Siti-B&T launches Lastra
At Tecnargilla 2012, Siti-B&T Group is introducing Lastra, a new brand name that will be used for extremely large-format products (1200x2400 mm and 1500x3000 mm) produced using Grestream, a technology that has achieved outstanding results following years of constant development.
The Italian word Lastra – used to emphasise the country of origin – is written in clear, strong lettering, while a three-dimensional image located above the word conveys the idea of the large format. Grestream is a complete technological process, from raw materials preparation through to packaging, and is capable of extruding extremely large format porcelain sheets for which conventional powder pressing technology is not normally used. The line consists of various stages and applications using a number of machines and exploits the technological expertise in body formulation, decoration systems and drying and firing processes acquired by Siti-B&T Group in its many years of experience in the world’s markets.
“We began experimentation seven years ago with the goal of simplifying the plant and achieving the levels of manufacturing versatility needed to respond rapidly to changes in market demand,” explains Siti-B&T Group’s managing director Fabio Tarozzi. “After this, we proceeded to the industrial stage, exploring many different aspects and verifying in practice the potential of this innovative technology, which is capable of producing large-format ceramic sheets as well as a wide range of more conventional products such as ventilated facades and trim pieces.” Grestream plants are already in operation in Germany (where two lines have been supplied to the company Petraluxe, which produces large-format sheets for applications ranging from ventilated facades to kitchen countertops) and in Iran (where a line has been supplied to Hafez Tile Ceramics Industries for the production of floor tiles and ventilated facades).
“This production process has given excellent results in terms of the geometry of individual pieces (above all flatness), with performance levels well above expectations,” continued Tarozzi. “Another important aspect is that of the mechanical and physical characteristics of the product, which is extraordinarily strong due to the high degree of compaction during the plastic shaping process. The third essential aspect is decoration, which combines the decorative capabilities of digital machines with the unique characteristics of Grestream.”
The resultant sheets are flat, compact and allow for an extremely high degree of versatility in decoration using the latest available techniques. The new Lastra trade mark will serve to promote and fully exploit the potential of extremely large sizes. “Although extremely large size sheets are currently a niche market,” concludes Tarozzi, “we believe that they may achieve good sales volumes in the future as they are suitable for use in a wide range of new applications. We are therefore anticipating growth in demand.”