The monthly roundup from Editor-in-Chief Susan Sutton.
I'm not crazy about hot weather. When the temperature
gets up to about 85°F, I start to feel very uncomfortable. And don't get me
started on humidity. The crazy-curly hair doesn't really bother me that much,
but I hate it when the air's so thick it feels like I'm breathing through a
blanket. Put the two together, and I'm absolutely miserable. Though, to tell
the truth, if it gets below about 70°F, I start to feel chilled. What can I
say? I guess I'm a temperature-sensitive person.
The perfect solution would be a personal
temperature/humidity regulator that keeps my environment at a nice-and-steady
75°F, with low humidity. Ah, blissful comfort. Sadly, I must reconcile myself
with the fact that such a solution is just not going to happen. It's a good
thing I'm not quite as sensitive as some of the products being fired in the
ceramic and related industries. Accurate, repeatable control in manufacturing
isn't just a luxury-it can mean the difference between consistent, high-quality
product and mountains of scrap.
Porcelain, for example, can be pretty finicky when it
comes to firing. Maintaining the appropriate kiln atmosphere is vital, as is
control of the temperature throughout various zones in the kiln. One porcelain
tableware manufacturer recently installed a new control system for its tunnel
kiln and has seen benefits ranging from improved product quality and increased
throughput (see "Controlling Combustion”).
Upgrading a kiln's combustion design can also result in
improved fuel efficiencies. Senior Technical Editor Ralph Ruark explains how
firing with excess air came of age in the '70s, and why the practice has
saddled manufacturers with considerable fuel expenses as prices continue to
increase. Modifying the kiln can save money by reducing fuel consumption, while
also providing updated control and safety systems (see "Delivering Fuel Savings”).
Our second annual Pottery Production Practices
is also included with this issue for select subscribers.
This year's edition spotlights information on glazes and glaze mixing,
fireclays, batch mixing pug mills and potter's wheels, plus lots more. For
example, we've partnered with the National Council on Education for the Ceramic
Arts (NCECA) to share a listing of higher education ceramic degrees offered at
colleges and universities throughout the U.S.
Once again, supplier listings* provide contact
information for companies that sell into the pottery market. New this year is
the Supplier Directory, a chart listing that details each supplier's product
offerings in an easy-to-read format. You'll also want to check out the Sourcebook
online at www.ceramicindustry.com
for direct links to supplier
If you have suggestions for next year's PPP Sourcebook
(or regular issues of CI
), please don't hesitate to contact
me at firstname.lastname@example.org
*Supplier listings indicate paid advertising. For rates
and additional information, contact Ginny Reisinger at email@example.com
or (614) 760-4220.
SIDEBAR: Hot NewsCI
offers expanded online coverage
of the Ceramics in the News, People in the News and What's New departments.
Updated daily, our website offers additional details regarding the items
featured in each print issue, as well as many items not included in the
magazine. Don't miss out! Visit www.ceramicindustry.com
, where all of the latest news
helps keep you in the know.