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Production lines for roof tiles at US-Tile Ione, California

At US-Tile in Ione, California, two production lines for roof tiles have been successfully brought into operation. US-Tile, a company of the Australian Boral Group, invested in a new plant there. At the California facilities of Freymatic AG brick machinery manufacturing company about 10 million roof tiles are manufactured annually for the Sacramento region.

In this manufacturing process, the roof tiles are extruded first, and then punched out from the current clay-slug. This is followed by palletizing, drying, unloading, setting, burning, unloading and packing. With these manufacturing lines there are two types of roof tiles produced: S-shaped "S-Tiles" and arched-shaped "Mission-Tiles".

For TBM Automation AG the project included the control for the synchronous punching, the grouping and the pallet transport on the wet side (before drying) and the dry side.

The complete electrical equipment, from the selection of the components to the construction of the cabinets was done according to the American UL standards. The components were mostly defined by the customer. Therefore, the power-section was built with UL-approved components from Rockwell. As the PLC, an Allen-Bradley SLC500 with decentralized peripherals on Devicenet was used. For the protection of workers and maintainable operation, the plant is divided in 5 safety zones. This allows a safe shutdown during an intervention, while other systems remain in operation.

For a quick diagnosis of disorders, the PLC, the motion controllers, and the operator-panels are connected via Ethernet network. This network is connected with router to the Internet. This allows remote maintenance with VPN (virtual private network) via Internet. This increases the operating safety and minimizes downtime.

The project manager at TBM Automation AG, El. Eng Hubert Mathis has this to say about the project: "The challenge for projects in the United States is compliance with the UL standards and local regulations. Only detailed clarifications and knowledge ensure that the equipment of our customers will be of the acceptable standards and released for operation."


  • Control and power cabinet 6m, 30kW nominal power
  • Compliant with US-standards UL508A, UL489, NEC, NFPA79
  • PLC-control Allen-Bradley SLC 500
  • Total 500 in-/outputs
  • Decentral peripheral devices DeviceNet with Flex-I/O
  • More than 20 frequency converters Danfoss FC302
  • 2 Servodrives Danaher Motion with Pilz motion-controllers
  • 3 operator terminals Beijer Exter K30m

Please find further information on our partners website: Freymatic AG.

Please click on the images to enlarge.

US-Tile Ione, California: Roof tile fabrication

US-Tile Ione, California: Control desk

US-Tile Ione, California: Control cabinet

US-Tile Ione, California: Power cabinet

Rooftile fabrication, California