Schwörer Bausysteme GmbH is manufacturing high-quality basements, floor slabs, precast stairs, customized concrete elements, prefabricated garages and steel structures for commercial and industrial construction as well residential construction. Now, they are forcing automation in the precast concrete plant extensively, that is to say by the installation of further equipment of Progress Maschinen & Automation AG, a company of the Progress Group.
The new Form Master combines the functions of a shuttering, deshuttering and storage robot in a single machine and is characterized by the fully automated positioning of magnets and mounting parts.
Schwörer Bausysteme GmbH is part of the Schwörer Group and can look back on a successful development. In 1964, the Schwörer company was founded as a mere quarry operation and has developed considerably over the decades. In 1992, a pallet carousel system was installed; in 2000, Schwörer Bausysteme GmbH was founded, and this company was expanded by a steel plant in 2011. Today, a workforce of 80 people in total – including five trainees – is working at the Haigerloch-Stetten location. Here, primarily customized prefabricated basements are manufactured for SchwörerHaus.
At the beginning of 2021, the following Progress machines modernize the precast concrete plant: shuttering robot, deshuttering robot and storage robot as well as a pallet cleaning device optimize the shuttering process; the Pluristar is used as a multifunction system in steel preparation.
Everything from a single source
For manufacturing precast concrete elements, the company operates a carousel plant for double walls and floor slabs. The products are primarily manufactured for the Schwörer prefabricated house as well as for building contractors and private customers. In addition, sandwich walls are offered for free sale. Not only floor slabs and double walls are bestsellers, but also the innovative own product, the timber-concrete composite floor system. Advantage of the latter: The floor heating can be incorporated in the system, with a 20cm-thick insulation being integrated directly. This allows for a thick insulation without any negative impact. The group of companies looks forward to a productive 2021 and cannot complain about a lack of orders in spite of the pandemic. No matter whether in Berlin, South Tyrol, Spain or Switzerland: all prefabricated basements for the SchwörerHaus prefabricated houses are manufactured in Haigerloch-Stetten.
„If a good external insulation has been applied to the basement as well, everybody thinks that the basement is heated,“ says plant manager Karl-Heinz Schneider and adds: „Hence, we do not offer a classical basement for storing potatoes. Beer must be put in the fridge.“
The other important sector at Schwörer Bausysteme is the field of steel construction. Ranging from industrial and commercial construction, mechanical engineering, plant construction and even vehicle construction – almost everything related to steel is manufactured at Schwörer.
The all-in-one shuttering solution: Form Master
Schwörer uses the fully automated robot system for the production of high-quality precast concrete elements as well as to increase the degree of automation in the production process. The Form Master is a shuttering robot, deshuttering robot and storage robot. All shuttering work steps are carried out in an automated, accurate process using state-of-the-art technology and customized to the needs of Schwörer. The patented Infinity Line Notch-Free shuttering system reduces manual shuttering work and provides for shuttering with centimeter precision without any filling elements. The elimination of polystyrene not only provides for material savings, but also serves the environment.
Now, Schwörer is operating with a customized plant that convinces by its technical innovations. It was particularly tricky to find a solution regarding an optimum adhesion of the magnets placed for the mounting sleeves and electric installation parts. They serve the purpose of fixing the push-pull props in the assembly of double walls. The unique Form Master, in addition, increases the degree of automation at Schwörer, as it positions Primo magnets for small-sized electric installation parts according to CAD data. This option guarantees a consistent data flow. Because of the elimination of manual working steps, the Form Master ensures more safety and an increase in quality as far as the correctness of their quantity and their positioning on the pallet are concerned. In addition, Primo mineral fiber boards which are primarily used for large-sized electric installation parts can also be positioned automatically.
For further optimization of the shuttering process, a new pallet cleaning device of Ebawe, a company of the Progress Group too, was installed. The pallet is scanned and the shutters, magnets of the mounting sleeves and electric installation parts are removed and stored fully automatically. As soon as the pallet has passed the cleaning device, any concrete remains are transported away by means of a rubbish conveyor belt and the pallet itself is loaded again by the shuttering robot.
Pluristar: One machine for all steps in steel processing from the coil
In the field of processing reinforcement and steel, Schwörer Bausysteme GmbH has been relying on an additional machine supplied by Progress since the beginning of 2021. The Pluristar multifunction machine combines the functions of an automated stirrup bender, a straightening machine as well as a double bending machine. The machine can process wire diameters of 6 – 16 mm and is equipped with a combined straightening system consisting of a roller straightening unit and a rotor straightening unit. This unique combination allows for the flexible manufacture of stirrups, straight rebars and rebars with large bends, thus covering the entire reinforcement steel processing from the coil. Principal customer is the parent company, being supplied with reinforcement completely tailored for the Schwörer basement prefabrication.
Many years of successful cooperation with Progress
Machinery of the Brixen-based company were used at Schwörer Bausysteme GmbH for the first time in 2011. At that time, the straightening, cutting and bending machine of type MSR was put into operation and likewise has a share in a cost-efficient production until today. The MSR operates from the coil directly, optimizing the production flow.
In combination with the Wire Center, which processes reinforcement steel from the coil fully automatically and positions transverse reinforcement with and without spacers as well as longitudinal reinforcement according to CAD specifications, provides for more streamlined manufacturing processes and increased production outputs. Welding and cutting of lattice girders is assumed by the GTA – a clean, low-noise machine, anyhow ensuring high quality and high capacity.
Focus on the workforce
The new automation offensive is an additional development step for Schwörer.
„It is more important to relieve the employees from heavy manual work and to support their health than to save manpower,“ states plant manager Schneider and adds: „Indeed, the workflow is faster and more automated, and the solution for positioning the magnets for mounting sleeves and electric sockets is an awesome step towards the future, but the main objective is to facilitate the work of the employees.“
Open to modernization and automation
In 2011, the company made a decision in favor a Progress machine and has never regretted this decision, according to their own statement: „We have backed the right horse,“ affirms Schneider his decision still after ten years. Due to the excellent cooperation, the decision was again taken in favor of Progress when it came to the new investment. As far as the business management is concerned, Schwörer is of the opinion that modernization and automation are most welcome, which is always advocated and supported by the general manager, Johannes Schwörer – also as Karl-Heinz Schneider, plant manager and authorized representative, ordered a new machine, the Pluristar, after more than 20 years, sending the old one off into well-deserved retirement, because of ever more frequent repair and maintenance works.
Since the straightening and cutting machine, the automation of reinforcement and the lattice girder processing machine were already supplied by Progress, the expansion of the cooperation was a logical step for Schneider. „The service works perfectly and not only the machines are of the highest quality but above all the employees act absolutely exemplary. They always listen to questions or problems and never try to put you off.“
What does the future hold?
Thanks to the positive business outlook, Schwörer is also planning further modernization steps for the next few years. They intend to purchase an automated concrete distributor so as to modernize the carousel plant completely. „Now, we are at 80 percent and we will still manage the rest,“ Schneider states.