the important drying parameters required for each specific product or for a combination of products. The dryer is able to recover energy, so as to minimize the overall energy consumption.

After they have been dried, the products are unloaded tray by tray and then removed from the trays with a system of grippers. The empty trays are returned to the wet side. The dry tiles are transferred on belts to the setting machine and loaded onto the kiln cars.

The project was successfully delivered and all the production targets agreed in the contract met thanks to the close cooperation between the customer’s team and Sabo’s employees based on effective communication and a high degree of professionalism.

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