RBW: Constant investments secure the competitiveness

The continuous further development of the machine fleet and the use of modern technology are essential for the success of any manufacturing company. The precast concrete industry isn’t any exception in this regard. Delivery times, flexibility, and quality have an influence on success, in particular, on the German market that is characterized by high cost pressure and competitive pressure.

RBW Rohrdorfer Betonwerke GmbH & Co. KG has already been pursuing the aim of keeping their five locations in Bavaria at the cutting edge of technology for several years now. As part of Rohrdorfer Group, operating with a workforce of 1,600 people at more than 120 locations in Germany, Austria, Italy, and Hungary in the building materials industry, Rohrdorfer Betonwerke are manufacturing double walls and precast floor slabs, solid balconies, prefabricated garages, and precast stairs for the German and Austrian markets and is continuously investing in its machinery and equipment.

The Lanhofen plant

An example for the permanent further development of the production processes is the precast concrete plant for the manufacture of precast floor slabs at the company headquarters in Lanhofen in Lower Bavaria: It has already been modernized with new equipment for the third time since 2013. This was started with the shuttering and deshuttering robot, followed by a lattice girder welding machine in 2016 and an automatic stirrup bender in 2017. Progress Maschinen & Automation, a company of the Progress Group, developed and installed the said solutions.

“We have already been working together with Progress Group intensively since the new construction of our precast concrete plant in Berglern, which started operations in 2009,” says Manfred Platzer, general manager of Rohrdofer Betonwerke. “Because of our very positive experience and the fact that the equipment itself was convincing, it was obvious for us to take a further cooperation into account.”

Form Master: Improving quality and efficiency

The Form Master shuttering and deshuttering robot, installed in 2013, was the first step taken towards a highly automated production process. “We had problems with the perpendicularity of the elements,” recalls general manager Platzer. “Moreover, there was a shortage of skilled workers as well as low efficiency in the process of shuttering and deshuttering.” The new robot solved these problems: The shutters are precisely placed in an automated process according to the CAD-CAM specifications and removed again, with accelerating the respective working steps considerably.

The VGA Versa fully automatic lattice girder welding machine, installed in 2016, led to an additional improvement in efficiency at RBW. Thanks to the automatic height and diameter adjustment during production, it is possible to manufacture different lattice girders without any time-consuming changeover. “There is nothing comparable available on the market at present,” states Platzer, being very satisfied. The high degree of flexibility entails another additional advantage: “Due to the fact that we can produce just in time, we do not need any storage yard.” According to him, this is particularly important if they produce for inventory.

EBA S automatic stirrup bender

The EBA S automatic stirrup bender, supplied only this year, had been an item on the company’s wish list for quite a long time, according to the general manager. The reasons are simple, Platzer states, “One person at most is required for the operation, moreover, the speed of the machine is unbeatable. In addition, the EBA S is in the position to manufacture even special parts quickly.” The high productivity of the machine is achieved by fast changing of strands and the automatic straightening adjustment. In short: this is an important profitability factor.

The healthy order situation, at present, ensures that the production of precast floor slabs is running at full capacity in Lanhofen. According to the general manager, the forecasts are more than satisfactory as well. One reason for the success of the company, Platzer attributes to the modernization measures which were implemented successfully. He is very satisfied with the implementation, stating: “You notice immediately that Progress Maschinen & Automation is closely connected with production. The pragmatic and fast, while yet innovative approach made collaboration very easy for us.”

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