Ceramic slab machining and processing: cutting

Details
Dates:
30 May, 2019
The growing use of large-size ceramic slabs and panels in the furniture sector has proceeded in step with the development of increasingly high-performance technologies for machining large surfaces and transforming them into interior design accessories and bathroom and kitchen furniture.
COMBICUT TECHNOLOGY
For many years now, Breton has been offering its Combicut technology for machining kitchen worktops and other surfaces.
It is a cutting machine with 5 interpolated axes equipped with a spindle for a diamond disk and a waterjet head with software that allows the most suitable cutting mode to be selected on a case-by-case basis.
Combicut technology has addressed a number of slab-cutting issues and resolved some of the difficult situations that typically arise when machining kitchen worktops.
One example is 45° cutting through the thickness of the slab, which is necessary in order to be able to glue a front section onto the slab to serve as the edge of the kitchen worktop.
To guarantee the highest degree of cutting precision, even with slabs that are not perfectly flat, Breton uses MiterWave technology, the hardware/software package installed on Combicut which uses a laser device to sample and measure the flatness of the surface of the slab along the cutting line before performing the cut. This creates a curved cutting trajectory that is interpolated by the waterjet cutting machine to create straight pieces from initially curved surfaces.
A second example is that of kitchen worktops machined with a small slope to allow water to run off. In this case, Breton has developed a dedicated app for cutting with a variable angle of inclination using a waterjet cutting device. The already minimal pierced section is normally completely eliminated during the final piece finishing stage. This system is particularly effective when used on full-body veined pieces as it produces angled worktops with continuous veins.
HURACAN TECHNOLOGY
Huracan is an innovative automatic cutting line with optimisation (Matic version) for ceramic slabs developed by Breton to meet a specific market demand.
Stratos, a Fiorano Modenese-based company specialising in the machining and finishing of ceramic slabs for the world of furniture and interior design, chose the machine for its rugged design and high power (essential for rapid, precise slab cutting), its flexibility when cutting large-size slabs into installable sizes suitable for the client's space, and its unique ability to handle veined materials.
Another unique patented characteristic is the machine's ability to simultaneously cut and chamfer the edge thanks to the Edge version, which is equipped with a special spindle aligned with the cutting spindle to prepare the chamfer and if necessary perform a pre-cut while the slab is still whole. Huracan features optical systems for reading the perimeter and the surface of the slabs and a software program for optimising the cutting layout and consequently minimising waste.
Cutting is optimised by a suction cup lifting unit which picks up the pieces and moves them onto the machine bench ready to perform the programmed cut.
 
The new line is available in a number of different versions.
It can incorporate from 3 to 7 cutting spindles; it is mounted on a steel structure or on concrete foundations; it can be equipped with automatic tool diameter control and with aligners to ensure correct positioning of the pre-machined slabs (i.e. slabs with trimmed edges placed in storage while waiting to be machined).
Well aware that a machine's output depends not only on power, speed and suitable software but also on shorter downtimes and tool set-up times, Breton has equipped Huracan Edge Matic with a system for rapid tool guard opening and quick release of the chamfering system as well as the automatic wear control system.

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