30 Tips to Open Mini-Ceramic Industry

Mini-Ceramic Industry: Over the past decades, thanks to continuous research and development of Manfredini & Schianchi.

There has been a remarkable evolution in the Dry Milling technology.

So that today it is possible to produce a high quality mixture for the following products:

  • Once fired red & white body floor tiles
  • Monoporosa wall tiles
  • Rapid twice fired wall tiles
  • Glazed porcelain stoneware with special applications in the glazing line
  • Highly prestigious extruded products (terracotta vases, cotto floor tiles, extruded porcelain stoneware, roof tiles etc.)
Mini-Ceramic Industry

Mini-Ceramic Industry: https://www.ifc.org

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Mini-Ceramic Industry

1.  Get the main goals of the business

The main goals of using such a technology instead of wet system with spray dryer are summarized as follows:

  • Improvement in the final product quality.
  • Far lower costs in the final product due to energy savings (the utilization of fuel & electricity can be lowered by up to 80% with the dry milling method).
  • Possibility to use more economical raw materials and recycling of rejects
  • Almost total elimination of water consumption.
  • Elimination of pollution created by the spray dryer
  • Increased production from the kilns

 Mini-Ceramic Industry

2. Ceramic Dry Milling Process

The Ceramic Dry Milling Process, in order to guarantee the above mentioned points.

Undergoes extremely important stages:

  1. Drying of raw materials with humidity content above 20%
  2. Feeding & batching of mixture components
  3. Primary milling
  4. Final milling-drying-particle size grading
  5. Check screening & iron removal
  6. Homogenizing, agglomerator, humidity control
  7. Storage and press feeding rotating screen mixer
  8. Supervision and Intelligent electronic managment og the plant

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Mini-Ceramic Industry

3. Business background

Once you’ve decided you want to start a small business, formulated your business plan.

Lined up financing, and secured a site, the time will finally come to actually open up shop.

While planning a business may present challenges, the actual act of opening a business.

And bringing the business concept to fruition has its own set of difficulties.

To have a better chance of long-term success, you need to get your business off to a good start.

Here are a few tips on how to legally establish your business.

Hire your first employees, spreading the word, and organizing a grand opening.

4. Ensure you have a business plan.

A business plan is critical to the success of a business and can be seen as a plan that describes your business, products/services, market.

And describes how your business will go about expanding for the next three to five years.

It is essentially a “road map” for your business to follow going forward.

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 Mini-Ceramic Industry

5. Determine the legal structure of your business.

Before starting your business and filing the necessary papers.

It is important to decide on how your business will be legally structured.

Generally speaking, you will be establishing either a sole proprietorship; partnership; corporation.

Or limited liability company (LLC). There are important legal and tax implications for each.

  • A sole proprietorship is owned and run by one person, and there is no distinction between the owner and the business. This means that all the business’ profits, losses, debts, and liabilities are your responsibility.
  • Choose this if you are the sole owner and want full responsibility for the business.
  • Partnership. A partnership occurs when two or more people share ownership. In a partnership, each partner has equal share (unless specified) in the profits, liabilities, and management of the business. This can be useful in terms of pooling capital and expertise to start the business.

     Mini-Ceramic Industry

  • Corporation: A corporation is an independent legal entity owned by shareholders. Generally, this structure is not appropriate for small businesses.
  • Limited Liability Company (LLC): An LLC is similar to a partnership, except members are protected from personal liability for actions of the LLC. For example, if the LLC is sued, the personal assets of the partners are typically exempt. If you are worried about personal exposure to lawsuits or debts arising from your business, this may be a good option.

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6. Form the necessary legal structure.

A different procedure exists for forming each one of these structures.

And some require more work while others are extremely simple.

7. Register your business name.

Unless you are running the business under your own name.

Such as “John Smith Painting,” most states require you to register a “Doing Business As” (DBA) name for tax and legal purposes.

Registering a DBA is done with your state government or county clerk’s office.

Search the specific requirements of your state online.

8. Obtain a business license.

The city or county which you operate within will require a business license.

Typically, these forms can be found on the website for your city.

  • These forms will require your business type, address, # of employees, EIN, and possibly information regarding revenue (estimations will work fine here).
  • Keep in mind that licensing requirements often apply to online and home-based businesses as well as typical brick-and-mortar businesses. Requirements do vary according to location, so be certain to contact your local and state government to determine specific requirements.

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Mini-Ceramic Industry

9. Inquire as to other necessary permits.

Unfortunately, each city or county has different permit requirements for businesses. These can include things like “Home Occupation Permits” for home based businesses, “Alarm Permits” if your business requires a commercial alarm, or various alcohol and firearm permits.

  • Contact your local government’s permitting bureau or similar authority, or seek out the local chamber of commerce or business association for advice.

10. Establish a bank account for your business.

It is very important not to mix business and personal finances, as this can lead to issues with the IRS. Having separate bank accounts for business and personal transaction simplifies accounting and makes tax requirements easier to understand.

  • To open a business account, simply contact your local bank or credit union.

11. Hire the right people.

The first impression is critical for a new small business.

And unless you’ll be doing all the work yourself, that impression will be made at least in part by the people you hire.

  • Ideally you can find someone who is familiar with the business — someone who has twirled dough if you’re opening a pizza shop, for instance — but even more important is finding a person who is willing and eager to learn. You need employees who want to learn to do things (and represent your business) your way.
  • You do have to be willing to let go a little, however. This business has been your baby for a long time, but as you let it out into the world, you’ll need help taking care of it. Look for employees who are eager to contribute ideas and adapt as the business goes through its early growing pains.

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    Mini-Ceramic Industry

  • Do your homework. Look over resumes. Call references. Don’t just hire your nephew to make your brother happy. (Wait until your business gets on its feet.)
  • Key questions like “Can you provide an example of a problem that you successfully solved?” may offer insights into a potential employee’s ambition, ingenuity, and work ethic. Keep in mind that such questions are common, however, and the interviewee may have prepared stock answers already. (An inability to answer effectively is thus a bad sign.) In addition, try to think up a few problem-solving hypotheticals, for instance, that are specific to your small business.

 Mini-Ceramic Industry

12. Prepare your site.

Whether you have a physical or virtual business site, the impression it makes on your initial customers will go a long way toward determining your chances of success.

  • If your business involves a storefront — a candy shop or used-book store, for instance — set up your space to represent your vision for the business. Coordinate color patterns and décor with your logo, for example, or consider personalizing it with family photos to establish your essential connection to this business. Consider hiring a professional interior designer and/or decorator.

     Mini-Ceramic Industry

  • A web presence is becoming (if not already) essential for any new small business, so don’t take this aspect for granted. Especially if your business has a substantial web-based component, make your site intuitive, manageable, and suited to the brand identity you want to build. Hiring a professional web designer may be a good idea.
  • If your budget is tight, and/or your business does not require a traditional storefront, don’t overspend on a fancy space. A local coffee shop can make a good place to meet clients, or you can rent a space as needed for such gatherings. Wait until your business has a solid foundation before expanding into a nicer space.

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Mini-Ceramic Industry

13. Consider a “soft” opening.

There is no rule that says your first day of business has to also be your Grand Opening.

Give your business a chance to work out the kinks before announcing itself to the world.

14. Start early.

Don’t wait until opening day, or even until you know when opening day will be.

Be proactive in establishing brand awareness and generating anticipation.

A “coming soon” sign on your in-preparation storefront is a good start, but not enough on its own.

  • Preserve the bulk of your initial marketing budget for the Grand Opening, but before that time utilize budget-friendly options like flyers, targeted direct mail, and a social media presence.

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Mini-Ceramic Industry

15. Build your brand

Try to build your brand even before your location is ready.

If you’re going to be selling handcrafted necklaces or handmade pierogies.

Seek out a local craft or food festival where you can set up a table and sell your wares.

Be sure to advertise your forthcoming retail presence.

If you’re an accountant, maybe you can volunteer to offer tax advice at the local community center or library (and hand out business cards).

16. Establish a marketing budget.

The run-up to opening and first few months of operation may very well make.

Or break your new small business, so make sure you give your initial marketing push a strong effort.

  • One suggestion is to dedicate 20% of your first year’s marketing budget to your Grand Opening. This amount should be significant enough to spread your message widely at a time when your ads are likely to be their most effective, but at the same time isn’t an “all your eggs in one basket” situation that leaves you with limited ability for subsequent advertising.

     Mini-Ceramic Industry

  • Spend, for example, $4,500 advertising your Grand Opening, because that amount should be sufficient for two media buys. If that amount is beyond your reach, you may be able to utilize a mix of flyers, direct mailings, promotional items (balloons, banners, etc.), and a “sign spinner” at a busy intersection for around $1,500.
  • This, of course, assumes you have a fairly large marketing budget of $22,500 ($4,500 is 20% of $22,500). Since many businesses have much smaller marketing budgets (maybe only a few thousand dollars), always work within whatever 20% of your marketing budget is.

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17. Use traditional media.

If your marketing budget allows, consider using traditional media like radio or newspaper.

If you can manage television advertising as well.

It is always a good idea to diversify your ad presence.

  • Before tossing radio aside as an outdated media format, note that some three-quarters of  adults listen to radio at least occasionally, and often do so when driving somewhere. Thus, radio can be a particularly good advertising method for retail stores and restaurants. Target your advertising by format (Top 40, Country, Talk, etc.) and time of day to maximize impact.

     Mini-Ceramic Industry

  • Newspapers are popular among over-35 adults, but even a decent percentage of younger adults read a paper occasionally. Newspapers are still a cost-effective way to reach thousands of potential customers.
  • Consider including coupons as well; they provide not only motivation to visit but a tangible connection between a potential customer and your business. It is also easy to track their effectiveness, as more coupons coming in mean they are doing their job.

     Mini-Ceramic Industry

  • You may assume that TV advertising is beyond your small business budget, but there are options for producing and placing lower-cost ads, sometimes with the assistance of the local broadcast network. Consider bunching your ads during programs relevant to your targeted customer base — TV judge shows for a legal practice or the nightly news sports report for a golf training academy, for instance — so that you seem like a major sponsor.

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18. Consider when to make your opening “grand.

As mentioned, there is no requirement to hold your Grand Opening on your first day of business, and it is often advisable to wait even a couple of weeks before staging it.

 Mini-Ceramic Industry

19. Make it an event.

Work hard to build excitement in the days and even weeks leading up to your Grand Opening.

  • Use the term “Grand Opening” in your marketing — it makes it seem more special than just an “open for business” notice. Create excitement by offering prizes, giveaways, demonstrations, special deals, etc., for visitors that day.
  • Hire a photographer to capture the event for media (traditional or social) consumption. Bring in live entertainment, extra staffing, even security if you expect an especially large crowd.
  • If your business and/or its location aren’t conducive to a large public Grand Opening, consider having an event more along the lines of a “launch party” at a nearby restaurant, banquet hall, etc.

20. Guarantee a positive customer experience.

Plan ahead and do whatever you can to ensure that attendees walk away from your Grand Opening with a positive first impression of your new business.

Oversights as simple as inadequate parking, long food lines, or running out of paper products in the restrooms can sour an otherwise enthusiastic reception.

  • Have extra staff on hand to make sure customers don’t have to wait too long for service or attention.
  • If parking may be an issue, try to work out arrangements beforehand with other businesses or community groups — perhaps setting up satellite parking at a nearby church, for instance.
  • Send attendees home with a token of your appreciation — ideally something with your logo on it — along with a coupon / special deal for a return visit.

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21. Involve the community.

Establish your connection to the local community from the very start of your business. Let people envision your business having a positive community impact for years to come.

  • Invite the local press to your event, but also other local business and community leaders. Network with as many as possible and establish yourself as a member of the local team.
  • If possible, align your Grand Opening with a community event, when local crowds will already be gathered. Make it seem like a part of that larger celebration. Sponsor the entertainment at the holiday lighting celebration or midsummer festival. Advertise both your business and your deep connection to the community.

 Mini-Ceramic Industry

22. DRYING OF CERAMIC RAW MATERIALS

The following is necessary for mixture components with a humidity content higher than 20%

  • Natural drying
  • Installation of a drying system positioned in the raw materials deposit.

The first solution is definitely the most convenient from an economical point of view and mainly consists in “spreading” the raw materials under the sun until they dry out, after which, they are stockpiled in the quarry and then stored under a shed at the factory.

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 Mini-Ceramic Industry

Another solution in warm countries could be the storage of raw materials inside boxes with transparent roof covers and having exhaust openings between wall and box roof.
Thanks to the sun rays generating the “greenhouse effect” thus producing heat inside the shed, the water contained in the raw materials is transformed into steam which is released outside.

The above solution is ideal in warm countries and by customers who can operate with their raw material suppliers in order to make the abovementioned arrangements.

 Mini-Ceramic Industry

In different conditions a good yield drying system with limited energy consumptions utilizes the combination of the crushing-drying stages.

With lumpy raw materials, a preliminary crushing stage by means of a “caterpillar” apron feeder, and a lump breaking mill is required.
Once the dimensions of the raw materials have been reduced, the drying stage takes place.

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 Mini-Ceramic Industry

The material entering the mixer is projected by means of mechanical paddles towards the dryer that is installed above. The airtight depressurised system enables the inner body to maintain constantly dry and warm, reaching filter with a temperature lower than 90°C, and subconsequently without any condensation.
The system has a low fuel consumption (with an output of 10-12 ton/hr, only 2.000.000 Kcal/Hr are needed to reduce the humidity from 28% to 14%).

After this stage, the raw materials are then stored in their special storage boxes.

23. FEEDING & BATCHING OF MIXTURE COMPONENTS

The mixture components are conveyed to the load hoppers where they are stored. Extraction occurs, depending on the size and humidity, by means of vibrating channel extractors (1), MS double rod extraction valves (2), which alternately feed the weighing/batching conveyor belts (continuous or discontinuous) (3).

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 Mini-Ceramic Industry

From the weighing/batching conveyor belts, the various components of the ceramic mixture are transported in a “sandwich” manner (in layers) onto one conveyor belt only (4), for the primary grinding stage;
At this point the mixing and homogenization process begins.
It would be advisable to always install a magnet plate (5) on the belt, and also a Metaldetector (6). These control instruments are indispensable in order to avoid unpleasant and dangerous iron impurities and non magnetic metals to cause damages to the equipment.

24. PRIMARY MILLING

One of the most frequent conceptual errors in the traditional dry systems is entrusting the finishing mill to carry out all of the milling on its own, with the aim of getting the highest possible amount of material.

By doing so, the following problems are encountered:

  • Low mechanical resistance and subconsequent difficulty in realizing larger sizes
  • Loading difficulties
  • Low number of press strokes per minute.
  • Excessive wear and tear of the moulds
  • Longer drying & firing time

This is the reason why we deem it necessary to integrate the grain shape obtained with the primary hammer mill type P.I.G. to the body.

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 Mini-Ceramic Industry

This mill has a high production capacity and receives feed sizes up to 150-200mm (it is possible to use the ceramic fired and green rejects) and at the output obtain 50% of the product below 400 microns (of which 40% under 100 microns).

In order to mill raw materials with a humidity content up to 15%, it is necessary to insert the Heating System in the mill which will prevent any clogging phenomena.

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 Mini-Ceramic Industry

25. FINAL MILLING – DRYING & PARTICLE SIZE GRADING

At this point, the material is sent to the MOLOMAX Pendular finishing Mill .

These mills, thanks to a double feeding device and also the presence of internal ploughshare distributors that optimize the loading in the milling chamber, guarantee high production rates and extremely low grading levels by means of a classifier installed above the milling chamber.

The final milling is carried out by sturdy pendulums, that, under the action of the centrifugal force, exert, during the rolling action, a strong pressure on the sector track lodged at the base of the mill.

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 Mini-Ceramic Industry

The material is then collected in the upper part of the mill by means of depressurization from the process filter connected downstream and classified through a separator.

The configuration of the separator depends on the type of material and particle size desired.

The rejected particles from the separator fall into the grinding chamber to be simultaneously milled with the “fresh” material which derive again from the double feeding system, guaranteeing a perfect mixture homogenization between the heavy and light particles.

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 Mini-Ceramic Industry

This operative system (called “open cycle” milling) is entirely sealed and does not disperse fine dust into the environment.

The Process Filter MS57000 may also be used as an environmental filtering unit as well, therefore the relevant investment can be avoided.

In the MS Pendular Mills, it is possible to insert hot air by means of a burner with excellent thermal results (not more than 400 Kcal/lt of evaporated water) and the guarantee of consistent humidity in exiting material that brings about remarkable advantages in the downstream humidification and agglomeration stage.

 Mini-Ceramic Industry

The product that exits the primary hammer mill has a versatile form and a homogeneous granulometric curve (25% below 140 mesh), and as we previously mentioned, the milled particles are intimately mixed with the powder from the pendular finishing mill.

The final result is that such versatile particles build up the tile skeleton conferring a high mechanical resistance to the green and dried product (approx. 50% higher compared to the spray dried and 70 % higher with traditional dry milling), and subconsequently with the possibility of carrying out many more operations along the glazing stages.

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26. CHECK SIFTING AND IRON REMOVING

The M&S high efficiency inclined screens are installed after the filter because their function is to guarantee and monitor the ceramic quality. In fact, their goal is essentially to detect the small impurities that may be present (wood, rubber, plastic etc) in the milled body which cannot be detected with the air classifier.

 Mini-Ceramic Industry

The M&S high efficiency sieves must be equipped with special devices that further emphasize the control quality and grading efficiency such as: the self-cleaning automatic system for the nets; the oleodynamic opening of the screening front; the automatic control instrument for screen netcloth; and the heating system through electrical resistances , in case the humidity of the material is particularly excessive.

 Mini-Ceramic Industry

Immediately after the screening stage iron removal takes place with global guarantees about the efficient removal of iron impurities from the ceramic body by means of a self cleaning iron removing equipment with magnetic neodymium bars (Actual Power 7000 Gauss).

This stage is essential so as to safely manufacture glossy glazed tiles.

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27. HOMOGENIZING, AGGLOMERATOR & HUMIDITY CONTROL

The homogenizing & agglomerating stages constitute a prominent part of the process.

The Vertical Agglomerator MS/38KSTB carries out a double function:

  1. Supplies the correct water content to the body, operating through nebulizing nozzles.
  2. Through the central shaft, complete with paddles that make a helicoidal movement combined to the ultrafine sprayed water, an agglomeration is obtained in very small granules (less than 1mm. ~18 mesh, in a woolen ball shape) and homogenizing the humidity addition throughout all fractions of body grain size.

     Mini-Ceramic Industry

The main advantages of this technological stage are found above all during pressing. In fact, a reduced compression ratio of powder to press is the subsequent result with elimination of dust.
Speed of pressing is at least equivalent to spray-dried powder.

An important and fundamental humidity control and management function of the of the wetting machine is carried out by the Automatic Moisture Gauge MS/100 PATHFINDERS that are able to determine, with a high precision and in continuous mode, the humidity percentage of the material exiting the agglomerating stage.

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28. STORAGE AND PRESS FEEDING

The material is stored inside the silos and preferably matures for at least 24 hours, and then conveyed to the presses, passing however, through the homogenizer rotating screens located behind each press. These represent the fourth and last important stage of the dry processing plant.

 Mini-Ceramic Industry

The MS/ROT Homogenizer Rotating Screens, in fact, have more than one function: they mainly effect a check screening just before the mould cavity feeding, this allows the elimination of all superficial defects caused by plaques, lumps or occasional impurities that have entered the body during the processing stages of the plant.
They contemporaneously mix the grain sizes and homogenize the mass, with subsequent optimization of shrinkages , elimination of squaring defects and press setting defects.

29. SUPERVISION AND INTELLIGENT ELECTRONIC MANAGEMENT OF THE PLANT

The brain of the process lies in the Electrical Switchboard which thanks to its supervision program, is able to control and monitor all the processing stages.

The revolutionary FREQUENCY MODULATING UNITS MS 6000 studied and patented to operate on main motors of processing machinery, guarantees a substantial reduction of energy consumption (up to 40%) as well as a considerable yield of the equipment without any production drop even when the milling parts subject to wear require replacement.

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 Mini-Ceramic Industry

The Intelligent Electrical Switchboard management is further equipped with remote assistance through modem enabling the servicing centre in M&S to operate whenever Customers require that.

Another important feature is the introduction of a maintenance reminding timer which through appropriate settings can facilitate the operators with their maintenance schedule on the equipment.

30. CONCLUSIONS AND EVALUATIONS

The raw materials preparation process DRY-TECH is the technological solution of Manfredini & Schianchi to the growing demand of dramatically cutting down processing costs with same quality standards in the manufacturing of tiles

A painstaking research is conducted on customers’ raw materials and Manfredini & Schianchi thanks to its skilled technical team, labs and pilot plant, develops the ideal body composition to perform through its DRY-TECH process, a seamless and consistently repeatable ceramic end product.

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 Mini-Ceramic Industry

The fundamental advantages of DRY-TECH are as follows:

  • Very strong reduction of thermal and electrical consumption levels
  • Utilisation of cheaper raw materials normally set apart in the traditional system due to viscosity issues
  • Absence of deflocculants.
  • Smaller space needed by the plant,
  • High automation,
  • Consistency of the endproduct
  • Overhaul procedures definitely lowered compared with the traditional plant.
  • Almost total elimination of water consumption and emissions of environment harmful exhaust fumes.

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 Mini-Ceramic Industry

The Ceramic Dry Milling DRY-TECH process of Manfredini & Schianchi is already the most worldwide spread alternative system in raw materials processing stage with more than 850,000,000 m2/year of floor and wall tiles manufactured by its customers in several kinds.

Further the latest evolution into DRY-TECH enables dry preparation technology to benefit any production and the relevant ceramic results are fully complying with running UNI rules.


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