All flavors of façades with the Elematic circulating line
Well, it is true alright! This year alone we have delivered three complete production lines for this purpose. Our customers are excited: now they can increase production efficiency, obtain more construction projects, and achieve better quality. The Elematic Circulating line is based on standard Elematic machinery, tailored according to the client's requirements. The system is truly flexible: a variety of façades can be made on the same production line. Work phases are transferred from the construction site to the factory; in fact only the outermost layer needs to be added to the façade at the site. This facilitates planning in many ways, as the walls can be erected in any weather and the work continued with on the exterior and interior simultaneously. Architects are happy to note that they have more freedom in selecting surface materials and can design even seamless façades. Precast manufacturers are the real winners, as they can increase competitiveness and, if the market is hit by a recession, they already have the most cost-efficient production solution ready.
A new line for a new product
Valkeakosken Betoni in Finland chose the Elematic Circulating line for producing its façade elements. "We developed a new product on the basis of customer feedback, the highly refined VaBe façade element, which is a structural concrete inner leaf with insulation and a prefixed bracket system. We soon realized that we needed new production technology as well! It was a question of daring to leap into something new or to most probably wither", says Jorma Järvenpää, Sales Manager at Valkeakosken Betoni Oy. "We told Elematic what we needed and they supplied it, a complete production line for the making of our new façade elements".
Circulating molds worker-friendly
Previously, façade elements were cast with eight fixed molds, which were left to dry when filled. As the workers moved on to the next mold, they carried their tools and equipment with them. Nowadays, the new line functions according to its name: it literally circulates. Workers no longer need to run between molds - they stand in one place somewhere along the line as the mold moves around from worker to worker. The casting system advances above the line and distributes just the right amount of concrete into the molds, minimizing waste. The quality of the element is greatly improved due to the even spread of concrete on the reinforcement.
Doubling or even tripling capacity
"The most valuable benefits of the new line are definitely the increase in efficiency and capacity: production can be boosted almost threefold, as previously 8 fixed molds needed to dry before the next batch was started, and now we can circulate about 20 molds in 24 hours in a space of roughly 1000 m² and work in 2-3 shifts, if necessary", describes Mr. Järvenpää enthusiastically. "This increase has enabled us to hire approximately 10 new workers for the façade production, 5 of whom are women - possible due to the much lighter work with the new line! We are definitely looking at the future with confidence, as we believe that our facilities can be run on almost maximum efficiency and return the capital we have invested within a very short period", says Mr. Järvenpää.
The latest in production technology
At Lipa Betoni in Central Finland, the setting up of a new production line for façade elements had even more dramatic beginnings. In the words of Mr. Matti Lipsanen, Managing Director of Lipa Betoni: "Our old production facilities were totally destroyed in a fire last year. Once we had made the decision to rebuild, we wanted to acquire the latest technology for the best in production efficiency. Looking around for a supplier, the competency of Elematic convinced us and their active involvement in the entire project, including planning and realizing, was very reassuring". Today, also Lipa Betoni can produce high-quality sandwich wall elements in several efficient shifts. They are pleased with the highly automated new system and are looking forward to adding further automation later. The material logistics has also improved, along with the overall quality of the products.
Circulate to success
Mr. Mikko Isotalo, Vice President of Precast Concrete Unit at Lujabetoni Oy in southern Finland is very happy with their newly acquired Elematic circulation line. "There is increasing demand for seamless façades and surfaces made of different materials. We needed an efficient solution to produce façades and intermediate walls, and this line can do both. As these are meant to be inexpensive bulk products, they need to be produced cost-efficiently and quickly. The productivity of the line is extremely high", he reveals. "Elematic was able to commit to a very short delivery time and the comprehensive system seemed very reliable - it was an easy decision", Mr. Isotalo continues. In the future, Lujabetoni Oy can move on to new products as well, if they need to. They also found that safety at work has improved a lot with the new line and the handling of waste is considerably easier. Concludes Mr. Isotalo: "We believe that our new Elematic circulating line will be a great success".