Since the foundation of mbk Maschinenbau GmbH by Georg Pfender, in 1961, the company – with its technical expertise, ingenuity, high quality standards and close cooperation with customers – has evolved into one of the leading manufacturers of welding machines and production systems for the construction sector and the concrete industry. Until today, the company has sold more than 1,100 welding machines in more than 60 countries of the world. Under Mario Pfender, Managing Director in the third entrepreneurial generation, the plant engineering company has continuously developed his company’s large product portfolio even further and goes the extra mile to satisfy even the most unusual customer wishes. The high degree of individualization is therefore a key corporate focus of mbk. At this time, mbk employs worldwide a workforce of 100, including nine trainees – apart from its company headquarters in Kisslegg/Allgäu in Germany, as well as service branches in the USA and Russia.
The product portfolio comprises mesh-welding machines, lattice girder welding machines, wire straightening and cutting systems, cage welding machines for impact-driven and bored piles as well as columns and beams, cage welding machines for manhole and concrete pipe reinforcement, automation solutions, second-hand machines and a range of various accessories. In addition, the company offers a comprehensive service program with after-sales service, replacement and wear parts, maintenance and repair, conversion and modernization, retrofits, job-order production and especially customized machines.
Flagship MSM-M mesh welding system
The flexible MSM-M mesh welding system – currently available in five sizes (200/250/300/350/400) – is one of the flagships of mbk. With the MSM-M, automatic production is no longer a problem with CAD-based reinforcing mesh for manufacture of precast elements with openings for windows and doors. This flexible mesh welding system welds reinforcing mesh directly from coil, to the customer’s individual specifications. The producible mesh width ranges from 400 mm to max. 4,000 mm, depending on requirements. The mesh length is also enormously flexible. In addition to standard dimensions extending from 1,000 mm to 14,000 mm, larger dimensions are also possible at the customer’s request.
The average production performance of the MSM-M lies at around 200 m2/h, depending, however on the type and quantity of mesh being processed and the openings. A higher throughput can be implemented at the customer’s request. Charging with longitudinal and transverse wires for flexible mesh production from coil takes places automatically, and the newly developed DRA-M multiple rotary straightening and cutting system ensures a stable workflow. For more information, see BFT 12/2019 pp. 14-15 and BFT 02/2020 pp. 180-181.
New development 2020 – the DRA-16-M
The DRA-16-M – a new wire-straightening and cutting system for straightening, cutting and bending reinforcing wire from coil – was presented on time for the wire 2020 trade show. The new development is designed particularly to positively influence a streamlined daily production routine. Its broad processing spectrum covers wire diameters of 6/8/10/12/14/16 mm, with six rotors to ensure reliable production flow. The production lengths range from a minimum of 500 to a maximum of 14,000 mm. The straightening speed can be controlled up to 140 m/min. The straightening system can be supplemented by a double-bending unit for production of various bending shapes.
The standard design with the DRA-16-M is for right-hand operation: i.e., as seen from the control desk. Charging of the machine with wire takes place from the right side, with removal of the rods from the left side. The machine was fitted with right-turning reels with adjustable reel mounting for coils with inside diameters from 370 mm to 900 mm and outside diameters up to 1,200 mm. The coil weight is approx. 3,000 kg, and is optionally available to enable a weight of 5,000 kg. For a detailed report, see BFT 03/2020 pp. 32-33.
The BSM cage welding machine is another highlight
The BSM cage welding machine for the manhole and concrete pipe industry is another highlight in the production program of the engineering company based in the Allgäu region in Germany. The BSM cage welding machines ensure high productivity, flexibility as well as low maintenance and energy costs. The enormous cage dia-meter range of the BSM begins at Ø 220 mm and ends at Ø 5.200 mm. Dimensional changes for the inner and outer cages take place by simple push of a button. The number of longitudinal wires varies, depending on the design, between 12 and 48 for cage lengths from 2,000 mm to 7,000 mm and assures precise and straight cages. The reliability and long service life of the BSM are impressive owing to the stable construction, very high productivity and flexibility – as well as very low maintenance and energy costs. Changes in dimension at the push of a button and linkage programs for the inner and outer cage are just as possible as are the tightest production tolerances for precise and straight cages in conformity with any standard. In addition, there is the high degree of operator friendliness by touch panel and IPC/PLC control.
A fully automated production process is possible on request through various variants of automated line wire feed as well as different versions for the basket removal and handling up to the joining of double baskets. It is possible to equip a buffer as well as the pipe production system.
On the occasion of a visit of the BFT Editor-in-Chief in Kisslegg, mbk Sales Director Michael Raich explained: “We are very proud to have achieved in the course of almost 60 years of company history such an outstanding reputation worldwide. Whether on the American continent, in South East Asia, among others, or here in Germany virtually in front of our own door, Haba-Beton, e.g., has already ordered several machines as well as retrofits from us., many customers rely on quality from mbk.“
Milestones in the company’s history:
1961 – Establishment of the company by Georg Pfender as a turnery
1968 – The name of the company changed to Georg Pfender Maschinenbau
1970 – In the early 70s, the first welding machines are delivered throughout Europe
1976 – Change of name to mbk Maschinenbau GmbH, as it is known today
1980 – Move into the new company building, the present location
1981 – The first machine is delivered overseas (America)
1985 – Pfender takes over from his father, Georg Pfender, and becomes head of
1989 – Extension of administration and mechanical production
1992 – The company’s founder, Georg Pfender, dies
1993 – Extension of the production spectrum to machines for manufacture of paint rollers
and paint brushes
1999 – New construction of the assembly hall for machines for manufacturer of paint
rollers and paint brushes
2003 – Upgrading and extension of the production hall
2007 – Completion and move into the new assembly hall with administrative wing
2009 – Establishment of the subsidiary mbk Sales & Service Inc. in the USA
2011 – Mario Pfender joins the company and is appointed additional managing director
2011 – 50th anniversary of the company and certification according to
DIN EN ISO:9001:2008
2012 – Renewal of partnership with HawkeyePedershaab and acquiring the rights to the
Cageflex product line
2012 – Establishment of the Russian subsidiary mbk Komplekt
2015 – Sale of the paint roller and paint brush division
2015 – Begin of license production of the ISM-250 cage welding machine in India
2016 – Product development of an MSM-Box line for box culvert production
2017 – Development of the LSM-C for conical masts and BSM-ROR (round-oval-round)
for material-optimized pipe production
2017 – Mario Pfender becomes sole managing director
2018 – Introduction of the flexible MSM-M mesh welding system for the precast concrete industry and further development of the RSM cage welding machine for driven pile production
2019 – Development of the ASM for production of bored piles with flexible amount of
2020 – New DRA-16-M wire straightening and cutting system brought to the market