One of the reasons for the success achieved by Ceramiche Keope is definitely the strong and continuous investment in research and innovation.The use of the most advanced technologies for constant and high quality, the attention to detail to achieve a product with an original character and a business philosophy that sets the respect of the environment among its primary objectives, are all elements that have led to the recognition of Keope as a reference company in the field of mass gres porcelain tiles.
2. RAW MATERIALS
The superior technical features of the Keope gres porcelain is also due to the selection of the best available raw materials in the world. The use of clays with different chemical characteristic makes it possible to achieve a mixture that combines its binding properties with the high plastic level of these minerals. Feldspars and quartz are added to this mixture, which provide the skeleton of the tile during baking and providing it with excellent mechanical properties, and Kaolin that at high temperatures (>1200°C), promotes the gres activity which drastically reduces the porosity of the product. Keope is committed to constant development and continuously assesses its suppliers to achieve continuous improvement, also on the basis of the most severe environmental specifications.
3. GRINDING AND ATOMIZATION
The preparation of the mix is achieved with a grinding phase followed by atomization. The mixture of the raw materials is damp grinded in continuous cycle rotation mills, until a liquid (barbotine) is obtained and stored in special underground tanks fitted with agitators. It is during this phase that the sophisticated chromatic compositions originate that characterize the KEOPE products.The barbotine is mass dyed with natural dyes which are also subject to damp grinding. The coloured liquid is withdrawn with pumps and introduced, at high pressure, into the atomizer that produces an ultra-fine homogenous powder which is ready to be pressed.
The powders are dosed and transported to the presses.The pressing is effected using hydraulic presses that practice a pressure, on the atomized powders, of 500 kg/cm2. During the dosing and loading phases of the earth into the bed of the press, it is possible to determine both the range of colour and the possible insertion of grains and/or flakes of the product; whilst during the pressing of the piece the vast range of shapes of the KEOPE production is defined and above all the suggestive surfaces of rustic or elegant products are created.
The tiles obtained using the press, are dried to take the humidity rate to a value that is suitable for the subsequent baking in roller furnaces that reach temperatures of 1250° C, much higher that those used in the baking of all ceramic products.The duration of the baking cycle and the high temperature are necessary conditions to obtain a gres product which is compact, not porous and therefore non-absorbent.
6. QUALITY CONTROL
All production phases are subjected to numerous and strict controls followed by quality inspection on the Keope finished products.First of all a break test is performed on each piece, then the dimensional and external characteristics are analyzed using sophisticated automatic selection systems. Such systems also assure an extremely constant and objective quality in classification criterion even on batches which cover tens of thousands of square metres.
The material is divided into quality categories and all tiles which do not comply with the rigid standards adopted are rejected. Each individual Keope box carries all the useful information in compliance with the ISO 13006 (EN 14411) Standard: THE MANUFACTURER'S NAME, THE COUNTRY OF MANUFACTURING, THE QUALITY OF THE TILES (1°, 2°, 3° CHOICE), THE TONE, THE REFERENCE STANDARD THAT DEFINES THE DEGREE OF ABSORPTION, THE NOMINAL SIZE (E.G. 30X30 CM), THE MANUFACTURING SIZE (EG. W 298 MM X298S MM X 8,6MM), THE NATURE OF THE SURFACE (GL OR UGL), THE SAFETY TECHNICAL CHARACTERISTICS OF THE PRODUCT (EC MARKING).The pallet also indicates the date and time the goods were palletised, to guarantee total traceability of the material.