Zavod ŽBI 5 advances residential building with new precast technologies

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Zavod ŽBI 5 advances residential building with new precast technologies

In the heart of Western Siberia in Russia, roughly 1800 kilometers east of Moscow, lies the city of Tyumen, capital of the Tyumen region. The area has seen significant economic growth during the past twenty years, and the capital is also the home town of the successfully growing precast factory Zavod ŽBI 5.

Construction and especially residential building is increasing rapidly in Tyumen as in other parts of Russia, while the President has instructed that housing conditions are to be improved. Factory nr 5, as Zavod ŽBI 5 is also called, has all the means of creating an impressive housing stock. They are constantly taking new production methods into use and extending their product range. Elematic is strongly present in this development with already seven completed deliveries since 2002. Tyumen's factory nr 5 manufactures a wide range of concrete and precast concrete products, in fact over 200 different product items. They produce round about everything that is needed in industrial and residential building with their imported production lines, which enable the production of high quality prestressed concrete products: hollow-core slabs, pipes, concrete rings for drainages, elements for house frames, walling blocks, and various concrete products for modernization purposes, to mention a few. Elematic has delivered the equipment for the factory's batching and mixing plant renovation, a successfully operating hollow-core production line with extruder, shuttles for the distribution of concrete as well as several hundred meters of electrified track, and a number of molds for making façades and columns. Presently, a second hollow-core production line from Elematic has been installed and the factory has also just received Elematic equipment for the setting up of a ready-mixed concrete production plant, in order to keep up with the growing ready-mix demand.

Competitive through successful cooperation

Zavod ŽBI 5 enjoys a firm position on the local construction market. Production is increasing steadily, deliveries are extending farther off, and the number of partners and customers is growing. "Today, the most competitive company is one that can adjust to the needs of the customers rapidly", says Mr. Sergei Jaroslavovitš Kuz, General Manager of Zavod ŽBI 5. The plant has personnel of about 600 and a current production capacity of approximately 120 000 m³ reinforced concrete yearly. "Next year, when we can take our new production lines into use, we plan to raise our yearly capacity to 200 000 m³, including the ready-mixed concrete production", explains Mr. Kuz. The company signed its first delivery contract with Elematic in 2002, after a period of thoroughly comparing different equipment suppliers and adding up the pros and cons. During the years, the sharp edges have been smoothed and the cooperation between the two companies is one of mutual understanding. "At this point, we have both established that Zavod ŽBI 5 is a solid buyer of precast technology and Elematic is a producer of top class quality equipment on a global level", Mr. Kuz continues. "It is of great significance to us that Elematic is a one-stop-supplier, as we early on decided that we wanted to buy all the equipment of a particular production line from the same supplier. This way, we can ensure that all parts fit and work together perfectly and that the mechanisms engage correctly with each other, resulting in the most efficient operation possible as well as best maintenance support performance. The repairing or changing of faulty equipment is also never a problem. Further, our decision was strongly supported by the knowledge that with the same supplier, the installation and discharging of the equipment is similar and we do not need to think up new installation methods, but can follow an already tested and approved method, which shortens the installation time considerably and enables us to complete both installation and commissioning in the best possible way."

Positive winds for precast in Russia

Elematic has been present on the Russian construction market since the 80ies. Director of Marketing and Sales, Mr. Esa Enqvist, says that a lot has happened on the Russian construction market. During the decades, there have been many ups and downs, but now everything seems to be on a steady growth path, Mr. Enqvist describes. The construction boom that has been ongoing in the Moscow area for many years has now spread to other areas of the country as well. Oil production, mining, and other industries have increased wealth and prepared the way for building. Although the reputation of prefabricated building has been somewhat weak due to the leaking and even crumbling walls of previous decades, this is changing now with the new precast technologies and end products that are of high-quality, easy to use, and good-looking. A significant change is the quickly increasing use of prestressed concrete products in building. The earlier norms imposed on construction no longer exist and the successful technologies used elsewhere in the world are also employed here. For Elematic, the Russian market is a significant and growing sector. "With our production equipment, the use of precast in construction can be increased, which in turn means more business opportunities. It is a positive chain reaction, enabling growth for our Russian precast manufacturing partners as well as for us as an equipment supplier". So far, Elematic has delivered more than 20 production lines to Russia in addition to Tjumen's seven deliveries. One of these lines was for the production of elements for one thousand apartments annually!

Local prosperity furthers building

While Mr. Enqvist visits the Tyumen factory about once a year, Elematic's Mrs. Iris Haikka, Sales Assistant, and Project Manager Mr. Timo Ahlfors travel to meet with Mr. Kuz and others at factory nr 5 considerably more often. Mrs. Haikka is an educated Russian translator and interpreter, and this is her role in most projects. But with Tyumen, she partly also acts as a project assistant and contact person, and has seen first hand how factory nr 5 has advanced and improved, and how the entire area has developed with new commercial, industrial, and residential building. "The local governor has speeded up infrastructural improvements as the area has grown prosperous, and the roads have been repaired and bettered considerably, for example", says Mrs. Haikka. Together with Mr. Ahlfors, she considers cooperation with Zavod ŽBI 5 to work most pleasantly and enjoys, among others, the good eating a trip to Tyumen always entails. "Once our usual hotel was fully booked due to a conference in the city, and so our hosts kindly arranged accommodation for us in a sanatorium. As befits sportsmen, we were served a hearty breakfast of mashed potatoes and meatloaf, and the room price would have included volley-ball and other tempting sports activities, had we had the time to stay and participate."

Improving conditions for profitable growth

When asked about factory nr 5's future direction, Mr. Kuz does not hesitate. "We will continue to develop our production as well as residential building, and will go on optimizing our operations. However, our main goal is to raise the ecological level of our production, to improve health and safety at work, and to enhance social policy. And of course, this objective also includes taking into use new production technologies, increasing output, and extending our product range." For Zavod ŽBI 5 and Elematic alike, the future is looking very promising, with ample opportunities to further growth for both.

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