20 Apr A Ceramic Giant
In the past few years, the Algerian market has witnessed tremendous growth in various industrial and commercial sectors.
The construction industry stands out as one of the most active, and its strong performance has resulted in year-on-year growth in manufacturing output for ceramic products — mainly brick and roof tile — and a rise in the number of brick plants. The production of structural red ceramics has boomed. At no risk of exaggerating, the number of new facilities commissioned has increased dramatically, possibly reaching more than forty in the last four years. If one also considers that these new plants are mostly designed for a finished product output of 500 to 1,000 tonnes per day, the figures become astronomical. And yet, production is not enough to meet housing construction plans set out by the Algerian government.
Talleres Felipe Verdés, S.A. brand has unquestionably led as a supplier of equipment to this market for clay preparation and moulding, developing many of these new projects all over the country.
The company’s latest and most recent job happens to be also its largest and most spectacular. Briqueterie Amouri Toufik Laghouat (BATL) and Briqueterie Moderne Amouri Laghouatt (BMAL) are twin plants, built simultaneously, both located in Laghouat. They are each designed for an annual production capacity of 700,000 tonnes, or what amounts to 4,000 t/day, at nominal capacity.
Boasting a total surface area of more than 60.000 m², it is undoubtedly the most ambitious project developed in Algeria to date and one of the largest in the world. For this project, Mr Amouri Toufik and his brothers trusted Verdés for the design, manufacture, installation and assembly of the clay preparation and moulding equipment. They based their decision mainly on the reliability of Verdés equipment (demonstrated in the large number of Verdés units active in Algeria), its continued presence in the country dating back to the 70s, and local after-sales support from Verdés Al-Djazair S.A.R.L. Founded in 2005, Verdés Al-Djazair is located in Bordj el Bahri and aims to provide technical and commercial support to customers from a 600 m² facility where it keeps a permanent stock of customs-cleared spare parts available in the local currency.
The new project currently under construction at Laghouat involves two identical plants, each with a single clay preparation line capable of processing clays and additives at a rate of up to 200 t/hr. The line is mainly based on a 118DT three-shaft primary crusher, a 128C 1200 mm-wide disintegrator and two OPTIMA-H high-pressure roller mills, both 1200 mm wide, which will progressively reduce particle size down to a maximum of 2 mm, and finally a 046S double shaft mixer that will add the appropriate humidity and degreaser to the recipe.
The intermediate storage and aging room is 100 metres long and has a net capacity of 13 to 14,000 m³ of raw material, equivalent to approximately 18 to 20 days of production, which are managed fully automatically by a conveyor system and a DRAVH hydraulic reclaimer equipped with 100-litre buckets.
The control board for this warehouse features a built-in PLC that autonomously manages all parameters including power supply, carriage and crane positioning and material reclaiming. The control board houses the frequency inverters to control the speed of the extraction chain as well as carriage translation speed. This facility’s capacity is sufficient to feed the two parallel moulding lines simultaneously, each equipped with a 046 C double shaft mixer and one OPTIMA-H 1400 mm refining roller mill to ensure correct final preparation and subsequent feeding to the extrusion and moulding area.
This area features two MAGNA-775 units equipped with conical chrome alloy augers. This conical design translates into higher working pressure, which favors extrusion at a moisture level of around 20% and consequently helps to ensure a faster drying cycle and thus considerable energy savings.
The new MAGNA de-airing extruder series features numerous improvements that have increased overall performance and accessibility of this new family of machines over their COMBI predecessors. The new shape of adjustable mixing knives favors a better penetration in the clay mixture, reducing wear and in turn boosting service life. To simplify maintenance tasks, the larger vacuum chamber provides better accessibility to the interior. The auger’s body is also hinged to the machine bedplate itself so that practically the entire length of the augers is left exposed, facilitating cleaning and replacement.
The new Briqueterie Amouri Toufik Laghouat (BATL) and Briqueterie Moderne Amouri Laghouat (BMAL) lines are expected to progressively become operational during the second half of 2017 to become leaders of the structural ceramics industry in Algeria.
Verdés is also the supplier for other facilities being commissioned in 2017 around the country.
Early this year was commissioned the SARL TIZIBRIQUE ZEMIRLI plant, boasting a capacity of 120.000 tons per year. Located in Tizzi Ouzou, this is a standard semi-wet preparation and shaping facility supplied by Verdés, based on disintegrator and MONOBLOC 069RB extruder.
Briqueterie MOULIN OULED MAALAH, near Mostaganem, will likewise be commissioned in the coming weeks. This plant stands out for its external stockpile of pre-crushed material. This outdoor storage method exposes clays to atmospheric conditions, resulting in a weathering effect that improves the material’s behavior during the further process of preparation and subsequent molding.
This new 270,000-tonne capacity facility is also based on a semi-wet preparation and features a 127C disintegrator, an OPTIMA 1000-B roller mill and a 046C mixing machine that prepare the mixture before delivering it to a 62-metre-long aging room for souring and homogenization, automatically run by a DRAVH hydraulic reclaimer. The molding zone comprises a second mixing machine of the same model, an OPTIMA 1200-B roller mill and a MAGNA 675 de-airing extruder equipped with conical, chrome alloy augers.
Briqueterie TAMAZOURA, with an annual capacity of 280,000 tonnes, is also expected for commissioning this year. This production line is also located in the Mostaganem area being very similar to the plant described above in terms of equipment and operational specifications.