Villeroy & Boch
SC Mondial AG335500 LugojRomania
Villeroy & Boch AG, producer of high-quality tableware or timelessly elegant bathroom equipment, is one of the most famous premium brands in the world. Several sub-brands exist under the name of the traditional company. One of them is the company Mondial, based in western Romania. For the processing of sanitary products, this company relies on a special solution from MicroStep for the automated mass production of cisterns.
For the processing of ceramic tanks, MicroStep developed a production line for the Mondial brand, which belongs to Villeroy & Boch AG. Using a high-pressure waterjet cutting system and a robot manipulator, the ceramic products are cut, cleaned and dried in a single system – all fully automatically.
Villeroy & Boch AG, producer of high-quality tableware or timelessly elegant bathroom equipment, is one of the most famous premium brands in the world. Several sub-brands exist under the name of the traditional company. One of them is the company Mondial, based in western Romania. For the processing of sanitary products, this company relies on a special solution from MicroStep for the automated mass production of cisterns. This includes a waterjet cutting system of the AquaCut series with a robot manipulation. Several 100,000 tanks are processed with it every year.
From the pottery to a full-scale ceramics manufacturer. From plate to lifestyle producer. From Mettlach in the Saarland to the whole world. Villeroy & Boch AG, whose roots go back to 1748, has an impressive history behind it and is one of the most famous brands in the world today. Tableware, bathroom equipment, kitchen products or tiles belong to the widely ramified portfolio of the ceramic producer, selling its products in 125 countries and achieving an annual turnover of more than 800 million euros with about 7500 employees. Even after more than a quarter of a century of history, the company is still largely owned by the families of the two company founders François Boch and Nicolas Villeroy. "Villeroy & Boch literally brings over 265 years of tradition, innovation and outstanding design quality on the table," emphasizes board member Nicolas Luc Villeroy, representative of the 7th generation.
Special solution for ceramic manufacturer in operation since 2015
In order to offer high-quality products and a comprehensive portfolio to customers around the world, the premium brand relies on additional brands and production facilities in 14 countries. Under the name Mondial, the company produces sanitary ceramics for the Romanian market. Since 1996, the Lugoj site in western Romania has been part of the listed corporation.
Here, the company has relied on a unique MicroStep solution for cut-outs and contours of sanitary products since 2015. MicroStep has developed a fully automated production cell for this purpose, consisting of a laser manipulator, a waterjet cutting machine and a washing and drying system for mass production in sanitary technology.
300,000 ceramic tanks are processed annually on the production line
The system carries out a large number of processing steps. A robot with a vacuum pick-up tool removes the ceramic tanks individually from a rack cart and fills four existing cutting zones of the CNC waterjet cutting system with its two waterjet cutting heads. In connection with the CNC machine, two ceramic tanks can be processed in parallel and contours can be cut out. After processing and unloading the remaining parts, the products are loaded by a robot onto a conveyor belt for cleaning and drying and then unloaded manually. The automation of the production process bears fruit. Since its implementation in 2015, around 300,000 ceramic tanks have been processed annually on the production line. "The design and development of this unique waterjet robot line was a challenge that we enjoyed solving. We have already been able to successfully implement several cutting machine-robot combinations in recent history. This has enabled our customers to achieve a great leap in efficiency in each case. This was also our mission with this automation solution for Mondial", says Alexander Varga, Ph.D., co-founder of MicroStep and responsible for Research & Development.