Ducon Concrete Ltd., Kanturk, Ireland, is expanding their production of hollow core slabs with a new Slipformer S-Liner from Echo Precast Engineering, one of the seven companies belonging to the Progress Group, a leading full-range supplier to the precast industry. Ducon, a family owned business, with its production site in Cork belongs to the leading precast concrete manufacturers and suppliers to the construction industry in Ireland and produce concrete blocks, prestressed hollow core slabs, precast hollowcore slabs, wideslabs and precast concrete stairs. They have over 40 years of experience in the manufacture and supply of ready-mix concrete and concrete products to residential, agricultural and construction industry customers in Munster and beyond. All their precast products are CE approved and focus strongly on quality of products as well as service to their clients. Prestressed hollow core slabs account for approx. 30% of Ducon’s overall business and ancillary precast elements (mostly precast stairs) a further 6%. This percentage is growing year on year since 2015 when hollow core sales were approx. 15% of their overall sales.
Another reason to invest in further machinery was based on an increased demand over the years. A special interest from clients is shown in higher demand for deeper slabs with 250 and 300 mm or requests for longer spans. Beside that the requirement for load bearing increased for office buildings and commercial developments. Also the market in Ireland is changing more and more from wide slabs into pre-stressed hollow-core applications.
Echo Precast Engineering was the partner of choice as supplier, while planning the expansion with new machines. “Our relationship with Echo began some 20 years ago with the purchase of our first Slipformer from them. When it was delivered and put in production, it worked without any teething problems from day one. This experience was repeated in the case with all four machines now and therefore I have great confidence when I buy Echo machines.”
Beside the Slipformer Ducon also bought a concrete aspirator, which is used for removing wet concrete, mainly from slots or openings and for cleaning the space alongside the rails as well as the space between the production beds.