Manufacturing Reliability 11

In a climate of world overproduction in ceramic tiles,quality and price are the two key factors on whichEuropean tile manufacturers will compete. Automation andsensor based control techniques can deliver consistentquality and provide cost savings.The project aims to develop methods and tools toimplement an integrated and fully automatic productionplant, and specifically:1. An integrated and intelligent information and controlsystem able to monitor, on line,machines, processes andservices (energy, water). Quality control procedures inthe areas of preventative maintenance, processes, energymanagement and environmental impact. It is estimated thatmachine down time can be reduced by 80%, in processlosses reduced by 25%, energy consumption reduced by 15%,and achieve a 90% recycling of waste material and processresidual water.2. Sensors to enable on line monitoring of criticalprocesses.3. A modular and multivariable control system performingreal time knowledge based process control. The target isto reduce product scrap to 1.2% and 2nd and 3rd qualityto less than 10% throughout the production cycles.The developments will be implemented in life sizedemonstration prototypes within a plant.