The production site of LARCO PREFAB S.A. in Welkenraedt, Belgium opened in 2018 and has grown consistently over the years. LARCO produces a range of prefabricated concrete elements such as hollow core slabs, columns, wall panels, soccles, as well as solid flooring elements.
To set up their production of hollow-core slabs and prestressed elements, LARCO relied on machinery from ECHO Precast Engineering, Houthalen, one of the seven companies of the PROGRESS GROUP, a leading supplier to the precast industry.
ECHO delivered the full range of machinery and equipment: with a Slipformer S-Liner®, a concrete distributor full portal, an automatic, battery-powered plotter, different sawing machines for wet and hardened concrete, a concrete aspirator, and a multi-functional trolley that LARCO is equipped to produce on four beds.
Core of the production is the Slipformer S-Liner® with its modular machine structure: height differences in the same product series can be produced by quick, problem-free changing of the tube and mould set. Changing to a completely different product can be completed even more quickly by replacing the product-related module. LARCO is now offering hollow-core slabs with a thickness of 12, 15, 18 and 20 cm and a width of 0.60 m and 1.20 m.
A computer transmits data either by USB-stick or wireless to the automatic plotter, that draws either project identification data or patterns for areas that need to be cut out of the slabs. It can draw either on top of the slabs or on the side parts. Two different sawing machines, one for fresh concrete and one multi-angle sawing machine (MAS) which is used for cured concrete cut off the areas marked by the plotter. The MAS-machine is able to cut to the desired length at 90-degree angle, lengthwise sawing at 0 or 180 degrees, and diagonally at all angles between 90 and 0 degrees as well as 90 and 180 degrees. Sawing speed is adjusted automatically by means of the electronic sawing motor power control.
The multi-functional trolley is rounding up the production process as it is used to prepare the production beds. It is equipped with rotating brushes that clean the beds, it pulls the strand and wires along the beds and oil them.
ECHO Precast accompanied the whole process of planning of the production site, installation, and implementing the machinery. “ECHO was the partner of choice as they have a long-term experience in designing the machines according to customer needs,” says Georgy Collard, Director, Larco. “With our new production line, we are now well equipped for upcoming demand for customized prestressed precast elements.”
In the last two years, demand for hollow-core slabs has grown consistently – the reason why LARCO has expanded its lines to produce new hollow core slabs of 27 thickness for bigger building structures. This was achieved by including a new production unit T30 and set on the Slipformer S-Liner® they already have. Likewise, they have increased the lifting equipment to be able to provide a more efficient transport of ready-made hollow core slabs from the factory to the customer. ECHO Precast Engineering is proud to have been with LARCO since the beginning and continues to accompany them in the expansion of their factory.