Still in the 1970s and 1980s, pumice, gravel and concrete industries were omnipresent in the region around my hometown Andernach on Rhine in the German state of Rhineland-Palatinate. Gigantic excavators dug up the earth. They exposed the rock that occurred in layers, one atop of the other near the surface of the volcanic landscape, and that the manufacturers of hollow blocks and other concrete products urgently needed for their production.
Several production plants and supplier companies existed in every locality in the region. They were an important economic factor at the time, and many worked for these industries, at times my parents as well. Even we students eagerly sought out the holiday jobs offered by any number of manufacturers of hollow blocks.
One of the most important employers in the region was Masa, the machine builder, which pushed for expansion into the international market at the time. That was many years ago, and today the company is one of the major suppliers of plant and engineering for the production of paving blocks, hollow blocks, and autoclaved-aerated concrete – worldwide. This old, well-established company celebrates its 110th anniversary this year with friends and business partners from the past and present.
There are probably many who share similar memories, including those who grew up in southern Germany near the city of Weinsberg. There, another German machine builder celebrates its 90th birthday around the same time. Vollert Anlagenbau GmbH has likewise evolved into an internationally leading manufacturer of machinery, plants and components for the production of structural precast components.
The team of the technical journal BFT International extends its warmest congratulations to the celebrants.