Bellavita Tile Inc. has opened a new manufacturing facility in the northern China metropolis of Tianjin. The new eco-friendly Bellavita Tile production and warehousing center on the Bohai Gulf, 186 miles southeast of Beijing, uses natural gas that’s piped in directly to fire the kilns. Bellavita Tile has passed on the lower production costs available when burning coal, opting instead for the much cleaner natural gas system to produce its complete range of floor tiles, wall tiles and mosaics.

“We certainly had a great number of things to consider once we decided to establish a facility,” said Mike Ward, U.S. Sales Manager. “The first was that we wanted to do our part in the manufacturing process to be eco-friendly. Thus, the Tianjin factory uses natural gas for tile production and waste gas for secondary combustion. It also employs a waste-water recycling system and a Centriclean System from Sweden for dust collection. While it’s a more expensive way to produce tile, our new system clearly has its benefits. It makes a huge difference in air quality, and it provides steadier, more consistent properties for quality control. Taking the long-term view, we felt Tianjin was the way to go to keep our positive momentum in a competitive marketplace.”

The use of natural gas to fire the kilns also provides far more stable, consistent conditions and the finished appearance is bolstered by the addition of a new 230-ft. straight-line waterfall glazing production line that significantly improves glaze coverage and provides far more control over color consistency, the company noted.

The new ISO 9000 Tianjin factory this June, but with several more environmental initiatives already set in motion the facility has been designed to meet ISO 14000 standards once it’s fully-operational. The eco-friendly factory design features large glass panels for the roof that increases the amount of natural light inside to reduce the use of electricity and provide heat.

Another technological upgrade was the purchase of the new advanced grey water recycling technology and waste water holding tanks as part of the ISO 14000-designed factory. With its close proximity to the Yellow Sea, the distance each container must travel in the shipping process is significantly reduced.

Bellavita Tile has also doubled yield with the addition of four new presses, highlighted by a pair of 980-ton Sacmi Imola S.C. presses, as well as a new 550-ton press for smaller orders and mosaics, and finally, a 300-ton press for trim pieces. The company has also retrofitted its old 98-ft. kiln into a new 131-ft. kiln, and purchased another 196-ft. kiln capable of producing 32,291 square feet of tile each day.