At Nutec Bickley we are renowned across the world for constantly innovating with our combustion and control systems.

Over the years, we have developed new technologies that offer significant advantages for all kinds of industrial kilns. Below, we would like to talk to you about the advantages of our shuttle (intermittent) kilns, for your business operation.

Article content:
1. Addressing the need for a different kiln for each process
2. Where the customer’s process must be adapted to the size of the kiln offered by the kiln manufacturer
3. High fuel consumption
4. Metal contamination and the use of cordierite cover tiles
Great benefits for your operation

1. Addressing the need for a different kiln for each process


A common problem faced by sanitaryware manufacturers is the lack of flexibility that their kilns offer. Typically, the plants are configured to process simple, high-volume parts in tunnel kilns and more complicated pieces in shuttle kilns (in addition to reprocessing or second fire pieces).

In the visits we make to our clients' plants, we often find that the kiln being used to run first fire cycles can’t be used for second firing (refiring).

The IMPS® combustion and control system allows us to deliver a very flexible kiln to the customer, one which is capable of running cycles for both first and second firing, with fully controlled slow and fast heating curves as required, depending on the type of piece, body or glaze to be processed.

2. Where the customer’s process must be adapted to the size of the kiln offered by the kiln manufacturer


The product mix, area available for manufacturing, and the loading and unloading equipment, varies depending on the geographical location and operating philosophies of the different sanitaryware manufacturing companies.

Generally, the onus is on the customer to adapt and choose between the available models offered by the kiln supplier. This precludes the opportunity for process optimization obtained when actually having a kiln designed specifically for the customer’s application.

Our design philosophy aims to address the specific requirements of each company and we propose solutions that allow the highest possible efficiency to be achieved for each process. For us, it is very important to deliver a kiln that helps our clients achieve their goals and that’s why we design all such equipment based on what the client and the process require. All our customers have specific needs and challenges, so clearly the solutions we offer may not be the same for different manufacturers.

3. High fuel consumption


Energy consumption in the sanitaryware firing process has a significant effect on the competitiveness of all manufacturers.

Our sanitaryware shuttle kilns are very efficient and we guarantee fuel consumption below 1,400 Kcal/kg for these units.

This is possible thanks to our IMPS® combustion and control system, which allows you to configure what the kiln does in each segment of the firing curve. The air-gas ratio in the burners can vary during the cycle, keeping excess air to a minimum, depending on the process requirements.

Other elements that affect fuel consumption are the kiln insulation and the design of the refractory load, which must be considered when designing the kiln. Our engineers have extensive experience in the design of sanitaryware kilns and can offer different designs that allow each client to achieve their objectives, minimizing energy consumption.

4. Metal contamination and the use of cordierite cover tiles


Metal contamination is a problem that sanitaryware manufacturers face all the time.

If they are not well designed, shuttle kiln roofs and gas outlet ports are a common source of such contamination.

Our proprietary Jointless® insulation system eliminates the problem of metal contamination in shuttle kilns.

Some of our customers eliminate the problem of contamination by using cordierite cover tiles to cover roof insulation and gas outlets. Although these batts do help reduce the contamination in the kiln, they bring with them the additional expense of increased fuel consumption and maintenance requirements.

We have kilns fitted with our Jointless® system that have operated continuously for more than 20 years.

Great benefits for your operation


In addition to helping you with these problems, our secondary cooling systems allow large volumes of air to enter the kiln’s cooling section, thus allowing up to 21 more cycles per year to be completed – equivalent to almost one month of additional production.

At Nutec Bickley we are specialists in the provision of customised systems. Contact our expert advice team to learn more about all the solutions we have available for you.

Kilns for all sectors of the Ceramic Industry