Echo Precast - Increased automation in production of prestressed hollow core slabs

prestressed hollow-core slabsSince the 1970s, Dennert has been manufacturing prestressed hollow-core slabs in the Upper Franconian key field for versatile use (Photo: Dennert).

With a multi-angle saw (MAS) from Echo Precast Engineering, Belgium, the Franconian building materials manufacturer Dennert is focusing on higher automation in the production of prestressed hollow core slabs.

At the Schlüsselfeld location, the company has been producing prestressed hollow core slabs on five production lines for many years. The 1.20-metre-wide prefabricated elements with formwork-smooth underside are used wherever free room design is required, as they allow XXL spans to be bridged without disturbing columns or load-bearing walls. In addition, they have very good fire protection and sound insulation properties and are therefore particularly suitable for multi-storey buildings. They are mounted quickly and can bear loads immediately, which leads to shorter construction times and corresponding cost savings.

MAS 1100 from Echo PrecastThe MAS 1100 from Echo Precast provides Dennert with a higher degree of automation and a more efficient production of prestressed hollow-core slabs (Photo: Dennert).

For the investment in a new multi-angle saw, Dennert opted for a MAS model from Echo Precast Engineering, Houthalen, one of the seven companies in the Progress Group, a leading full-range supplier in the precast concrete industry. The two companies are linked by a long-standing business partnership. Dennert has been using an Echo S-Liner® slipformer for many years. “When the required reinvestment in a saw was due, we wanted to look to the future and opted for a high-quality machine,” explains Bernd Schwarz, Operations Manager at Dennert. “Since Echo Precast has been our supplier and partner for many years, we took advice from them and quickly found what we were looking for.”

multi-angle sawing machineThe multi-angle sawing machine has both an Internet connection and an external operator touchpad (Photo: Dennert).

The higher degree of automation compared to earlier production processes played a large part in the decision for the MAS-1100. The machine has both an Internet connection and a touchpad on the side for operation. It cuts hardened concrete elements up to a thickness of 40 cm. In addition, 0-degree or 180-degree cuts as well as diagonal cuts between 0 and 90 degrees or 90 and 180 degrees are possible. The sawing speed is automatically regulated by the electronic power control of the motor. It has also been extended with an advanced automation module that enables the semi-automatic sawing process. In addition to high-quality software, this module also contains a positioning system with an encoder for the wheels. The MAS 1100 works completely electronically, without any hydraulics. It has both collision protection and a high-end laser for accurate cutting at the required angles.

prestressed hollow-core slabsIn addition to the saw for cured prestressed hollow-core slabs, Dennert uses the S-Liner slipformer from Echo Precast Engineering on its five production lines (Photo: Dennert).

“With this sawing machine from Echo, we will make our production of prestressed hollow core slabs even more efficient in the future,” sums up Bernd Schwarz, “and all in the style of the Dennert company: with the highest demands on the quality of our precast elements and perfected prefabrication in order to offer clients long-term support at a high level.”
NBM&CW April 2020
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