In the KEF Infra One Park near Bangalore, most of the products required for the construction of residential and commercial buildings are being produced.
Faizal E. Kottikollon, Founder and President of KEF Holdings and his wife, Shabana Faizal
"When giving back is at the centre of your actions, the possibilities for growth and improvement are endless." This statement sums up the basic principle of the founder of KEF Holdings, Faizal E. Kottikollon's commitment to India. With the company and the associated foundation, Kottikollon and his wife Shabana Faizal are pursuing an ambitious goal to use only the most modern, efficient, sustainable technologies to expand the Indian infrastructure substantially and thus improve the quality of life for the people. Their emphasis is particularly on education, health and accommodation.
A success story: taking the vision back to India from the Emirates
KEF Infra manufactures various wall elements using the highly-automated carrousel system.
KEF Holdings was registered in Singapore in 2012 and today is active in infrastructure, health, agriculture, education, metal and investments. The company formed its own foundation in 2007. It is involved in numerous initiatives and programmes for the expansion, conversion or building of new schools and hospitals and in fund-raising campaigns for the under-privileged and victims of natural disasters. One of its aims is to create affordable, high-quality accommodation and to construct commercial parks.
KEF industrial park; a unique concept
For the first time, double and sandwich walls are being produced in India. In double wall production, the turning equipment is used to place fully cured elements onto the freshly concreted second skin.
KEF Infra One Park was officially opened on December 2016. There are 5 different production areas, where precast concrete elements, prefabricated bathrooms and modular building products are manufactured, plus furniture, aluminium fittings and windows. More than 1,000 people work in the 60,000 m2 site.
Precast concrete elements
Production of precast concrete elements is key to KEF Holding's construction plans. "Construction in precast concrete is highly attractive, since very complex structures can be built in half the time," states Kottikollon. Furthermore, according to him, production under controlled conditions maintains quality at a consistently high level, and the ROI is also higher than the traditional construction methods. However, the decisive factor for KEF Infra is time. "We are able to complete projects quickly and on schedule; this is a very important point especially for property developers," he says.
Development of the concept together with Progress Group
The three systems installed for the manufacture of reinforcement (the picture shows the mesh welding plant) contribute to optimum production continuity.
New to India: double and sandwich walls, shuttering robots
The highly automated carrousel system is a new phenomenon for India in two respects: not only are double and sandwich walls produced for the first time, but a fully automatic shuttering and deshuttering robot is also in use for the first time. "We have deliberately invested in high-tech and software solutions, because we are convinced that the construction industry needs new approaches and new pathways in the spirit of Industry 4.0," explains Kottikollon. "In this process, technology is the catalyst for the changes required."
Fully automated shuttering and deshuttering
Automated shuttering and deshuttering not only improves the quality of the end products and the rate of production, but it also increases safety at work.
In Kottikollon's opinion, the use of this automated solution has brought KEF Infra many advantages. "Thanks to the Form Master, we can not only produce faster, but also spare our employees from almost all physical stress." He also believes that right at the start of the production process, the shuttering robot lays the corner stone for high-quality precast concrete elements.
Highly efficient integral manu-facture of made-to-measure mesh
An automatic concrete spreader places the fresh concrete precisely and at a steady rate on the pallet.
The M-System BlueMesh welding plant produces mesh from the coil and in accordance with individual specifications. Its outstanding features are its particularly high degree of efficiency and its low requirement in space and energy - features which integrate well into the corporate philosophy with its emphasis on sustainability. The lattice girders required for the production of double walls are produced by Type VGA lattice girder welding machine. For the manufacture of stirrups from the coil, together with the EBA S automatic stirrup bender, KEF Infra uses a compact, high-performance system, which cuts and bends the wire with high precision.
Automated concrete spreader conserves resources and improves quality
The Meitra Hospital is the first health facility in India to have been completely constructed by the prefabricated construction method. The 205-bed project in Kozhikode (Kerala) was completed within 21 months.
Special formwork for structural precast concrete elements
Additional special formwork has been installed by Tecnocom, another subsidiary company in the Progress Group. The 5m to 120m long system is capable of producing staircases, columns and pre-stressed girders.
Software solutions facilitate "Industry 4.0"
The erpbos® ERP system, developed by the Progress Group is used for controlling systems, and for monitoring and optimising all the business and production processes. This makes a substantial contribution to the optimum coordination of all processes, starting from sales, calculation, project management and installation planning right up to logistics, materials management, controlling and human resources. The system enables KEF Infra to implement the Industry 4.0 concept, the core elements of which are intelligent production, networking and transparency.
The production processes are also controlled by the ebos® MES system. The software continuously accompanies all the phases in the production process, and by means of numerous tools facilitates the planning, controlling and monitoring of production. In addition, process sequences can be retrospectively played back in detail and investigated. In this way potential bottlenecks are detected and productivity increased.
Direct BIM integration
Since KEF Infra is the first company in India to use BIM level 6, the software has another advantage. BIM (Building Information Modelling) systems are directly integrated. This means that any production or supply deadlines, or project and material, costs can be directly linked with the building model. This is indispensable for a transparent overview. "All this allows us to plan, design, build and maintain the most diverse buildings extremely efficiently," says Faizal E. Kottikollon.
First major project completed
In 2016, KEF Infra completed its first commercial construction - completely constructed in precast concrete. The first two floors of the 10-storey office building were completed in only two months.
A milestone was also achieved last year in Bangalore when KEF Infra completed a 10-storey office building. This project also used only precast concrete elements from their in-house production. Once again, the short construction period was impressive: the first two floors with a total area of almost 20,000 sq. m. were completed within two months only.
According to KEF Holdings, this is just the beginning; they have plans for the construction of more industry parks. Top Indian politicians have also noticed the company's commitment. Prime Minister, Narendra Modi has expressed that KEF has the potential to assist the Indian government in completing the pending projects in the residential and infrastructure sectors. By 2022, as part of the Housing for All programme, construction of 20 million dwellings at affordable prices is envisaged.