Atlas Copco compressors support expanded production

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Steelite International, the UK’s largest ceramic tableware producer, has installed two more Atlas Copco compressors at its Stoke-on-Trent site to meet increased demand for production plant air.

Atlas Copco compressors support expanded production The company, a manufacturer of award-winning tabletop products for the international hospitality industry, maintains a policy of continuous investment in technology and innovation. As a result, it needed additional compressed air capacity following the construction of its new Dish Cell building, which has added 22,000sq ft of production space to the site.

A new Atlas Copco system has been installed, comprising two full-feature, rotary screw compressors, a fixed-speed GA 90 FF, plus a GA110 VSD FF. Steelite’s manufacturing project manager, John Lewis, explains: “These two units, together with a receiver and filter, are located in a new dedicated compressor house that is nearing completion. Their principal duty is to drive 12 three-inch and two-inch diaphragm pumps and the pneumatic cylinders for our new production equipment. The fixed speed machine provides the base load while the VSD compressor matches output to variable process air demands and is also available for back up supply if required.”

Steelite International strives to achieve and maintain high standards in all elements of the ceramic production processes, even at the end of the manufacturing procedure when 98 per cent of all waste material is recycled.

The company’s policy of equipment standardisation was a key factor in the new compressors purchase decision. According to Mr Lewis: “We have been more than satisfied with the performance and reliability of our existing Atlas Copco machines, which are used in similar applications for other production equipment, as well as for spraying glaze onto the tableware, so we had no hesitation in once again specifying the brand, which, in our experience, represents the best quality compressors on the market.”

In addition to its output in materials such as vitrified alumina, Steelite also offers international partner brands of glassware, melamine, bone china and porcelain, cutlery and accessories. A holder of the Queen’s Award for enterprise and international trade, the company’s sales operation deals with over 140 countries worldwide and posts a turnover approaching £90million.

With a manufacturing history stretching back more than 100 years, Steelite’s role in the industry is confirmed by its impressive output statistics. Today, it boasts one of the most modern and efficient tableware production units in the world and its manufacturing processes involve casting 25,000 items and decorating 106,000 products per week, with a yearly consumption of liquid glaze that would fill 204 Olympic-size swimming pools.

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29 January 2015

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