Precast concrete construction in the DNA of MC Prefabbricati

As part of the “2018 Technical Mission to Italy”, a study trip organized by CSG Engineering, the participants from twelve different countries visited MC Prefabbricati, a producer of precast concrete elements for the building construction and civil engineering sector comprising mainly architectural concrete elements with a wide variety of high-quality surfaces.

The corporate identity of MC Prefabbricati, one of the market leaders in the Italian precast concrete industry, is characterized by a highly skilled approach: the company’s claim of “Industrializing Architecture” represents the successful marriage of architectural design and a highly automated manufacturing system.

The corporate group further comprises: M3 Ingegneria to provide an all-inclusive design service and specialized consultancy for all technical solutions in the multi-faceted field of precast applications; Costruzioni Nova to actively invest in the real estate market and to select strategic properties in the industrial segment and high-quality residential solutions; MC Prefa Suisse to expand the company’s scope of business beyond the Alps and grow into a valid competitor in the European market; and, finally, MC Manini Prefabbricati operating in the Emilia region, with a remarkable blend of technical expertise on company premises covering in excess of 100,000 m² in Somaglia (LO).

Operations manager Andrea Merlo says: “We at MC Prefabbricati have virtually absorbed precast concrete construction in our DNA. In our almost 50 years of history, we have acquired an excellent reputation especially in the field of architectural concrete. Our base of distinguished customers includes internationally renowned companies such as Bosch, Dolce & Gabbana, FedEx, or Leroy Merlin.”

Production of high-quality precast elements for almost 50 years

The company’s history began in 1970 when Carla Mari and Vinicio Cera founded MC Prefabbricati SNC, which as of today still has its principal place of business in Cardano al Campo (Varese). Additional important milestones include certification of the quality system in accordance with UNI EN ISO 9001 in 1992, as well as the investment in a new plant in Bellinzago Novarese despite the economic crisis, and the right to apply the CE marking to the company’s products in 2007. MC Prefabbricati became a full-fledged joint-stock corporation in 2008. Approaching its 50-year anniversary in 2020, the company will continue to invest in order to strengthen its position in the precast concrete market by researching new materials and engineering solutions, and by continuously improving the top-performing flagship products.

Since 1970, the production center in Cardano has worked tirelessly alongside renowned professionals, always responding to market requirements. Covering more than 60,000 m², the Cardano plant is the core of the MC Prefabbricati group. A total staff of around 200 (incl. 80 employees in Bellinzago Novarese) produce precast concrete elements for all types of building construction and civil engineering applications. The company’s showcase products include the V-shaped roof beam, a building system that is quite popular with many customers.

Having a strong base in the region, the precast producer purchases its source materials such as aggregate, white and gray cement, reinforcing steel and concrete admixtures mainly from suppliers based in their immediate vicinity; the majority of its customers are also based within a radius of around 300 km (in Northern Italy and the Swiss canton of Ticino).

Finished surfaces thanks to the Bellacrete plant

The manufacturing technology used to produce the concrete elements including reinforcement has been mostly provided by Italian equipment supplier Novatec srl. Since a considerable proportion of the precast concrete elements is produced for architecturalprojects, the surfaces are given a high-quality final finish using a Bellacrete plant from Maema srl.

This is a multifunctional special machine comprising a mobile bridge and one or several heads for processing the surface of flat or curved concrete panels both on the upper side and along the edges. The concrete panels finished using this process enhance the esthetic value; the surfaces can be bush hammered finished, brushed, flamed, smoothed or polished. It is possible to bring out the natural stone aggregate contained in the composition of the panel in accordance with customer requirements.

The Maema plant supplied to MC Prefabbricati in 2008 is a four-head machine suitablefor medium production capacities. It is fitted with different optional features in order to realize connections by means of CNC interpolation, for example, or to chamfer or otherwise treat the sides of the panels. The Bellacrete machine is additionally equipped with tilting tables which can be used to move the panels from a vertical to a horizontal position and vice versa. This avoids both critical stresses inside the panel and operating procedures posing a hazard to production staff.

Production lines for wall and floor slabs from Novatec

The production lines for the flat concrete elements were supplied by Novatec; they are a cost-effective method for manufacturing wall and floor slabs with standard or prestressed reinforcement. With this system, it is possible to vary the width, length and thickness of each element. Each production line comprises a 10-mm high-quality plate, placed opposite the casting, which can be provided with the specified length and width.

Each element can be fitted with side walls that can be tilted manually or hydraulically in order to allow varying thicknesses. All connections between movable parts of the formwork (e.g. at the joint between the floor slab and side walls) which involve opening and closing actions are provided with metal or rubber seals in order to prevent the entry of fresh concrete material.

An efficient pneumatic or electric vibrator with variable frequency ensures optimum concrete compaction and thorough finishing of each panel. The plants can optionally be fitted with a heating and insulating system to speed up curing of the concrete element.

Technical Mission to Italy – a study trip

As part of the “2018 Technical Mission to Italy”, a study trip organized by CSG Engineering, the participants from twelve different countries visited MC Prefabbricati. Maurizio Frasani, CEO at CSG, expressed his delight: “One of the goals of the Technical Mission is to demonstrate the high manufacturing standards of the Italian precast concrete industry to our international visitors. The outstanding surface quality of the concrete elements produced at MC Prefabbricati, to give just one example, has provided impressive evidence to that effect.”

This was confirmed by Arturo Sotomayor (Owner of Escala Premoldados/Argentina), Jones Zaniratti de Oliveira (Managing Director at Engemold/Brazil), and Rodolfo Mion (Owner of M-Con/Canada) from overseas, as well as by Luís Pinto (Managing Director at Montest/Portugal), Daniel Hermosilla Hermida (Managing Director at Rodiñas/Spain), and Ahmed al Sayed (Director at Alfanar/Saudi Arabia) from Europe and the Middle East, to name but a few of the participants.

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