WHETHER it is to meet the demand for large-format or slim tiles, tiles for children’s rooms or to create interiors inspired by nature, RAK Ceramics has led from the front by anticipating trends in the market and investing in the latest technology.
It is no small achievement for a manufacturer set up a little over two decades ago in the tiny UAE emirate of Ras Al Khaimah to be rated as the world’s largest ceramics manufacturer – surpassing leading Western producers, some of whom have been in the business for scores of years.
This has been possible thanks to the company’s focus on advanced technology, quality products and sustainable growth plans that meet market demand on its path to the pinnacle of its industry.
RAK Ceramics’ steadfast investments in the latest technologies and best practices have enabled it to introduce myriad new products to the market each year. It has been the corporate strategy to leverage new technological advances to create more value-added services for its clients and enhance the overall customer experience.
It produces the widest possible range in terms of manufacturing technologies and finishes in the porcelain tile segment, offering customers a single source for selection thus avoiding the necessity to source products from multiple ceramic companies.
“At RAK Ceramics, we are fully committed to securing the highest standards of excellence for our customers and for bringing the latest developments in ceramic products to the market,” says Abdulla Mahmood, general manager – marketing and corporate communications. “Moreover, employing digital solutions enhances our competitive edge by allowing a greater selection of tile designs, using our touch screen application giving architects, interior designers and home owners even greater freedom and creativity.”
RAK Ceramics has 10 tile factories in its Ras Al Khaimah base and one factory each in India, China, Bangladesh, Sudan and Iran. Its versatile range of products that vary from 10 by 10 cm to 185 by 125 by 2 cm sizes include a variety of gres porcellanato and ceramic tiles made using high technologies such as roto-matrix printing, salt and pepper, soluble salt printing, MDR (rotary diaphragm mixer), double charge, granitech, technoslate and twin press.
The company has also deployed the latest Nanopix digital printing technology to produce some of its best-selling series such as Stone Art, Wood Art and Orion, in tile sizes of 25 cm by 70 cm and 20 cm by 50 cm and other exquisite tile collections that replicate natural surfaces like wood, stone, marble and granite. Its latest creations include Concrete, Metallic and Sheen tile collections, which offer trendy and classy designs using digital printing technology.
“Digital tile printing is an ever-evolving field and with the installation of this new technology, RAK Ceramics is able to continue offering an unparalleled product range to our customers,” says Mahmood. “Enhanced digital printing has fuelled demand for styles that mimic surfaces found in nature, such as wood, marble and stone – patterns that are now proving to be the most popular in our product portfolio. Stunning effects can be produced because of the machines’ ability to deliver high-definition print quality, maintain colour consistency and ability to print on any surface.”
The company also pioneered the integration of the PH 7200 press into the production line in 2002 to create large-format 120 by 180 cm tiles and slabs for multiple applications such as vanity tops, steps and façades, which until then were purely based on natural stone. Water-jet cutting technology also facilitates unique and intricate Roseanne designs and diamond-cutting machine tools that help to make beautiful vanity tops from gres porcellanato slabs.
Going beyond the usage in interiors, RAK Ceramics has introduced high quality tiles as cladding and used on external areas of a building. “Our growth has been propelled with the wide range of our pioneering tile collection that offers value for money to our customers, which allowed us to reach the milestone of selling more than 1 billion sq m of tiles in such a short span of time,“ says Mahmood.
RAK Ceramics has two sanitary ware factories at its Ras Al Khaimah base that produce 8,000 pieces, boosting its worldwide output to 12,000 pieces per day which includes production from its plants in India and Bangladesh. Currently, the company is using the most sophisticated and latest technology such as high pressure casting, robot glaze spraying machines to produce high-quality and uniform products with impeccable finish.
The product range includes complete bathroom suites, bathtubs, shower trays, kitchen sinks and all related accessories in a wide range of colours and designs. RAK Ceramics produces sanitary ware in P-trap versions catering to Western countries and S-trap for Asian countries. Amongst the latest range, the best-selling bathware products include Opulence, Metropolitan and Elina.
RAK Ceramics ties up with top European designers to produce elegant bathware suites using advance technology to offer top bathroom solutions that have eco-friendly features like water-saving flush systems.
RAK Ceramics has sold 50 million pieces of sanitary ware since its production started in 1993 and has more than 13,000 different bathware designs.
RAK Ceramics exports to more than 160 countries worldwide. It has overseas plants and operations in Bangladesh, India, China, Sudan and Iran. Further, it has its own subsidiaries in Italy, Germany, the UK, Saudi Arabia, Australia and a few other markets.