Precast elements from Cotia for the Brazilian construction industry 

M3SP will be producing up to 400,000 m² of solid precast elements per year for the Brazilian market. For this purpose, one of the most modern precast plants in South America has been built in Cotia near São Paulo. Its production line was ­supplied by Vollert, the German equipment manufacturer.

M3SP is considered to be one of the technology leaders  in Brazil when it comes to innovative solutions for residential and industrial construction. Established in 1999 by its current managing directors, Marmo Pádua, Luiz Norimatsu and Marcos Roberto de Oliveira, the company specializes in construction projects that require up to 150,000 m² of precast walls and floor slabs.

M3SP precast elements are used to construct affordable housing but also offices, shopping malls, school and university buildings. One example of these activities is a multifunctional building that was completed on the exercise grounds of the Associação Desportiva Policial Militar in São Paulo, using solid precast elements with spans of over 20 m. At another site, a 15-story office building is currently under construction where 2,000 m² are completed per week.

State-of-the-art equipment and machinery for a wide range of precast elements

Previously, the building materials supplier based in São Paulo had been exclusively using stationary production equipment. In July 2015, the company’s first-ever highly automated precast plant was commissioned in Cotia. This facility is a true milestone in the Brazilian construction industry with respect to its degree of automation, production output and precast element quality.

“We are using cutting-edge production equipment to manufacture our wide range of elements to a high quality standard and to achieve the required production output. Vollert had fully convinced us of their technology and expertise already when submitting the first 3D simulation models,” says Marmo Pádua, General Director at M3SP. “Also, it was crucial that we were able to cooperate with Wesley Gomes, the direct Brazilian Vollert contact based in Belo Horizonte”. Both the production line concept and the manufacturing process steps were designed to be very flexible so that production output can be adjusted if and when required. “The new production line is also suitable for producing sandwich and façade panels, which would not have been possible if we continued to rely on a purely stationary process,” Padua adds.

Vollert plant technology
and Ratec magnet shutters­

A highly automated circulation system ensures streamlined workflows, enabling shuttering for precast elements as large as 13 m with an area load of up to 250 kg/m². Precast elements can be up to 3.50 m high. Formwork pallets are exclusively produced in Brazil, conforming to highest German technology standards. “This is where Vollert ensured a comprehensive knowledge transfer, quite literally ‘German Engineering‘ made in Brazil,” comments Wesley Gomes, CEO of Vollert do Brasil. State-of-the-art equipment ensures highly productive processes, including a fully automated pallet and shutter cleaning system, the concreting unit, a low-frequency compaction station, and a stacker crane for the storage and retrieval of precast elements from the curing chamber. “The accelerated curing process alone made it possible to significantly shorten cycle times between concrete pouring and formwork stripping, which leads to a tangible cost reduction,” explains Gomes.

A CAD/CAM-controlled Smart Set shuttering robot guarantees accurate positioning of shuttering profiles and plotting of element contours. This multifunctional robot operates at very high axial accelerations of up to 5 m/s2 and thus shortens this work step considerably. Combined with a gripper that can be rotated about +/- 180°, this system ensures a maximum positioning accuracy deviation of +/- 0.4 mm. A shuttering system that Ratec developed specifically for M3SP ensures smooth shutter placement. 3,280 m long, 100 mm high side rails and profiles for longitudinal divisions of the shutter surface make it possible to produce precast elements in many different dimensions. The Ratec Automatic System firmly positions the shutters on the pallet at the push of a button.

Personal visit of managing directors

On the occasion of the Concrete Show South America, managing directors Hans-Jörg Vollert (Vollert) and Jörg Reymann (Ratec) and representatives of several prospects from Brazil and Spanish-speaking neighboring countries personally visited the Cotia precast plant.

“Vollert has been the right technology partner for us. Also, the Swabian equipment manufacturer initiated the complete funding of the project by procuring a Hermes guarantee issued by the Federal Republic of Germany,” Marmo Pádua, of M3SP, gladly states. “For us, the new precast plant in Cotia is the starting point for further growth. We will establish previously unknown quality standards in Brazil. The new equipment is suitable for supplying smaller construction projects but also the biggest construction contractors in Brazil – even on a nationwide scale.”

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