Production process

From clay ball to superior facing brick

The loam that we reclaim from the plateau of Kesselt is called Löss.
Löss is a fine dust that came from northern Germany during the last ice age. It literally means loose soil. This raw material can easily be processed for the production of hand-moulded bricks.

The pit at Nelissen shows different layers of Löss: yellow, pink and red. The layers are extracted as desired and transported to Nelissen, where the clay is purified.
Minerals and chemicals are only added exceptionally, for example for the production of manganese stones. Via conveyors, the clay is transported from the dosing machine to the mixing machine. By adding water, Nelissen strives to the optimum plasticity of the clay.

The former stone makers put the sanded ball of clay in a mould.
After stripping of the excess clay, the mould was rotated and lifted out of the wet stone.
At Nelissen, the profile stones or specials are still formed that way.

With the exception of the specials, the production of hand-moulded bricks is now fully automated. Advanced installations realistically imitate the movements of the former professionals. Each movement and operation is important. Furthermore, the installation is designed to produce about 8 different colour shades at the same time.

As a result of our craftsmanship this typical hand-moulded brick with irregular surface, varied colour shades and sand grains is created.

The water has to evaporate completely. That evaporation takes place in computer-controlled drying rooms according to an adapted program depending on the clay type and size of the hand-moulded brick. The drying should not only happen fast, but also regularly. After 24 to 48 hours, depending on the thickness of the stone, the bricks are ready for the oven. The dry hand-moulded bricks are then automatically stacked in a defined pattern on the kiln cars.

The baking determines the quality of the hand-moulded brick.
Nelissen has fully automated ovens. The latest technology is used for the production of these ovens. The settings of the oven are continuously monitored. The rest of the production is fully monitored by a log. After 3 days the hand-moulded bricks are baked in an oven of over 100m long and 7m wide. The computer controls the baking cycle and condition of the oven.
This results in over 80 different shades.

Thanks to investments, Nelissen has a continued growth. With a capacity of 185 million bricks a year, Nelissen reaches a European level.

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