Real estate developer Pruksa Real Estate Public Company Limited - a market leader in Thailand - has modernized two of its existing precast plants to include the production of hollow core slabs with a high level of automation with machinery from Echo Precast Engineering, a company of the PROGRESS GROUP.
Pruksa is the first to introduce the advanced precast technology in Thailand. With the newest investment in the hollow core production, Pruksa continues to choose automatic processes to improve productivity and efficiency with a significant reduction in human errors.
Precast Concrete Green Factory
The company has developed the first Green Factory in Thailand, which works with strict sustainability development policies for waste as well as noise pollution in the factory. It has been distinguished in three aspects of operation: the Heart to Home, the Heart to Earth, and the Heart to Society as key aspects for sustainable production for sustainable living conditions.
The focus today is even more on creating a new standard of living. Pruksa states: “We see mega trends that affect the housing of people all over the world; health and wellness is being redefined and real estate developers need to create a new definition of comprehensive healthcare offerings for the residents. Lifestyle disruption was immense, so we need to create a new way of life which is adaptable to changes, by leveraging new innovations to enhance the living conditions. Also, to ensure sustainability of the environmental, social, and living perspectives for future generations need to be a key focus.”
Founded by Thongma Vijitpongpun, Pruksa has been innovating the real estate market in Thailand since almost 30 years, combining environmentally friendly concepts with appropriate resource allocation in every project. About 1600 people are working in the company for developing townhouses, single-detached houses, and condominiums, with the mission of developing high quality houses at reasonable prices, to ensure better living conditions.
Precast concrete plants – a main factor for sustainable building
In 2005, Pruksa had invested in the first precast concrete plant as it has always believed that innovation needs to be focused on. From building town houses to tunnel constructions, the company has grown to gain significant market share in single detached houses for it applied new methods of construction using the innovative precast systems.
The equipment for the automated carousel plants was provided by Ebawe Anlagentechnik and Progress Maschinen & Automation, software solutions from Progress Software Development, and the new hollow core production plants by Echo Precast Engineering, all companies of the PROGRESS GROUP. The main products made in the plants are walls and slabs for fast, strong and safe construction of residential housing.
Hollow core slabs as completion of automated production
The decision to renew the two factories has been made in the last years to develop the hollow core production. Pruksa has 7 factories: its PCF3 and PCF7 factories supplied the solid slabs. The company did a lot of research on hollow core slabs before being convinced of their benefits. Hollow core slabs are efficient in design, production, and construction. They contribute to the sustainability concept as well, as they reduce the amount of concrete needed and thus the weight of the slabs.
With this knowledge, Pruksa decided to change the slabs for their house concepts and modified PCF3 and PCF7 into two highly automated hollow core production plants with machinery from Echo Precast Engineering to supply all their building projects.
The new hollow core production plants have been equipped with a Universal Slipformer S-Liner® 2.4 m to produce two rows with 1.2 m wide slabs but can be flexibly adjusted to produce one 1.2 m as well as two 0.6 m lines at the same time. Additionally, a Multi-functional Trolley, also 2.4 m wide is supporting the production while being battery driven. The installed Concrete Aspirator makes accurate cut-outs, openings, and protruding reinforcement in hollow core slabs without effort. Also, an automatic SmartJet Plotter with the advanced line detection technology of Echo Precast Engineering was supplied together with the Multi Angle Sawing Machine MAS in 2.4m wide variant.
Additional equipment included lifting equipment for lifting of 1.2m wide slabs and 0.6m wide slabs. This machinery is helping not only with the faster and safer production of hollow core slabs but is contributing enormously to the Green Factory concept as the concrete usage is 40% less compared to solid slabs.
“The decision for Echo Precast Engineering has not only been due to the good machine quality and technology but also due to the good coordination and machine design which followed our requirements,” stated Porntep Suppataratarn, Group Chief Procurement and Supply Chain Officer. “We not only wanted to implement the hollow core system but also increase the automation in the storage location system and needed the systems to synchronize. So, with Echo we could have a supplier from the same group as the supplier of the existing factory and storage location systems.” He was also happy to say that the project worked well - even in these challenging times, due to the smooth coordination and impressive collaboration with the supplier companies.