International digest - developments from the continent

Clay Technology magazine
14 Oct 2013

Rachel Lawler looks at developments in the brick industry from across the globe.

Switzerland (blue) - United we stand…
Four clay producers have teamed up under the name Gasser Ceramic in Switzerland. Ziegelei Rapperswil Louis Gasser AG, Tuileries and Briqueteries Bardonnex SA, Morandi Fréres SA and Panotron AG produce clay roof tiles, masonry units and floor tiles, and have a collective workforce of 250 employees.

Germany (red) - Pilot burner upgraded
German firm Elster Kromschröder has launched a new pilot burner with extremely high thermal stability. The ZMIC 28 is durable, heat-resistant and reliable, and can be used with the metallic series ZMI by adding a ceramic flame tube. Its ability to withstand high temperatures prevents any possible deflection or cooling caused by the main burner airflow.

Fuel bills down in Germany
To combat rising fuel bills, German clay manufacturer Leipfinger Bader has created a new energy management system. The new regenerative thermal oxidation system uses three heat exchanger blocks stacked on top of each other to form one unit. Raw and clean gas flow through these blocks alternately. The raw gas is cleaned in a combustion process after the exhaust air has been heated up. Once cooled, the clean gas leaves the system. The heat generated by this cleaning process can be used in production for the drying. This means that the process no longer uses additional fossil fuels and that any heat created in the cleaning process is not wasted. Leipfinger Bader hopes to save 90% in fuel oil costs.

Bulgaria (yellow) - KAI Group increases efficiency
Bulgaria’s KAI Group has installed a more efficient line at Shumen. The new line focuses on reducing both energy and materials used in the brick-making process and has benefited from EU funding on the basis of its sustainability aims. The new system re-uses hot air from the kilns to aid the drying process, and production waste is dry-grinded and fed back into the manufacturing process. The company plans further innovations in the form of an extended raw material treatment plants, new vertical dryers and a new, wide-feed kiln.

Turkey (black) - On target
South African company SABO has provided Turkey-based Yükselve Kiremit with new equipment in a bid to modernise brick production in the region and hit a target of 150,000 hollow bricks per day. SABO delivered cutting line, rapid dryer and automatic loading and unloading equipment, and modified the existing tunnel kiln. The company also provided a setting machine modified for conventional Turkish products.