Ceramic Industries launched Gryphon factory, manufacturing white-body porcelain tiles in matt shiny finishes.

Tile and bathroom manufacturer, Ceramic Industries, has officially launched its latest state-of-the-art factory, Gryphon, the eighth facility in the Group’s manufacturing portfolio.

Situated in Vereeniging, Gauteng, the 35 000m2 tile factory is custom-built to produce large format (600mm x 600mm) white-bodied glazed porcelain tiles. Utilising environmentally responsible, cutting-edge production technology, the tiles are designed to meet local demand for world-class alternatives to imported product.

The R530-million factory will employ 68 people directly, many sourced from local communities and trained up to meet the exacting operational standards required in the plant. Commissioned earlier this year, Gryphon is currently in its first phase of operation. Once fully operational, the factory will produce 8.5 million square metres of tiles per annum.

“We are proud to launch the most technologically advanced and sustainable factory of its kind in Africa, and one which will rival its international peers,” says Ceramic Industries’ CEO, Lance Foxcroft says.

He goes on to say that South Africans aspire to international fashion trends in tiles, and there has been consistent and growing demand for premium white-body porcelain tiles in the local market. The unfavourable exchange rate, which has hampered the consistent supply of high quality white-body porcelain tiles, is another compelling rationale for Gryphon’s pioneering offering and range.

To meet the wide spectrum of local customer tastes, the stylish, trend-setting tiles will be manufactured in both shiny and matt finishes. High definition ink jet printing will deliver a range of textured, aesthetically advanced designs. The tiles will also feature a ‘cushion’ edge which reduces breakages and sharp edges on tiles, facilitating more cost effective, easier installation. In line with international benchmarks, the water absorption factor is reduced to 1%. Other key features of the product include its strength and wear- and stain resistance. The tiles are also easy to clean and maintain.

“The launch of Gryphon is an important milestone in Ceramic Industries’ history,” says Lance. “We are excited about the impact the products will have on improving the standard and quality of tiles in the local market.”

Roxanne Mancini, Editor of FLOORS in Africa concludes: “The tour of the new factory was very impressive and we look forward to seeing the lines that will be produces going forward.”