Sep 1, 2011

A decade with Delcam helps Revol Porcelaine to international success

Revol Porcelaine, one of the leading manufacturers of ceramics in France, has completed a decade as a customer for Delcam’s CADCAM systems, having chosen the company as the best technical partner for its modelling and manufacturing operations in 2001. The software, together with the technical innovation, creativity and perseverance of the Passot family, has taken the Revol brand to international success.

Revol’s designers use Delcam’s PowerSHAPE CAD software, ArtCAM artistic CADCAM and PowerMILL CAM system to model the designs and to develop the manufacturing processes. The shape of the part is created with PowerSHAPE directly or from scan data of physical models. Detailed decorations are produced with ArtCAM to complete the design.

PowerSHAPE is then used to create the moulds for the pieces. Allowances have to be made for the fact that the resin acquires its final form only after being fired in a tunnel or cell kiln for about nine hours. Then, the machining data is generated by PowerMILL. The complete process is monitored at every stage with the PS-Team workflow management system.

The software plays a major part in Revol’s ability to generate 50% new designs in its range in each year. "We chose Delcam software because of the fit with the different parts of our operations,” explained Patrick Currat, Manager of the engineering department. "The solution allows us to work from concept to finished piece in a single system. As a consequence, what took us three weeks is now done in five days. Moreover, we can easily change a project in a few minutes if our partners want to change a design.”

Ten years with Delcam is, however, only a small period in the history of Revol, which spans eleven generations. The name has been closely linked with the art of porcelain since the early 18th century, when the first Revols were already masters of earthenware in Lyon. The saga really began in 1789 at Saint-Uze, deep in France’s Rhone Valley, with the family’s discovery of a deposit of kaolin capable of producing much harder-wearing white stoneware.

Today, Revol produces very high quality porcelainware made with a secret mix that includes clay, quartz, feldspar and kaolin. The company is still one of the few porcelain manufacturers to produce its own clay, so it can easily adapt the formulation to its manufacturing processes.

The porcelainware is manufactured at the state-of-the-art Saint-Uze production facility. The staff of 185 includes 160 highly qualified production technicians whose training is regularly updated. The company operates its own design office and also works in partnership with external designers to create all of its models and production moulds.

For many years, Revol has collaborated closely with internationally reputed gastronomy partners such as the Paul Bocuse Institute in Lyon, the French Pastry School in Chicago and AtSunrise in Singapore. It has also formed some memorable partnerships with celebrated chefs – for example, Michelin three-star chef and Golden Bocuse winner Régis Marcon at Saint-Bonnet Le Froid.