Help, where is the exit?


Help, where is the exit?

The great saw eats its way through the concrete with an ear-splitting noise, generating clouds of thick, grey dust. Pressing my hearing protectors more tightly to my head, I continue grimly down the aisle between the beds. Oups, that was close, I almost tripped head-over in the slippery sleet! Groping around in my overall pockets for a reasonably clean hanky, I sneeze and breathe in the dusty air far too deep - the coughing accelerates and I feel dizzy. Eyes watering, I fumble along between buckets, shovels, brushes, pieces of slab, squinting to see ahead. The big, thundering casting machine moving along on the bed just adds to my already splitting headache. Help! Where is that exit, I need to get out, NOW!

How is YOUR working environment? Are you dreaming of a cleaner, quieter factory? One where efficiency walks hand in hand with environmentally friendly? If so, knock on the door with the sign ELEMATIC on it. This is where these kinds of dreams are made reality. Milbank Floors in Essex, England, is a company that stepped in, studied the catalogue, nodded with approval, signed the deal, and shook hands. We predict they will be precasting happily ever after. Milbank Floors Ltd was founded in 1947 by Geoffrey Milbank. This family-owned company has experienced continued progress and growth throughout its history, and today they produce hollow-core planks at up to half a million square meters per year, in addition to beams and other products. "The intention is to double the turnover with our new plant", says Mr. John Milbank, Managing Director of Milbank since 1964. The means to achieve this have been ordered from Elematic. Says Mr. Tarmo Sahala, Senior Export Manager at Elematic: "John Milbank is an immensely innovative person. A couple of years back, we began to discuss the building of an entirely new plant for hollow-core production; we presented our latest technology, and Mr. Milbank had some good ideas on how he wanted it all to function to best suit their production requirements. Although we are often perceived as a big company with a standard product strategy, this can always be adapted into whatever combination is needed".

Passing environmental trial with flying colors

The new hollow-core plant of Milbank Floors needed to be massive, modern, and environmentally friendly. "We were convinced by Elematic's cost-effective solution and the fact that they have delivered an impressive amount of plants already", describes Mr. John Milbank. "The response of Elematic when we decided to push the button was very good; they put a dedicated project manager on the job, which makes our job so much easier". With the planning already at full speed, Mr. Paul Hobson joined Milbank Floors as Managing Director and stepped right into the cooperation with Elematic earlier this year. The partnership bloomed and no clouds were seen in the project sky. Until the building license was put on hold. Environmentalists wanted to know more about the impact of the factory on the surrounding area and had a long list of very tight questions. The licence was not going to be admitted lightly. But not to worry, the production systems delivered by Elematic are environmentally friendly by nature. Mr. Paul Hobson beams: "The machines are silent and the water and slurry go into the recycling system, minimizing the amount of waste. Any cut-offs are collected. This is a model example of eco-thinking!"

Automation the key to double success

The new and highly automated plant will include an impressive 12 casting beds of 150 m each, sophisticated casting machines, plotting and bed cleaning equipment, and as icing on the cake, a fixed sawing concept that keeps the dust, water, and noise from sawing within a sealed area, making the working environment considerably healthier and more pleasant. Now the only worry is that you are tempted to lie down and fall asleep in the quiet, clean, and automated production environment! Says Mr. Paul Hobson, Managing Director at Milbank Floors: "Among the most important reasons for us buying the factory from Elematic was the high degree of automation, which prepares the way to maximum output and keeps our labour cost low!" Mr. Chris Ward is Production Director at Milbank Floors and a very cheerful man (see picture for confirmation). He is looking forward to running the show in the new plant, which is easy to maintain, produces an excellent quality slab and, not to forget, makes more money! He also sleeps well at night, knowing that training is part of the deal with Elematic, who will be present at the new plant for the first couple of weeks after its inauguration next spring, ensuring that all starts up and runs smoothly. Concrete Issues will follow the situation closely and will present its readers with a vivid and detailed story on how it all continued after the plant was delivered and set up. Do not miss this exciting sequel in issue 2/2006.