Learning from the neighbor

Sometimes we need only to travel abroad to find the answer to a seemingly unsolvable problem at home. This year’s study tour to the Netherlands organized by a German vocational training institute provided possible solutions to a number of pressing questions in Germany. For example: how to quickly replace hundreds of dilapidated in-situ concrete bridges in Germany? For bridge construction, the pragmatic Dutch put their money on precast elements. This enables fast construction of giant structures. And how can thousands of refugees and other people in Germany in need of social housing quickly get a new home? In the production halls of a medium-sized Dutch company, their great organizational efficiency calls the automobile industry to mind. Large numbers of two-story module houses with saddle roofs, complete with interior finishing work, are manufactured in the shortest of time.

These examples from the Netherlands cannot, of course, be applied one-to-one to other European countries. Often, national standards are a major obstacle here. But standards are not engraved in stone for all eternity and – in light of the present ongoing process of approximation of the various national standardization systems in the European Union – many of the special regulations particular to individual countries are currently being subjected to discussion. In the end, every European nation could learn and profit from its neighbors. In coming issues of the technical journal BFT International, we will report on the study trip.

Dear readers, we owe you in addition a review of the trade show Bauma 2016. On pages 14 to 28 of the current issue we have compiled a number of highlights – without making claim to completeness, it goes without saying. We wish you a good deal of enjoyment in reading this issue.

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