Achieving Top Quality in Synthetic Stone Slab Manufacture with R 5 Rotary Vane Vacuum Pumps

Diresco N.V. in Belgium produces synthetic stone slabs from quartz granules and synthetic resin that mainly integrated into kitchens as work surfaces or are used in bathrooms as wall or floor tiles. R 5 Rotary Vane Vacuum Pumps from Busch allow Diresco to achieve the highest quality standards for slabs.
"Diresco Stone" products in a Diresco showroom

The synthetic stone slabs are marketed under the brand name "Diresco Stone". Diresco products are manufactured with the latest equipment to offer customers the best possible quality. Diresco uses Busch vacuum technology to produce slabs completely free of gas inclusions and cavities. Vacuum is supplied to the material presses of both production lines, ensuring top quality appearance and optimal structural integrity.

Vibrating press in a "Diresco Stone" production line with Busch vacuum unit installed above the press

All "Diresco Stone" products are manufactured at the main site in Opglabbeek in Belgium. 65 employees work with highly automated equipment in a three-shift system producing synthetic stone slabs with a dimension of 3.2 to 1.4 meters each.

The Process
After the mixing of various quartz granules and blending with synthetic resin, the material is fed automatically into a mechanical press. To create an absolutely perfect surface vacuum is applied to the pressing process. Even the smallest indentations and cavities can become visible after processing – the reduced pressure ensures that they cannot form. The individual slabs are then hardened in an oven at 100 to 125°C. After cooling they are stored for at least 24 hours before further processing. Every slab is subjected to extensive quality control examinations before leaving the factory.

Two R 5 Rotary Vane Vacuum Pumps for High Quality Synthetic Slabs
Vacuum technology plays a major part in the manufacture of high-quality products, as even the smallest air or gas inclusions cannot be tolerated. The liquid ring vacuum pumps originally used for the vibrating press were unable to prevent the formation of all air, steam and styrene vapour inclusions. As a result, in 2006 the Diresco management decided to use Busch rotary vane technology. Two Busch R 5 rotary vane vacuum pumps with a pumping speed of 1600 m³/h each were installed, substantially increasing product quality and reducing the duration of the pressing process. Busch R 5 rotary vane vacuum pumps achieve an ultimate pressure of 0.1 mbar, which corresponds to a vacuum level of 99.99%. In order to meet increasing product demand, the pressing process was further accelerated by the addition of a Panda vacuum booster before the parallel arrangement of rotary vane vacuum pumps.

Rotary vane vacuum pump R 5 01600 A: two of these vacuum pumps with a Panda vacuum booster each form the vacuum system for one vibrating press

Diresco was extremely satisfied with this solution, and when a new production line was introduced in 2009 an identical Busch vacuum system was installed.

Maintenance work is carried out by Busch under a service contract. There are only two services per year, although at times the vacuum pumps are in operation 24 hours a day. Servicing is confined to inspection, oil change and filter replacement. All the smaller R 5 rotary vane vacuum pumps used in numerous production handling units are inspected at the same time.

About Diresco
Diresco was founded in 2003, and specialises in synthetic stone slabs and tiles. Quartz granules are used to create materials deceptively similar in appearance to stone surfaces. Other surface textures can also be supplied. Diresco products are available in a number of finishes, from gloss to matt and "Anticato". In comparison to real stone, synthetic stone has the advantage of reproducible appearance – the surface texture is always the same. Synthetic stone is resistant to water, food acids and food colourings. It is also scratchproof, non-fading, long-lasting and easy to clean. Diresco markets its products to well-known kitchen and furniture manufacturers and interior decorators throughout Europe and in Canada, USA and New Zealand.

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