State-of-the-Art Biscuit Kiln System – Made in Germany at Schönwald Factory of BHS tabletop
The porcelain manufacturer BHS tabletop AG has invested in a new biscuit kiln system for its factory in Schönwald/DE. This features a tunnel kiln supplied by Keramischer OFENBAU GmbH/DE and an automation system supplied by LIPPERT GmbH & Co. KG/DE. The system was inaugurated early in May in an official ceremony with representatives from the worlds of politics and business, as well as from the companies involved.
The state-of-the-art tunnel kiln for firing high quality porcelain for the restaurant and catering sector (flatware and hollowware) is 56 m long and has been designed to output 13 million items a year. The kiln is fitted with the IBF system, a firing concept developed by Keramischer OFENBAU GmbH for firing isostatically pressed goods specially in stacks in order to improve temperature uniformity and significantly reduce susceptibility to cracks in the firing process. It also features EnerVIT heating, in which the high velocity burners work in a highly efficient manner, with complete flame monitoring.
Using LIPPERT’s automated kiln car stack unloading and kiln furniture separation processes, the stacks of bats are inserted and removed from the kiln car completely automatically in rows, and are then separated in a further step. Each bat can therefore easily be loaded with products directly, from above. This automated stacking achieves a considerably higher filling density than when directly loading and unloading the kiln car manually. A higher filling density is an important factor in ensuring energy-efficient firing processes. Furthermore, rejects caused by the products touching the kiln furniture are prevented. The system has been designed so that fully automated product loading and unloading can be retrofitted later.
All in all, this state-of-the-art system represents a milestone in the history of the Schönwald factory, thanks to the increase in production capacity and more flexible manufacturing while at the same time reducing energy consumption to 65 % of that of its predecessor system, with the resulting positive effects on the carbon footprint.