Sabaf: made in Italy safety

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Safe, customizable, fully in-house manufactured with high-quality materials: made in Sabaf gas taps are a concentrate of technology.

In the factory at Ospitaletto, in Brescia province, the multinational Sabaf, one of the leader producers in the world of components for kitchens and household appliances for gas cooking, produces about 30 million gas taps yearly, many of them are customizable and made of extruded aluminium alloy, material that has almost definitively supplanted the historical brass. It succeeds in it starting from the raw material, thanks to a know how consolidated in over sixty years of activity, the use of machinery customized by the company and highly sophisticated technologies enabling the production of the tap body in just 4’’.

A fully Made in Italy production, in the name of the excellence in all of its phases, also in the very important stage of tests, with two sample controls a day and a final testing of the finished product. Mandatory practices, being a product of great importance, whose perfect functionality is necessary to grant the safety of the gas hob operation for freestanding cookers or on built-in cooktops.

With utmost synthesis, in taps with safety system, once pressed fully the control rod and some seconds after the burner ignition, the thermocouple generates a sufficient current to operate the electromagnet, thus allowing the gas flow. It is now possible to release the tap control rod. In case of accidental extinguishing of the flame, the thermocouple cooling occurs, with consequent decrease of the current that causes, after some seconds, the electromagnet closure, thus interrupting the gas flow.

Nicola Belpietro, Executive Regional Sales Director of Sabaf, so summarizes the gas tap characteristics and describes the essential phases of the manufacturing process needed to obtain it.

“An aluminium tap with safety is composed by numerous parts. There is, first of all, a body that is obtained from an extruded aluminium bar. There are obviously different bar shapes that will give birth to various tap models. The body is then machined and diamond-coated: this term indicates a smoothing, with very strict tolerances, of the inner body surface that will be coupled with a cone (called also male).

The cone, necessary to regulate the gas flow rate and its progressivity, is made of extruded aluminium, is first machined and then diamond-coated. Once coupled with the body, it will be operated by a small road in its turn mounted on a cap that holds and drives it. The last two components are: the bypass for the minimum regulation (which precisely allows establishing the gas flow rate for the minimum of the burner power) and the safety magnet (the device, then connected with the thermocouple mounted on the burner that, in case of accidental extinguishing of the burner, determines the interruption of the gas flow).

The implementation process of the various components and their subsequent assembly to compose a complete tap requires several process days because there are then specific machining operations that are carried out to customize the tap according to the customer’s demands concerning the sizes of the rod, input and output”.

Belpietro analyses thoroughly also the fundamental safety theme, which crossways concerns all aspects of Sabaf’s activity: from design to production, from the assembly to maintenance. “Only very few companies produce both taps and burners today. In this way, we can have a direct matching between the two components of the hob and we can perfect the design of both. All manufacturing phases of our taps undergo very strict conformity controls, since the implementation and the machining of the various parts composing them. In some machining, we must comply with tolerances of just 2 microns (1 micron = one millionth of a meter). Gas molecules, to make an example, are several times smaller than water’s and a red globule measures about 8 microns. It is then necessary to own and to master a very advanced technology to grant the utmost safety in all phases. The various machining processes are followed by the final assembly after which taps undergo again, in 100% of cases, safety functionality tests. Besides, all of our taps are certified in compliance with European regulations and, if required by our customers, also according to the directives of other Countries, such as U.S.A., China and so on”.

Customization, safety but also sustainability, another matter deeply felt by the company and also one of the factors that have speeded up the material replacement in the production of taps. “Historically, the material most used for the tap manufacturing was brass, due to historical and technological reasons – highlights Belpietro – Today it is not like that anymore: since 2003, Sabaf has produced extruded aluminium taps. The reason for this change is of technological and ecologic character. Extruded aluminium contains much less lead than brass and this makes aluminium taps a certainly more “eco-friendly” product.

In other words, Sabaf taps can boast some decisive competitive edges that determine a real added-value acknowledged by the market, even if the competition is not always correct and the counterfeiting is felt in gas taps, too. “Sabaf has always been renowned for the excellent quality of its products. This implies that competitors try to copy our products. Actually, the copy is only aesthetical. As above said, to make a high-quality product, the necessary technology and the knowledge to manage it are mandatory. Both these factors are not easily available and then the copies we can find on the market are mere aesthetical imitations, it is better not to comment their reliability level”.

Always considered the highest level of quality and safety at disposal on the market, Sabaf taps are approved according to the most severe regulations, including the European (CE) and USA (CSA) one. Just to maintain these severe standards and to stand out from an average level that gives up quality, every year the company invests time and resources in Research and Development but also – and especially – in training, because as underlines Belpietro: “Unfortunately, in purchase phase, end users almost never have the possibility of verifying the brand of the taps mounted on a hob or on a stove. Therefore, it is necessary they refer essentially to the reputation (which sometimes is not equal to the diffusion) of the producer of the cooking appliance of their interest. There are manufacturers that pursue quality, others less”.

A typically Made in Italy, or better, Made in Sabaf quality, which means guarantee of performance and safety, a model worth exporting into other markets, too, always in the name of the recognized excellence.

AT THE CONQUEST OF EAST
At the most important sector Exhibition in China, the China Import and Export Fair held in October in Guangzhou, Sabaf presented numerous novelties: from the burners Series 5 FL (Flat Line) that stand out for a minimal line, also thanks to manifold aesthetic solutions that allow characterizing the hob in appealing and innovative manner, to the burners Series 6 PL (Professional Line) that address instead the professional sectors, in addition to multi-position taps for hobs and cookers model 43M and 42M respectively. “It is a very important meeting for us – specifies Belpietro –an opportunity of visibility and business not only for the Chinese market but also for other markets, since it is attended by visitors coming from all geographical areas. Precisely for this reason, we have decided to participate in it with several interesting novelties”. At its 122nd edition, the so-called Canton Exhibition has been an irremissible meeting on a world scale in the market of machines and new technologies since 1957 and Sabaf is among the very few Italian participating companies. “Besides burners, we presented the multi-position taps that feature 10 different regulation steps of the flame, providing end-users with higher sensitivity and control of the burner management. A characteristic that, besides improving the overall performances of the hob, is aimed at making the gas cooking more competitive than induction one, also in terms of flame regulation precision”. With these novelties, the Italian multinational confirms its ranking in the élite of this event that is always very successful: a surface of 1.18 million square metres, over 60,000 stands, 24,000 exhibitors, more than 150,000 product types and over 200,000 professionals coming from 201 Countries, to mention just some of the impressive numbers of this exhibition giant.

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