Betonwerk Schuster GmbH see themselves as a reliable producer and supplier of concrete noise barrier systems, customized precast concrete elements, concrete manhole systems, wastewater treatment plants and ready-mixed concrete. From their company and factory location in Cunewalde in Saxony/Germany, the company supplies products for applications in the field of noise protection, individually designed precast elements, train platform systems (Q1 supplier of the German Railway), panels, components for sewer construction and ready-mixed concrete.
The company history dates back to the year of 1952. The former brickyard developed into one of the most innovative companies in the Upper Lusatia region, which is producing high-quality precast concrete elements for customers in Germany and ready-mixed concrete with a present workforce of 95 people – including three apprentices and two bachelor students. In 1990, the company has specialized in building construction and civil engineering; on an overall premises of 5 hectares, manufacturing take place in a factory hall with a floor space of about 5,000 m². For 15 years now, Sabine Schuster has solely been responsible for the management and Thomas Matthes (Dipl.-Ing.) has been plant manager since 2014.
Flagship noise barrier elements
Betonwerk Schuster is a member of Deutscher Verband für Lärmschutz an Verkehrswegen e.V. (DVLV – German Association for Noise Protection on Traffic Routes) and, not least for this reason, they regard their precast concrete noise barrier elements as the company‘s flagship. This segment has continuously been extended since the beginning of the 1990s. Various dimensions and colors/surfaces are offered depending on the customer‘s requirements. The comprehensive list of references ranges from noise barrier elements installed in the vicinity to complete noise barrier systems used in traffic infrastructure construction, such as at the Nuthetal highway junction (BAB 115 connection to the southern A10 highway near Berlin) and other road and railroad projects throughout Germany and in the Netherlands.
The company is manufacturing absorbing and reflecting elements up to the highest sound absorption class 4 in accordance with DIN EN 1793-1 with >11 dB sound absorption. The noise barrier elements comply with the requirements of ZTV-ING, ZTV-Lsw 06 as well as the regulations of DB Netz RIL–800.2001 and consist of a load-bearing concrete panel in accordance with structural requirements and a sound absorbing lightweight concrete. The product range is completed by supplementary components such as concrete columns, baseboard elements and special components for noise barrier walls.
The noise barrier elements made of special prestressed concrete and wood of building material class B1 in accordance with DIN 4102 are a specific product of the company: they are manufactured as large-sized coffered panels as cladding of noise barriers, featuring a high bending tensile strength and low element weight, and obtain sound insulation class B3 according to DIN EN 1793 and sound absorption class A2 and A3 according to DIN EN 1793-1. The elements are produced in a „wet on wet“ process with load-bearing panel and absorbing layer made of prestressed concrete and wood (profiled or smooth). Low maintenance and repair properties as well as full recyclability are additional advantages of the elements.
Production of all common types of concrete manholes
Standard manholes of DN 1000 to DN 2500 are the backbone of manhole production at Betonwerk Schuster. A high degree of flexibility allows adapting them to almost any situation in underground construction and to manufacture them in all SU types differing in design of channel and set-off:
BB manhole: with concrete channel and concrete set-off, particularly suitable for stormwater systems;
SB manhole: with an open channel made of vitrified clay and concrete set-off, as a cost-effective option in cases with aggressive media such as wastewater without high mechanical loads and with no high risk of gushing water.
SK manhole: with an open channel made of vitrified clay and clinker set-off, primarily for aggressive media such as wastewater at low mechanical loads and high exposure to the risk of gushing water;
KK manhole: with clinker channel and clinker set-off (with clinker bricks for the entire element), suitable for high loads in the field of sewer systems as well as gushing water;
GU manhole: manhole base made of GU concrete, suitable for high loads in the field of sewer systems as well as gushing water;
GFRP/Epoxy: lining applied at the factory, as an option.
In addition, the company offers collection chambers of DN 600, polygonal manholes in custom-made design and Predl Infra manholes of DN 1000 to DN 1500.
For all types of standard manholes, the channel can be produced up to the crown (> dR/2) or up to the impost (= dR/2). It is also possible to manufacture all manhole base sections as a rough cast with or without socket and rough openings, respectively. In addition, they supply supplementary elements for the construction of manholes such as manhole risers and cones, (foot) step irons/stirrups, transition plates, manhole covers, seals and much more.
Modernization of the plant equipment
Other concrete products, such as column and wall elements used in hall construction, L-shaped retaining wall elements, beams, „Schublo“ block units, bucket foundations, crane weights and wave breakers as well as complete train platform elements in modular design and precast bridge superstructures, complete the product portfolio of Betonwerk Schuster. The production of ready-mixed concrete is another pillar of the company.
This is made possible by modern production equipment and technology, as plant manager Thomas Matthes reports: „After the denationalization in 1990, we regularly invested in new production equipment. Today, we have one of the most modern concrete plants in the new German Federal States. Our eight cement silos and 16 aggregate silos, for example, ensure a production independent of the weather.“ When asked about the manufacturers of machinery and equipment as well as suppliers, the civil engineer continued to explain: „At our factory, you will find a wide range because, depending on the product type to be produced, we have chosen the most appropriate supplier in our opinion. Hence, the carousel system comes from Ebawe, concrete distributors and tilting tables from Avermann, the bucket conveyor from Dudik, the battery molds from Construx and the manhole riser machine from Schlüsselbauer. As far as mixing technology is concerned, three mixers of Teka as well as one each of Eirich and Pemat are working at our factory; the mixing plant control system was supplied by Dorner Electronic. Other suppliers involved are Harold Scholz (color pigments), Cemex for cement and BASF for concrete admixtures.“
In addition to this, Betonwerk Schuster maintains close co-operations with universities and other research institutes, above all with the Chemnitz University of Technology and Dresden University of Applied Sciences.
High degree of social commitment
Apart from the actual concrete production, the company is characterized by an extraordinarily high degree of social commitment: „Right from the beginning, a good working atmosphere was very important for us,“ general manager, Sabine Schuster, points out. „The employees regularly receive trainings and can attend interesting advanced training courses; moreover, we have a company canteen. Along with this workplace measures, the cohesion among the staff is strengthened by events such as the Bautzen ‚company run‘, an advanced driver course and the annual company Christmas party.“ In addition, Betonwerk Schuster gets involved with societies and sports activities of the employees such as crossminton, autocross, animal protection, riding clubs, etc.