The Thai construction industry has grown rapidly over the last 20 years. Even though Covid-19 has slowed down the growth, the boom continues, especially around the megacity Bangkok. A pioneer in the industrial pre-production of precast concrete elements in Thailand is DSC Product. At the beginning of 2020, the company expanded its building materials portfolio to include prefabricated solid walls.
Wittawat Pornkul, Chairman of DSC Product Company Limited, is one of the visionaries in the construction industry in Thailand. As a subsidiary of the DCON Group, the precast concrete specialist has been producing slab elements and special concrete components for the most renowned property developers in Thailand since the 1990s, as well as for real estate projects of Orrada Company Limited, the real estate development company of the DCON Group. „We mainly supply the products for low rise commercial buildings and residential areas for today‘s modern Thai family. We also have DCON Prime in Rattanathibet Sai Ma district in the heart of Bangkok, a 38 floors high-rise condominium project. It is the only condominium in the area that has 3 things: direct connection to metro system, panoramic river view and an infinity edge swimming pool on the roof terrace“ describes Wittawat Pornkul. In addition, the CO2 footprint of the building has been reduced by 25% and water consumption by 50%. The residential buildings have excellent thermal properties and are also extremely weather-resistant“.
In order to realize such construction projects, building systems with industrially prefabricated concrete elements have become firmly established in Thailand since the 2000s. Politicians also support this with targeted urban development programmes. „In order to create more living space and realize true quantum leaps in terms of architecture, construction quality, cost efficiency and the time factor, the precast construction method offers significant advantages,“ explains Steffen Schmitt, Executive Sales Director at the concrete works specialist Vollert. „DSC Product recognized this early on.“ Whereas customers and construction projects were previously supplied mainly with floor slabs, hollow core slabs and lightweight blocks, the decision was made at the beginning of 2018 to expand the construction portfolio to include pre-produced solid walls. „Customer demand has multiplied in recent years due to the many advantages. We wanted to find an answer to this,“ says Wittawat Pornkul.
Extensive know-how - from plant layout to BIM integration
„Both project partners from Vollert and DSC Product worked in a highly professional and extremely motivated manner from the very beginning. Different points of view were certainly also discussed controversially“, says Wittawat Pornkul. The developed plant concept comprises an annual capacity of 180,000 sqm of solid concrete parts. Various production technology concepts such as a purely stationary tilting table production or battery formwork were discussed in detail, and the pros and cons weighed up controversially. For optimum plant automation with maximum return on profit, the decision was made in favor of Vollert‘s Central Shifter Plant (CSP) concept. The heart of the system is a central shifter platform, which serves all machines and processes. The plant layout is designed to be extremely compact on a floor space of 4,000 sqm. The proximity to the customers was also important. Strategically located in Lumlukka district of Pathum Thani Province, the nearby construction sites can be reached in just a few minutes with optimum traffic.
Software integration played another important role in the planning and concept phase. Today, the Building Information Modelling (BIM) planning method has become established worldwide. „Residential building complexes such as the DCON Prime building project are initially created virtually in 3D. All important data of the walls and floor slabs is produced then flow directly into the production engineering processes as well as into the preliminary planning of the construction site procedures. In addition, the BIM construction details are accessible at any time on a digital data platform for architects, structural engineers or electrical engineers“, describes Steffen Schmitt from Vollert. „This also had to be taken into account on the production and control side. We have a great deal of know-how in this area on the automation side. In markets such as Thailand, we always strike a balance between maximum integration and maximum investment security for the customer.“
Central shifter platform as heart of the compact precast concrete production line
„An optimum degree of automation, absolutely flexible throughput processes and state-of-the-art machines ‚made in Germany‘ were the focus at DSC Products,“ explains Daniel Borchardt, responsible Project Manager at Vollert. Up to 600 sqm of solid concrete parts have been produced daily since May 2020. Wall widths of up to 3.50 m and wall thicknesses of up to 200 mm are produced. The building materials supplier can not only supply the large-scale construction projects in Bangkok, but can also react flexibly to customer enquiries from the entire region of South East Asia.
For the precise marking of the contours of the walls, a Smart Plot large-scale plotter applies paint according to the CAD/CAM specifications before the wall surface to be concreted is manually stripped and the reinforcement mats and lattice girders are inserted. A Smart Laser precision laser is used to display the positions of the supports and built-in parts for quality assurance purposes. A Smart Cast concrete spreader applies the precisely specified amount of concrete, while hydraulically operated flat slides can be used to cut out individual sections, for example for electrical or sanitary recesses. A Smart Compact vibrating station compacts the concrete at low frequency via 10 synchronized external vibrators. After the concreting process, the central shifter platform moves the freshly concreted wall to the line opposite the production side for the first pre-hardening of the concrete. The surface of the solid concrete parts is then finished by an electric Vario Smooth rotary trowel. This is done here on two parallel transport lines. „On a total of 20 hardening and finishing stations, which also serve as additional intermediate buffer stations, a wide variety of solid walls can be produced simultaneously, depending on the construction project and the degree of capacity utilization,“ explains Kawin Worakanchana. „This makes us extremely flexible.“
Vollert Control Center as the „heart“ of precast concrete production
Automated machine technology ensures a consistently high quality level in solid wall production at DSC Product. The production control system used is also decisive for maximum line productivity. The Vollert Control Center (VCC) is the central interface for the design data from the BIM model and the existing ERP system and machine technology. Throughput times and automated pallet allocation are permanently optimized, all machines are controlled, data is automatically tracked and processed, retrieval sequences and curing times are managed and a large number of statistics are made available. „It is therefore often referred to as the heart of the modern precast concrete plant,“ says Steffen Schmitt of Vollert. „Both factors, the machine technology and an intelligent plant control system, were for us the cornerstones for the optimal start-up of precast concrete part production at DSC Product at the beginning of 2020“.
Specially designed for Thailand
„With Vollert as our know-how and technology partner, we have established a sustainable and future-proof precast concrete production. Even though Covid-19 is currently experiencing strong fluctuations in demand and markets are unstable, we are looking positively to the coming months and years.”
Vollert Anlagenbau GmbH
Stadtseestr. 12, 74189 Weinsberg/Germany
+49 7134 52-0, , www.vollert.de