Machinery Upgrade Delivers High-Quality And High Performance To The Ceramicx Toolroom

Upgrades to meet demand

Infrared technology is continually evolving, and as leaders in infrared heating elements and components for industry, it means Ceramicx has to lead by example. At the heart of everything we do is the technology we invest in, and our in-house machinery needs to help us meet the demand.

Our first upgrade has been to our CNC milling machines. While only used occasionally for a low quantity of production output, our current Hurco VM1 3-axis machine proved crucial to a lot of internal projects. But while giving us the ability to create moulds for many of our other machines, including our industrial ceramic hollow production line and dust press machines, it wasn’t satisfying current requirements.

Speed and accuracy

To help maximise production, step forward our brand new DMG MORI CMX 800 V vertical milling centre. As we run our CNC milling machines overnight producing moulds, this latest technology gives us essential improvements in key areas, together with increased productivity and reliability.

A larger table size and load, together with the increased work area allowing for greater X, Y, and Z-axis travel, gives us more stability. We also now have a much-improved cutting performance with an inline spindle speed of 12,000rpm, giving us a 53% increase in power and 45% higher torque. And there’s even greater accuracy of positioning in all axes up to 6 microns.

L-R Tooling Engineers David O Driscoll, Moetez Brinis & Tony O Donovan

Another level of product

Overseeing the installation was our IT Project Manager, Alan Draper, who said “We’re upgrading in this area now to bolster our manufacturing as we’re, by our own standards, not at the level we need to be. We have more moulds for Industrial ceramic production, Dust Press and Progression tooling than ever before, so we needed to increase our manufacturing capabilities to meet these demands.

But while the CMX 800 V is just the beginning of our planned upgrades, what else is in store? “We have a new DMG MORI NLX2000 lathe coming in shortly which is a very new piece of technology for us, we have nothing on a par with it at the moment, as well as a new laser marking machine. We also have a few things in the pipeline that we are not quite ready to talk about yet, but they should all come together to bring another level to our products.

While the addition of the CMX 800 V is a significant investment, allowing us to effectively double our current output, it also cements our commitment to productivity and performance as set in our recent ISO 9001:2015 quality management certification.

Ceramicx –”Optimising Infrared for the Future”

Over the last four years Ceramicx has seen many changes; Industry 4.0, cultural and environmental. In 2020 we have made the pivotal change from a craft based production to a semi-automated industrial production line. This has resulted in continued improvement to our quality, processes, and consistency.

Ceramicx is an indigenous Irish company with an unrivalled knowledge of infrared in all forms and a proven success record of nearly 30 years.  We welcome you to take a brief visit of Ceramicx through our short film presentation.

We acknowledge the excellent work of Dog Day Media and our own in-house marketing team in producing this presentation and a big Thank You to all the Ceramicx staff who starred in their film debut!

Ceramicx Continues Green Packaging Improvements

In our previous blog & video we outlined the initial set of packaging changes we made to be as eco-friendly as possible without compromising on quality or protection. These included:

1.) Calling time on polystyrene

2.) Water-based adhesive packing tape

3.) Clearer branding and handling instructions

Now that these changes are in circulation, we are delighted to say we were able to make further improvements: These include:

4.) Reduced Box Height

With the reduced depth of packaging needed to safely deliver our products, we were able to reduce the box height by 24mm in height.

5.) From Waste to Packing material

Another procedure we’ve added to our packing process is the ability to use our own waste cardboard and recycle it in-house. By investing in a simple perforating machine, each sheet of excess cardboard can now be used as padding mats or padded filling inside every shipping box.

We can also use it to give additional, shock-absorbing protection to heavy, larger, or more fragile products. By adjusting the cushioning volume of the cardboard to suit, we can ensure maximum product safety and security during the shipping journey.

The Future

The changes have been received positively by our customers so far. It’s important for Ceramicx to always be improving our products and how they are delivered all around the world. We hope our customers go on to re-use or re-purpose as much of the packaging as they can, continuing the circular economy routine we have adapted.

Christmas Wishes 2019

Warmest Christmas Wishes and every happiness in the coming year from the Ceramicx team.

Ceramicx will close for Christmas holidays at 2pm on 20th December

and re-open at 8am 2nd January 2020.


We started Christmas celebrations this year with our Christmas party in the West Cork Hotel in Skibbereen.

A bit of friendly competition between our employees ensured many laughs on the night with prizes for:

Ceramicx Best Christmas Jumper prize – Rolf Hammerschmidt

Ceramicx Best Christmas Outfit prize – Agata Torba

For more photos from the night visit our Facebook page!

K 2019 in review

They had an enjoyable week hosting many visitors to the stand from all over the world. Of course, they no doubt missed our presence it seems we were replaced!

This is what Friedr Freek had to say:

“Although we have greatly missed our friends from Ireland, K-show has been a big success. We had more contacts than ever before and among them are many companies which are looking for solutions for specific heat tasks. Furthermore, a new blanket order from our well-established customer Otto Hofstetter AG has been sealed with a handshake and celebrated on our stand together with “Friedrich Otto”, a hotrunner for PET preforms made by Otto Hofstetter AG and equipped with energy efficient nozzle heaters from Friedrich Freek GmbH”

We are happy we could share our stand with “Friedrich Otto” in Düsseldorf for eight days. He was rather quiet but very attractive company.”

If anybody missed their chance to visit the Friedr Freek stand during K, please visit their website or email them [email protected] with any queries you may have.

October Festivities

Samhain is a Gaelic festival marking the end of the harvest season and the beginning of winter or the “darker half” of the year. Traditionally, it is celebrated from 31st  October to 1st  November, this also coincides with Halloween so we take this opportunity to remind all our customers and friends that this years October bank holiday is on October 28th and our offices will remain closed until 8am on Tuesday October 29th.

Patsy Bear has been getting in on the action helping set up a festive display in our foyer.

Friedr. Freek at K Show 2019


Ceramicx will be represented by our German Distributor Friedr. Freek at this week’s K-Show. This is the first time in many years Ceramicx will not be sharing the stand with Freek. We encourage you to visit their stand and discuss any enquires you may have about infrared heating.

Freek with novelties at K 2019

German-based heating element specialist Friedr. Freek presents three novelties at K-Show from 16. to 23. October in Duesseldorf. Their square cartridge heaters, alternative nozzle heaters as well as their systematic selection and optimization procedure for IR heat work applications convince by numerous mechanical, economic and ecological advantages (hall 11 / A01).

Energy savings through systematically selected infrared heaters and optimized heat work set-ups

Energy efficiency is a particularly important topic for infrared emitters. If an unsuitable emitter is selected, zoning is not appropriate or distance to target material too far a large part of the energy input could easily left untapped, hence be wasted.

To thoroughly understand the significant influence those and other parameters have on the effectiveness of infrared heat work, IR heating specialist and long-term Freek partner Ceramicx back in 2015 developed and utilizes their unique IR test robot HERSCHEL, besides other useful test rigs. How such a selection and optimization procedure is gone through and which further adjusting screws Ceramicx has discovered in their scientifically accompanied IR research and what’s more, how all this found its way into Ceramicx’ products, Freek is happy to show and demonstrate by the example of products and test reports on their K show stand, hall 11, A01.

We wish them a successful and enjoyable exhibition!

Please contact Freek or visit their website for more information on their stand and team.

Website and logo development marks a new chapter for Ceramicx

Ceramicx logo

In the last issue of our in-house magazine, Heatworks 20, we told you all about our newly constructed facilities here at Ceramicx. While they’ll keep us at the forefront of the advancement of infrared heating, our update and expansion plans continue as we get ready to launch our new look website and logo.

Giving a clear identity

Over the last 25 years, our logo has evolved with us, and we’re now ready to add a new version. But as we’ve been working on the website, logo, and general refresh of our online presence, we’ve made the distinction between our customer and market differences.

As our infrared heating solutions become a more prevalent part of our business, we want to share more of our engineering and infrared capabilities, together with case studies of our systems. Just as importantly, we also want to continue to be your one stop shop for all infrared components, parts, and systems well into the future.

Ceramicx logos

As such, we’re launching two new websites with new logos and fresh straplines, giving both a clear identity: Ceramicx infrared for industry with its green logo, and Ceramicx infrared industrial solutions with its red counterpart.

Brand evolution

The site and logo changes now give a clear distinction between the core areas of our business. But they also show our brand evolution and growth as a company and underline our commitment to giving customer satisfaction in every area.

Of course, we couldn’t have done it all on our own. Working alongside our in-house design and marketing team, the team at D2 Creative design agency did a fantastic job for us. Together with the websites, you’ll also see all the new branding online and offline in our advertising, packaging, and everything Ceramicx related over the next few months.

The main purpose for this post is to tell you about the new changes, so you won’t be too surprised when the websites look a little different on your browser. We’re really pleased with the results and we hope you like them as much as we do.

Ceramicx logos

How heat work changes lives and makes a real difference

Dr Tony Robinson

Dr Tony RobinsonWith our continued close connections to Trinity College Dublin (TCD) – and the engineering work of Professor Tony Robinson in particular – we’ve been reminded recently of some of Tony’s pro-bono heat work.

A number of years ago, Tony’s small engineering research team designed and developed an inexpensive, simple, and robust biomass cookstove. Made specifically for the people of rural Malawi – where most of the population live without access to electricity – the technology behind it allowed for a small portion of its heat to be converted into usable electric power.

More efficient than traditional open fires being used, it also slows down deforestation and CO2 production, and improves people’s health and safety. Locally made, the now branded ‘µPower (pronounced ‘empower’) Cookstove’ has become a valuable asset, allowing the Malawi people to charge mobile phones, LED lanterns, and radios – all while preparing daily meals.

We also recalled that our own Herschel test instrument – a now integral part of the Ceramicx Centre for Infrared Innovation – was developed and engineered by the TCD team in the same test rooms as Tony’s innovative Cookstove.

Taking positive action

But as many of us are involved in the day-to-day business of commerce and manufacturing, we can often become indifferent to the general good that our products and services can provide to the wider world.

All it takes is a small shift in perception which can lead to positive action being taken – and suddenly the world is improved. Exemplary pro bono activities such as Tony’s prove that clear and simple heat science can change lives and whole communities for the better – and sometimes radically.

We still take great encouragement from Tony’s project and from all serious innovation in infrared energy and heat work. At Ceramicx, we firmly believe that our work with infrared energy can make a positive difference to the world – and for the general good.

Infrared business is environmental business and now, when saving resources and energy for a sustainable, low-carbon future, it’s more important than ever.

Innovative Infrared Technology For The Future

Ceramicx Vector Drape Former

You may recall our pioneering work with Belfast Metropolitan from some time ago when we developed a new type of drape forming machine for the global composites industry. Today, the Ceramicx Vector Drape Former is complete and fully operational, providing a working solution for out-of-autoclave production.

Following a soft launch at the triennial plastics exhibition, K 2016, in Düsseldorf, the Vector Drape Former achieved its global launch at JEC World in 2017, the leading show for the composites industry.

Much as Ceramicx is familiar with the issues involved in core thermoforming plastic production processes, it was at JEC 2017 – in the heartland of composites technology – that the Vector Drape Former would be judged on its potential success.

Ceramicx Vector Drape Former

Innovation when it’s needed

In thermoforming, the need for composite materials to be produced with greater process speed, efficiency, and decreased energy consumption is now more apparent than ever. The Vector Drape Former comprehensively answers those needs and is benefits many manufacturing sections in the automotive, aerospace, transport and construction industries.

Looking at the innovation and technology behind the Vector Drape Former, we’re reminded of the maxim ‘make what you can sell, don’t sell what you can make’. In essence, at Ceramicx we have no business being ahead of our time.

From day one, Ceramicx has kept a steady eye on the horizon, not only for the composites technology used in the Vector Drape Former, but for where infrared technology is headed for the next decade or more.

True innovation answers the needs of the present moment. Those needs, for the composites manufacturing sector at least, are clear for all to see.

Heating Composites for Aerospace

Heating Composites for Aerospace

As an independent, national centre for the world-class design and manufacture of composites, our latest client’s testing production capabilities were already meeting multi-sector demands. With the growth of dry fabric infusion in the aerospace industry, they now needed an innovative solution to increase composite testing, offer significant savings, and set new industry benchmarks.

Heating Composites for Aerospace

In the industry, there has been a move away from traditional prepreg and autoclaves, to dry fabric infusion. An essential step in infusing dry fabrics is ‘pre-forming’ – a process using heat to activate a binder in the dry fabric to produce a semi-structural ‘pre-form’. This method has seen increasing growth in aerospace structures, specifically in the manufacture of stringers, the structural supports within an aircraft wing that prevents buckling and bending under compression.

As an industry leader in the design and manufacture of infrared heating systems, Ceramicx have developed an extensive knowledge of the aerospace industry, with the necessary experience of heating composite products, including the curing of thermoset resins. We custom-built the IR oven with its own 12-zone heat control system–optimising the oven for efficiency and appropriate processing parameters.

Heating Composites for Aerospace

Fast-response, quartz halogen heaters were chosen for their emitter type due to the extensive data generated with them for heating carbon composite materials. Their geometric and relative arrangement was based on extensive R&D of heating composites to give the best performance. By easily selecting and deselecting relevant zones, the oven provides adjustability for different stringer shapes and lengths.

Click here to read more about this carbon fiber heating system. 

Ceramicx launches new IR heating test services for China

Following the success of Ceramicx at Chinaplas 2018, we have great pleasure in reporting that GSAE is now offering a full suite of IR heating services to our customers in China.

This move will complement our work in sales of elements into China. It will also assist GSAE to fully demonstrate Ceramicx products in a way that will give confidence and data to builders of machines and IR heating systems in China.

The newly built test room at GSAE China is now ready for launch and utilization. The new room at GSAE currently contain a total of three types of heater, Ceramicx IR componentry, data and other IR heating resources.

Pride of place is given to a new Ceramicx test oven, which can be equipped with three different interchangeable IR sources – short, medium and long wave. This oven also uses PLC control and is mainly used to heat test a variety of different target materials under differences of temperature, power and distance from the heat source.

A tube heating based oven and a closed IR heating oven are also provided by GSAE for further test work on behalf of GSAE’s Ceramicx customers.

The Chinaplas 2018 exhibition confirmed a trend that China is increasingly eyeing the build of turnkey systems – including the creation and supply of complete ovens and platens. Ceramicx intends that our company hardware and IR know-how become integral to that drive.

GSAE’s new test centre will further assist us in our ambitions to service the industry and will also help Ceramicx with ambitions to offer even more care and know-how to their customers. Every company that visits the GSAE test centre will be given a full set of test data together with tailored-made GSAE suggestions and recommendations for the improvement of their heat work.

In short, Ceramicx is delighted to celebrate another landmark in our Chinese marketplace. We send congratulations to our distributor, GSAE, and to our commercial agent Xu Shan in making this happen.