Tecnomatic increases its presence in the Italian market with the agreement to supply a new line for multilayer polyethylene to the Umbrian company Riccini, known for the excellent quality level of its products and one of the reference companies in the European plastic pipe market.

This project follows the previous extruders supplies for three new double wall corrugated lines and tools for pipe and telecommunications. It is the result of the company’s strong attention and efforts in increasing its presence in the domestic market, after so many years in which the greatest results have been obtained abroad, and in developing technical solutions aimed at saving material, energy and space: the essential conditions for cost-efficient production.

Riccini is an historical company in the panorama of Italian plastic pipes, with a path that starts in the early post-war years, when brothers Marzilio, Andrea and Mario Riccini undertook the production of concrete pipes for sewage systems. In the following years, the predisposition of their company to innovation, the desire to excel in the professional field, and the ability to interpret the technological evolution of the sector led the three entrepreneur brothers to a crucial step in the history of the company: 1970 is, in fact, the year in which the production of plastic pipes and fittings begins.

Today, the company develops its business on an area of 130,000 square meters, offering the market multiple solutions in the field of corrugated and smooth pipes for sewage systems, drainage, pipes at pressure for water and oil transportation, pipes for cable and fibre optic passage, wells, construction industry and al l those special applications in which the plastic pipe guarantees greater performance and reliability.

The continuous and regular development of the range of products, of the commercial areas served, of the application fields, in full compliance with all environmental requirements, has led the company to continuous and constant quality investments, highlighted by the use of certified raw materials, rigorous quality control and the use of modern and efficient equipment. These are the basis of the company to guarantee slight advantages, in a highly competitive market.

“After years employing foreign machinery, we have found in Tecnomatic a supplier of the same quality levels, characterized by a strong sharing of values such as trust, professional ethics and service efficiency. Both companies promote a growth based on people’s skills and motivation and a constant desire to improve themselves in terms of applied technologies and product development. The efficiency of processes in terms of productivity, the reduction of waste and the optimal use of resources is the natural result of this strategy”.

Fabio Riccini, general manager of the company, in line with his closest collaborators, has commented Riccini Group’s recent investments in this way.

In order to guarantee the production of quality multilayer pipes, in a production range from Ø 20 to 90 mm, with productions up to 600 kg/h, Tecnomatic relied on long-tested technical solutions, such as Vega extruders in L/D 37 ratio, coextruders for the inner and outer layer in L/D 30 and die head VENUS MULTI 160 of the Venus Multi series produced for diameters up to 1.600 mm.

VEGA extruders are the result of many years of experience in the production of extruders and a constant effort to improve every single part. A constantly updated screw geometry, combined with water-cooled and grooved feed bushings, ensure excellent production and plasticization values, even at maximum flow rate. The specific production has been further increased and keeps constant throughout all screw rotation range, even at high back pressure values.

The machines are equipped with synchronous AC motors specifically designed for the use in high dynamic performance applications with variable speeds. The selected motors are strong enough to withstand high overloads, while high-quality insulation avoids gradual deterioration caused by high-frequency operation. Italian gearboxes, characterised by a cast iron single-piece frame, an independent oil cooling unit and a high-performance bearing assembly (up to 500 bar), equip VEGA series transmission system.

The extruder and the line are controlled by the new EPC II (Extrusion Process Control), a modern PLC with an intuitive touch screen panel that integrates and centralizes all the parameters of the entire extrusion process. The system, developed on the specific needs of the operators, allows the setting of work parameters, the customization of recipes and reports, the integration and control of all components such as: gravimetrics, co-extruders and corrugators, gear pumps, filter changers, calibration tanks, haul-off and cutters. The integration and management can take place throughout the most common analog communication protocols or the more modern OPC-UA, in accordance with EUROMAP 84. Especially interesting is the management of energy consumption, of specific equipment or of the entire line, which can be monitored through the installation of specific modules, and whose data are transmitted to the PLC via modbus TPC protocol or even exported to the customer control system via modbus-slave communication. The new EPC II is also equipped with a remote assistance program via high-speed modem, for diagnostic, monitoring, program activation or remote editing functions.

In the digitalization and so-called “smart factories” era, the line could not do without the latest development of Tecnomatic to assist pipe manufacturers with an integrated system of solutions, software and automation. PIPE 4.0 is an easy-to-use program for networking pipe extrusion lines. Through the machine’s EPC (Extrusion Process Control) system, different machines and peripherals are connected to each other to be activated through a uniform user interface, which allows interaction between individual devices. In this way, the whole production process, including material feeding, temperature control and synchronization, is coordinated and monitored. Another important point is that all parameters are recorded and monitored centrally. The system allows not only to carry out energy monitoring, but also to convert numbers and data into valuable information on the processes within the line. This allows an optimal analysis of the performance of the line, from the relative key performance indicators (KPIs) for shift leaders, to the clear presentation of line performance for management. Perfectly in line with the concept of “smart factory” of Industry 4.0, all data, including preventive maintenance and service parameters or alarms, can be monitored via the Internet or intranet, on PCs, servers or on mobile devices. Currently, Tecnomatic’s PIPE 4.0 system is the state-of-the-art software for the extrusion of plastic pipes.

To process large quantities of materials, with low back pressure and low material stress, VENUS die heads are the suitable tools. Based on a spiral distributor concept and with a compact design, they guarantee an optimal distribution of wall thickness, restrained ovality and low-sag material thanks to their innovative geometry and their internal air cooling (PAC system). Die head VENUS MULTI 160 used in this project is one of the best-selling models, both in the three-layer version with conventional spirals, and in the version with double spiral and radial ring for the outer layer.

To complete the line, a pipe breaking detection system with optical technology and a gravimetric dosing system on each extruder were a must-have, for a total of seven components. The system, integrated into the main control panel, guarantees a constant advance of the raw material and records the variations in mass flow rate, thus ensuring a perfect weight/meter and distribution of the thickness of the walls control. The downstream equipment includes Tecnomatic vacuum and cooling tanks, haul-off with caterpillars individually controlled by vector AC motors, and a planetary cutter with knife cutting and universal clamps, for precise cutting without pipe chips.

Tecnomatic is extremely proud to be Riccini’s supplier for this last project, which highlights how quality partners and excellent teamwork are the only way to keep innovating in the plastic pipe industry.