The ceramic tile manufacturing industry is under constant strain today due to the competitive environment worldwide and to the changing patterns of consumer behavior. Despite its highly automated production lines, the industry is becoming less of a mass manufacturer and more of a batch producer with all the corresponding issues that such a move entails. The frequent setup and retooling of the production has led to renewed interest on the subject of learning curve laws and their impact on the productivity of items re-introduced after short periods of time to the product mix. The actual industrial data presented in this paper support the premise that the learning curve phenomenon is present, albeit in a more complex sense, when tile patterns are produced in relatively small batches and the resulting ramp-up is reminiscent of new product setup. © 2007 IEEE.