Mantec Technical Ceramics has announced a welcome additional option to tile manufacturers as it widens its contract spray drying service.
The Stoke-on-Trent company has decades of expertise in this area and operates a Netzsch atomising spray dryer on a batching basis.
Customers in tile manufacturing find the Mantec option to be particularly flexible and cost effective. Few companies in the small-to-medium sector have spray drying facilities but nevertheless require granulate for pressing and these products can be supplied via various routes. Their alternatives for this type of service seem to have reduced over the last few years.
Larger manufacturers routinely want certain batches to be produced by a third party, added to which they always need somewhere to turn when they experience bottlenecking or undercapacity on their own facilities.
In some sectors it’s also the case that a number of very traditional manufacturers now want to mix their use of slabbing and/or slipcasting with the ability to employ both hand-operated and automatic presses. It would never be economical for these companies to set up even a modest spray drying plant, which is where the Mantec service comes in.
“Naturally where a new customer is concerned we trial the spray drying of the body first as it’s important to prove that the process is capable of producing material and granulate size distribution to the customers’ requirements,” explained Dave Thomason, Technical Manager. “We regularly supply into our local tile industry and the Mantec technical team has a solid knowledge base when it comes to the chemistry, the
characteristics and the mechanical operation.”
Mantec’s manufacturing facility in Longton has storage facilities for taking delivery of customers’ different tile recipes. The material is held in agitated blungers prior to delivery to the atomising tower. The granulate is produced from the heated atomised mist in the usual way and falls down the tower cavity to be collected in IBCs.
“We generally process batches of around 10 tons to 20 tons on this plant,” said Dave Thomason, “although we have a good deal of flexibility due to the nature of our operations. We know consistent quality is of paramount importance and our routine includes taking samples from the hopper chute and regularly testing on a portable moisture balance.”