Saint-Gobain Formula partners with Bongioanni Stampi to deliver high quality rooftiles
Bongioanni Stampi is a leading production manufacturer based in Italy that supplies moulds and equipment for multiple plants and presses for basic tiles and accessory tiles. They supply customers all over the world with their equipment, enabling them to be competitive in the market.
The 2008 construction market crisis impacted many manufacturers globally. The most affected were those in the rooftile industry, specifically Europe. The crisis lead to manufacturers facing strong competition but the highest was inside EU. This greatly affected Southern Europe as their margins were squeezed due to rooftile production being too high for the current market. Manufacturers needed to find new ways to compete as well as being able to keep up with the needs of their customers, by developing new models with high quality standards that would impact their businesses positively. It was at this stage that Saint-Gobain Formula got involved and partnered with Bongioanni Stampi to move their current process to plaster moulds.
For many rooftile manufacturers, the pressing process uses gum moulds instead of plaster moulds. Compared to plaster, gum moulds are considered easier to use because they do not require a high level of maintenance and their life span is longer. However, the quality of the finished pieces is not to a high standard and will require more engobe and glaze treatment to the surface to achieve sufficient quality. While plaster moulds need specific production workshops, tooling and the ‘know-how’, the pieces made using this method are of much higher quality compared to the gum moulds. The challenge was to make the plaster workshop commissioning as efficient as possible and to move customers away from gum moulds.
How does it work?
Automated plaster preparation, with the option of running different programmes, is recommended when implementing the plaster process. The usual equipment allows redetermined mixes with regard to batch size, mixing time, plaster to water ratio and also a mixture of two plaster components. This allows the manufacture of moulds with a plaster to water ratio matched to the various designs of accessory and flat tiles, whilst maintaining an optimum working consistency. The plaster process is more flexible when it comes to production planning. Fabrication can be adapted easily to the delivery needs and market demand by the ease of changing the model of rooftiles produced. Small adjustments on design can also be made easily and directly by retouching the matrix. The flexibility that the plaster process can offer makes manufacturing in the 21st century more efficient and is easily adopted into processes and production. By introducing plaster into your rooftile manufacturing process, you can ultimately reduce your overall cost.
There would be initial investment required however; the cost is balanced out as you reduce the thickness of the tile. Bongioanni Stampi was able to save costs related to energy consumption, transport, raw materials and internal clay recycling. Another benefit of switching to the plaster process is that you are able to solve quality issues related to design such as surface defects due to water marks.
There are a number of benefits by implementing the plaster process into ceramics rooftile manufacturing production. Overall, it will improve the product mix, creates a significant quality difference versus competitors that are using gum moulds. The visual effect of the rooftile is a lot smoother and offers high resilience to moss in the future. Properties, such as complex water and snow circulation (top and bottom of the mould) to protect the insulation adds real value. Saint-Gobain Formula and Bongioanni Stampi worked in close collaboration to make sure the best possible solution was achieved for their customers. Bongioanni Stampi and Saint-Gobain Formula were able to provide their technical knowledge and expertise to conduct relevant tests to maximise the benefits.
Project partner: Bongioanni Stampi