Somany Ceramics Ltd., India
Somany Ceramics Limited wins the ACerS 2014 Corporate Technical Achievement for their development of Somany Veil Craft (VC) Shield Floor Tiles. VC shield tiles are high abrasion resistant floor tiles developed under the visionary leadership of Mr. Shreekant Somany (CMD) and are the first of its kind in India. The concept behind Veil Craft (VC) was to make a floor tile that remains physically and visually unchanged, enduring years of foot traffic. This was realized by developing a glaze that could be coated on the tile above its print, which after firing, would significantly improve its abrasion resistance
The process of determination of the abrasion resistance of the glaze of tiles is done by rotation of an abrasive load on the surface and assessment of the wear by means of visual comparison of abraded test specimens and non-abraded tiles. The number of revolutions sustained without any change in visual appearance is the measure of abrasion resistance. Testing is done according to ISO 10545-7:1996(E) which categorizes glazed ceramic tiles (according to their abrasion resistance) in six classes:
Class 0 (revolutions 100)
Class 1 (revolutions 150)
Class 2 (revolutions 600)
Class 3 (revolutions 750-1500)
Class 4 (revolutions 2100-12000)
Class 5 (>12000)
In order to be classified as Class 5, the tile must also pass the test specified in IS 13630 (Part 8) test for resistance to stains on the abraded area. If there is no visual failure after 12000 revolutions but if stains cannot be removed by any standard procedure, the tile shall be Class 4.
The Porcelain Enamel Institute (PEI) grading system also categorizes tiles as per their abrasion resistance following ASTM C448- 88 (2011) e1 Abrasion Resistance of Porcelain Enamels. It has five grades namely PEI I, II, III, IV & V. PEI V is equivalent to Class 5 in ISO 10545-7:1996(E).
VC’s unique patented composition makes it several times superior to the standard described in PEI V or Class 5. Floor tiles coated with VC shield coating can withstand 50,000 revolutions and still retain its stain resistance, making Somany’s VC the most durable floor tile in India. In 2009, Somany Ceramics Limited became the first ceramic tile company in India to get a patent for such a technology (Indian Patent No. 227692). Since 2009, Somany’s VC tiles have earned a very high reputation in the Indian market and have become a benchmark for other ceramic floor tile manufacturers to follow.
About Somany Ceramics Limited
With a sphere of influence spanning India, Africa, South Africa, the Middle East, United Kingdom and Russia and over four decades of spearheading industry innovation in ceramics and allied products segment, Somany Ceramics has established its presence as a leading and formidable force in the Indian tiles sector. Since 1972, the brand has endeavored to adorn homes with delight, exuberance and vivaciousness resounding with the quality, strength and life of its products. The company has manufacturing plants in Kadi, Gujarat and Kassar Haryana, India and other joint venture plants, generating a production capacity of 40 million sq. meters annually.
From implementing the newest in technological brilliance to a steadfast practice of lateral thought and trend-setting tenets, to pioneering several first in design and style for consumers, Somany Ceramics determined pursuit of delivering excellence has placed its brand in an illustrious bracket. As early as 1996, Somany’s indigenous R&D unit became the first ever in the Indian tile industry to obtain the approval and recognition from the Government of India. The company has earned for itself the distinction of becoming the first ceramic tile manufacturer to receive an ISO 9001 accreditation; an ISO 14001 certification for environment friendly manufacturing facility; also certified by the Indian Green Building Council for manufacturing eco-friendly products; first company in Asia who have implemented ISO 14051 and certified by APO (Asian Productivity Organization) and JPC (Japan Productivity Center) has received the prestigious Power Brand Award for two consecutive years; awarded with Asia’s Most Promising Brand of the year in ceramics tile category by World Consulting & Research Organisation. It emerged as the only Indian tiles brand to participate in the prestigious international exhibitions ‘Cersaie’ in Italy & ‘Cevisama’ in Spain enhancing global visibility. Somany also presented a research paper recently in ‘Qualicer, Spain; a leading forum for ceramic tile research.
Somany brought to the Indian market its patented revolutionary VC Shield Hard Coat technology which solves the key issue of glaze abrasion. It shields the tile against wear and tear, stains and scratches, keeping it fresh and new as ever. Balancing true functionality with brilliant aesthetics, VC tiles, despite being the most durable tiles are available in plethora of finishes which collectively not only gives the floor a lifelong durability but also the absolute perfection in terms of beauty. With a host of innovative features these tiles are priced very reasonably as the prime objective of Somany is to take this revolutionary technology to the masses. This technology has outperformed PEI Grade V tiles, which itself is a worldwide benchmark for high abrasion according to ASTM C448- 88 (2011). VC tiles are ideal for use in high traffic areas such as shopping malls, airports, hospitals, offices among others.
Somany emphasizes differentiation through its consistent investment in R&D with the objective to develop new products, like the recently launched ‘Slip Shield’ tiles which give enhanced friction even in wet conditions to avoid slippage. A patent application has been filed for this product.
Somany entered business through the singular manufacture of wall tiles. However, the business environment has evolved considerably since; customers are more likely to buy the complete range of their requirements (tiles, sanitaryware and fittings) from a single location than commute to different points and buy piecemeal. More than convenience, it drives the satisfaction to put their faith in one single brand. Somany has correspondingly evolved: from a tiles company to a multi-product interiors (tiles, sanitaryware, adhesives, CP fittings) organisation. Somany manufactures a broad range of tiles in various sizes, designs, textures & finishes across the widest product selection categories like ceramic wall and floor tiles, polished vitrified tiles, glazed vitrified tiles and digital tiles.
The Company possesses an array of high-end sanitaryware products and bath fittings marketed under the brand Aquaware, comprising the most extensive range of products while laying emphasis on designs which combine ornate exteriors with durable internal mechanism.
Somany, being a socially responsible group, runs Tile Master Programme with the purpose of enhancing tile laying skills of masons which increases their productivity, using efficient tools that save time and material. The aim of running this programme is to impart employable training with focus on developing entrepreneurial skills that has a potential of becoming a means of livelihood.
After more than 40 years in business the company and its brand has enjoyed national & international goodwill. The Somany brand, today, evokes a deep-rooted trust amongst customers. Its large portfolio of products reaches out and provides a wide choice to buyers and helps further cement the relationship the brand enjoys with them. The Somany aim is unambiguous leadership in design & innovation in the Indian ceramic market.