Making things easier
The United Precast Concrete (UPC) production facilities of Dubai and Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates are impressive. UPC is the largest manufacturer of precast building components in the area, and for example in Abu Dhabi, the plant has nearly 100 tables and 2 battery moulds, turning out around 400 concrete panels daily. This is enough for two to three complete two-story villas.
Controlling the concrete with Elematic
Mr. Tom Kjaer is the UPC General Manager in Dubai, where he has enjoyed the year-round sun and warmth for over 8 years. Originally he is from Denmark, and speaks with enthusiasm about how interesting it is to work in the UAE, where the construction industry is growing rapidly all the time. Since 2001, UPC has started up 3 new factories in the Middle East, and if all goes according to plan, a fourth factory will see the daylight in 2004. "In the setting up of these production units we rely on the products and expertise of Elematic", says Mr. Kjaer. "It feels good to have a one-stop-supplier such as Elematic, who are knowledgeable, professional, and provide excellent services".
Software designed for precasters
In November last year, UPC took the Elematic ELiPLAN ERP into use, locating the main server in Dubai. To begin with, UPC has acquired a license for 40 users. "The ELiPLAN ERP is especially designed for use in precast concrete production and suits all product lines from a single line operation to a multi-factory environment", describes Mr. Arto Pohjonen, Elematic's Export Manager for the Middle East. "The ELiPLAN software is unique, as it has been designed on the basis of the practical experience gathered within the Consolis group, to which Elematic belongs", continues Mr. Pohjonen. "Consolis is the largest producer of precast concrete components and structures in Europe, and the knowledge gained from manufacturing is invaluable in designing new products and services for the precast industry". The ELiPLAN software is of modular design, including all the phases in production from bidding to shipping, and you can begin by acquiring a basic set of modules and then expanding the system according to need. "Previously we used a system that had been designed in-house, but it was very time-consuming to change the system according to new requirements", explains Mr.Kjaer. "In addition, it was not a fully integrated system. The ELiPLAN ERP on the other hand is fully integrated, data input is needed only once, and accurate, real-time information is available for everyone all the time", Mr. Kjaer continues. "Not many companies can offer a software product of this type, and Elematic is the only one that can provide a comprehensive software system tailor-designed for the precast concrete industry. We believe that Elematic is the right choice for us." Mr. Juha Raatikainen, Factory Manager at the UPC plant in Abu Dhabi, views the future with confidence. "Personally, I think that one of the best features of the ELiPLAN ERP is that it provides us with the means to manage the warehouses. With such enormous amounts of panels and slabs of different kinds, it is not easy to keep track manually of where they are stacked. It is also time-consuming to run between the element racks in the warehouse searching for particular slabs. ELiPLAN enables us to use a wireless bar-code reader and to control the data on-line of where slabs are located", explains Mr. Raatikainen. "The fact that all reports are in one system and always up-to-date is another very valuable and time-saving feature. Elematic also provides technical support 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and they understand what it means for us cost-wise if production stops even for a short while".
A concrete grip on things
UPC also uses the Elematic Fastening System in their factories, first and foremost as it is a universal system. The Elematic magnets can be fixed to practically any side material, be it wood, steel, aluminum, or concrete. These superbly strong jaw magnets with a holding force of up to 1.6 tons are surprisingly easy to use, no welding or drilling is needed. Just lock the magnet in place where needed and it will stay there even during hydraulic vibration. Unlocking the magnet is just as convenient. "The Elematic magnets are lightweight and quick and easy to attach, says Mr. Kjaer. "This saves time and labor, and as the lead-time is shorter, productivity increases. The use of Elematic magnets also helps us take good care of our moulds, as they do not damage the surface". "If needed, Elematic can provide ready fastening system solutions such as steel or aluminum side forms and collapsable window and door moulds with jaw magnets", reveals Mr. Pohjonen. "In fact, Elematic specializes in developing customer-specific solutions for sides of varying thickness and with different profiles".