Indian tiles industry has evolved in terms of wide range of designs available, thanks to digital printing machines. But much has to be done yet on the quality part. We took feedback from major local and international customers about what type of quality issues they face still after the arrival of latest machineries. Below is the list of the top 3 quality issues many tiles buyers face and the latest available technology to solve those issues.
1) Scratches on tiles surface:
This problem is very critical. Scratches on tiles are more common for GLOSSY tiles and for POLISHED tiles. The glossy surfaces are prone to get scratches easily.
Reason for scratches: i) during the manufacturing process at many places tiles are sliding onto each other.
ii) During the packing of tiles in to cartons (boxes) the tiles may get scratches
Solution to scratch issue: i) the most inexpensive solution is to apply a “back wash” (a solution of calcium carbonate) in the back side of tiles. The small partials of this solution give the tiles back a smooth surface to glide over each other and thus avoids the scratches.
ii) The better alternative is to use automation. There is machinery available as shown in below video which lifts the tiles from center and puts at other place. This has proved to be better than any other solutions.
Currently QUTONE tiles and SIMPOLO ceramics uses this technology in Morbi to provide their customers the tiles without scratch problems.
2) Bending of tiles:
The second big problem is bending of tiles. In technical term it is also called warpage or planarity issue.
Reason for bending: i) The biggest culprit for bent tiles is improper temperature it may get during the firing process in kiln.
ii) there are some cases where due to improper pressure by the press machine which makes raw biscuits.
Solution to bending issue: i) To check some tiles randomly by holding the tiles strait in front of eye to observe any bending. This method is NOT full proof and the sorting person can’t practically check each and every tiles.
ii) Some European equipment manufacturers (such as System Ceramics) are providing a new technology (DICO Planar - Planarity control) to check planarity (bending). The factory just need to enter the range of bending which is acceptable and the planarity machine will mark each and every single tiles which goes beyond that limit. Please see below video to understand the process:
Currently CITY TILES in Himmatnagar and SILVENIA CERAMIC of Morbi (Group factory of SIMPOLO) uses this technology to make tiles without bending issues. (Note: City tiles use the world’s leading SYSTEM CERAMICS machinery to control bending issues)
3) Diagonal and size issues:
Though this problem is not very common but when it appears it is too serious because if the tiles are not diagonally perfect square or perfect rectangle it is impossible to install a tile precisely. Also if the size of tiles from a single batch varies a lot it is not possible to match the joints of tiles.
Reason for sizing issue: improper sizing process (also called rectification) causes diagonal and size issues.
Solution to sizing issue: The same company System Ceramic offers machinery (DICO Liner - Orthogonal control) as mentioned earlier can also control this problem as well. To see this in action at City Tiles – India please check the same video above.
We clearly see that it is really a radical shift in Indian tiles industry because factories now emphasize on investing in Quality and not only in product range.