At the end of 2019, SABO SA, commissioned another high capacity plant this time in Central Asia and specifically in Uzbekistan for its customer Ceramitech Group part of Orient Holding.
The project started back in 2017 when Orient Holding, a big Uzbek conglomerate assigned the project to the Greek manufacturer. The group wanted to enter the building material sector by constructing a high capacity plant for red clay products.
A significant time of the project has been devoted to examining the raw material extensively and make a geological study of the available deposit. Based on this important information has been collected and analyzed by the SABO clay lab. In this way the optimal clay mixture has been determined and the best available technologies has been selected for the project.
The whole project was engineered, supervised and commissioned by SABO who, as the main contractor provided all the machines of the technological line. Metal structures and common materials where sourced locally according to the necessary specifications. SABO experts trained the personnel in machine operation and clay specialist transferred important knowledge on clay depositing, clay analysis and product control that are necessary for running and controlling the factory.
The plant has a capacity of 100,000,000 pieces per year on the basic product of 1.4 NF (250x120x88) brick which corresponds to 1,200 tons of fired product per day. As such it is one of the larger plants in CIS counties and the largest in Central Asia.
It is a fully automatic plant able to operate with 10 people per shift.
The plant was designed to produce a big range of products starting from the typical NF range (0,5, 0,7, 1, 1,4 and 2,1NF) up to the complete range of clay blocks (8 and 12 for internal partition walls up to the large 51 load bearing block). Other products like facing, engobed and glazed bricks are included to the product range to enhance the versatility of the plant in this new rapidly developing market.
Preparation and extrusion line
The preparation line is a typical wet production line with crusher, disintegrator and roller mill for the primary grinding from the Spanish manufacturer Verdes. The material is mixed in a double shaft mixer and deposited in a large silo equipped with an automatic reclaimer. Its large size together with the reclaimer make it ideal for extra clay homogenization and mixing. Different clay mixtures can be deposited in its four separate sections if this is necessary. Special emphasis has been given to the final grinding that can reach up to 0,8mm through the use of a 1,4 m wide roller mill with electronic gap adjustment. The largest model 775 of the Magna series extruder has been selected to ensure the capacity at the appropriate pressures necessary for standard products and blocks. The whole process is fully automatic and monitored through a supervisory and control system.
Cutting and forming line
After the extrusion and before the cutting line, forming equipment is able to provide rusticating and sandblasting texturing or englobing and glazing on the brick’s surface. The machines are placed on rails so that to be interchangeable.
The cutting line is equipped with three multiwire cutters. Two parallel lift-up cutters with chamfering rollers that work together are cutting standard and facing bricks. For the cutting of blocks a separate line cutter with belts is used. Both lines transfer the clay products near a robot that loads the trays using different robotic grippers. In particular, for standard and chamfered bricks special care is taken to convey the bricks on belts only and lift and deposit the products without applying high pressure that can deform them.
The detachable dryer frames are loaded on dryer cars with variable pitch for different product size.
A large 120m long tunnel dryer with 8 lines and a separate return line is used for drying the products. The dryer is equipped with different kind of internal fans based on the drying conditions and the necessary air quantity and temperature. The total dryer has 3 separate controlling zones that add up to its flexibility in drying different products.
Kiln car setting and dehacking line
The loading of the car is done with two chain programming benches and two robots. Edge, flat setting and special block setting are available so that proper firing is applied in the kiln. The dehacking line is on the same concept of two robots unloading and two parallel programming benches. The latter feed the two packaging robots. The main packaging is without wooden pallet with the use of horizontally and vertical strapping. Yet packaging on wooden pallet is also possible as well as stretch hooding, providing the necessary versatility for covering a large geographic area.
Before entering the kiln, a pre-kiln is preparing the product. A traditional tunnel kiln, 6,7 meters wide and 160 meters long using the latest technology is firing the products. High quality German refractories were used for the kiln walls, roof and kiln cars. The firing is performed with natural gas. The large required capacity and heavy products necessitate an efficient preheating that is performed through two large Sabo hot air recirculating units, side burners and top burners with flame control.
The firing together with the drying process are controlled through a proprietary system developed through many years of experience and hundreds of different installations. The system is fully automatic. It is able to adjust automatically the operation of all equipment according the feeding rate, product information and the current drying and firing conditions. Equipment effectiveness is monitored online and historically, and a CMMS system can assist and guide the factory maintenance.
The capacity and quality targets of the project have been fully met through the excellent collaboration of the teams of Sabo and Ceramitech group leading in a successful investment.