Petra Pavaje, a member of Romanian Florea Grup, commissioned its fourth concrete block plant in July 2022. The new production site is located in Roman, Neamt County. Together with the first three factories in Alba Iulia, Ploiesti and Arad, Petra Pavaje represents an investment of over 40 million euros. It is thus safe to say that Florea Grup has implemented one of the most ambitious expansion programs of a domestic company in the manufacture of construction materials.
Sustainable cooperation and growth
Florea Grup and Hess Group have been cooperating successfully for several years. In an increasingly competitive environment, it is important to keep abreast of current developments and be equipped with the latest technology. The Florea Grup management team thus appreciate the opportunity to expand and modernize existing facilities with the aim of installing cutting-edge equipment. Since the commissioning of the first plant in 2017, equipment and machinery have been constantly upgraded at all sites to expand the capabilities of manufacturers. The quality and availability of spare parts is also very important to Florea.
“You need three ingredients to manufacture a high-quality product: top-class raw materials, cutting-edge technology and expertise in the field. All three aspects have been taken into account in the launch of Petra Pavaje, and we are confident that we will continue to be able to provide our customers with products offering superior value for money,” says Marcel Florea, founder of Florea Grup.
The group’s capital expenditure for the third and fourth concrete plant is mainly geared towards expanding its regional capacity in Romania, with a particular focus on further developing the market in Eastern Romania.
Third concrete block and paver plant in Arad
Florea Grup started constructing its third concrete block and paver plant in spring 2021. Located in the community of Vladimirescu, in the Arad County, the site represents an investment of more than 10 million euros on a total industrial area of 100,000 m². Together with the capacity expansion, the Arad plant brings an important logistical benefit to the company since the spacious warehouse allows for building product stocks as well as for storing quantities ordered by customers who buy paving stones in the off-season.
The third plant in Arad was inaugurated on 23 September 2021. The technology used is state-of-the-art and was developed in cooperation with Hess Group. The technological process in the factory is fully automated to ensure impeccable product quality.
After commissioning the third facility, Florea Grup reached a maximum production capacity of 18,000 m² per day. At the Capital Awards Gala, the project received an award in the “Construction Company of the Year” category, honoring the most remarkable expansion in the construction materials industry in 2021. At the “Performers of the Year 2021” Capital Gala, awards were handed to entrepreneurs who, within a single year, made a major contribution to developing the business environment in Romania.
Fourth concrete block and paver plant in Neamt
This is the most modern and efficient plant for the production of blocks, pavers and other concrete elements in the eastern part of the country. The production sequence is fully automated by a process that integrates a number of industrial robots. Hess Group’s scope of supply includes the latest RH 1500-4 concrete block machine as well as the washing unit, board buffering and dry side handling system. These well-known plant components make it possible to offer the Petra Pavaje product range in this region as well. High expectations are placed on the new plant in terms of availability and product quality.
One of the benefits of the plant is that the customer can deploy its employees in the individual locations as and when required, thus making up for staff shortages. Another major advantage for Florea Grup is the very short training and induction period for the employees working at the new plant, which is equipped with new communication systems and also includes a user-friendly interface for machine operators.
The RH 1500-4 MVA block machine
At the heart of the production line is the RH 1500-4 MVA concrete block machine. The company again opted for the RH 1500-4 model because the previous RH 1500-3 machines operated in Alba Iulia and Ploiesti, as well as the RH 1500-4 successor model in Arad, proved their high efficiency, performance and productivity. The RH 1500-4 was designed as a particularly powerful machine with a maximum board size of 1,400 × 1,100 mm in the standard version for the high-performance range. The specially designed control and hydraulics systems ensure shorter cycle times and a gentle motion sequence. Energy efficiency is optimized through implementing resource-saving manufacturing processes, such as a variable displacement pump that flexibly adapts to output requirements and can be regulated down automatically as needed.
Depending on the machine settings, the concrete recipe and other factors, the cycle time for a standard paving block with a facing layer is 11.5 seconds. Accordingly, 2,800 m² can be produced in an 8-hour shift with 66 blocks per mold.
Needless to say that the new Hess line is also equipped with the usual heavy-duty machine frames and the MAC-8 control system. Thanks to the reinforced frame, vibrating forces are retained on the vibrating table more effectively and transferred to the machine foundation and other parts to an even lesser degree. In addition, Florea benefits from a more efficient board buffering system with a finger car and a buffer rack accommodating 2,250 boards. Data acquisition has also been expanded to transfer production data and machine parameters directly into Florea’s data processing system. This allows, for example, for a better analysis of the processes and material quantities. In addition, the quality of the blocks remains consistently high thanks to the continuous monitoring process.
The smart interaction of all these components thus ensures high reliability and productivity in the manufacture of the product range. That’s exactly what is needed for manufacturing top-quality concrete products.
Project sequence, installation and commissioning
The entire project went smoothly because the members of the Hess Group team were already well acquainted with the Florea team and the plant as such. A long familiarization period could thus be dispensed with, and the construction of the fourth site in Roman, Neamt County, could start immediately after the inauguration of the third plant in the fall of 2021. The plant was commissioned on 20 July 2022. Since 25 July, production at the new plant has been running at full speed to meet the increasing demand for high-quality concrete products.
Marcel Florea, Managing Director of Florea Grup, comments on the collaboration with Hess Group: “Business excellence is a value we have adopted in every sector during the period of over 25 years in which Florea Grup has been doing business. Since the ramp-up of the first concrete block and paver plant, we have strived to provide the construction materials market segment with a high-performance business model including highly efficient production processes. We have invested in state-of-the-art equipment that ensures superior product quality. And the plant in Roman is no exception. We had already focused on performance prior to the start-up of production, in the construction phase. We pay attention to every single detail and employ a team of professionals who are fully committed to ensuring smooth plant operation.”
The Florea Grup Roman industrial park extends over a total area of 80,000 m². The new site will mainly produce paving stones and chlorine-treated slabs. The product portfolio includes premium tiles and pavers, standard pavers, curbs, gutters, drainage channels and other concrete products, comprising a total of over 600 different items. Logistics services round off Petra Pavaje’s offering: Thanks to its own truck fleet, products can be delivered to any corner of the country in an optimized process.
The unique design of the plant makes it possible to significantly increase the production capacity of Petra Pavaje. The setup of the fourth plant also includes a washing unit to add even more value to the products. The total investment in the plant exceeds 10 million euros.
Another point that the company has focused on is to mitigate its environmental impact. A number of practices have been implemented to significantly reduce the products’ carbon footprint. “We invest in new projects that ensure environmental sustainability virtually every day. In terms of energy efficiency, the Petra Pavaje plant in Roman serves as a benchmark for production facilities in the eastern part of the country,” says Managing Director Marcel Florea.
The industrial park in Roman receives its electricity from its own solar farm providing an annual capacity of 469 MW/h. Commissioning of this PV project contributes to protecting the environment by reducing carbon emissions by 148 tons per year.
Ongoing business development
Florea Grup’s business development strategy follows the market trend. The Romanian construction industry is expanding, and consumers are becoming increasingly aware of the benefits of concrete paving. At the same time, there is growing activity in the awarding of public contracts, resulting in rising demand. The new plant will meet the needs of private individuals, developers and road construction companies alike. All products come with a five-year warranty and are CE-marked and ISO-certified.
The resilience of the business has always been an important factor with regard to new investments. Its main development focus remains on the construction sector, both through infrastructure works and the blocks and pavers division. The company serves the entire country, which is why they want to further strengthen their position as a national player in the construction market.
Petra Pavaje’s plants serve as open innovation centers in the concrete block and paver sector. Supported by its international partners, the company is constantly looking for solutions to meet market requirements in the best possible manner. This is why Florea continues to be open to cooperating with Hess Group in subsequent development efforts since they now operate several sites to distribute production volumes across the business. In addition, the group has invested in new technologies available on the market to differentiate itself from other paving block producers. Splitting, ageing and impregnation are just some of the improvements made to the production lines. Each production unit operates its own laboratory where raw materials and products are tested continuously to conform to the superior quality standard.
+49 2736 4976 6689
Florea Grup Srl
Bulevardul Horea, Nr. 2
+40 728 999 936
Marcel Florea, General Manager
+40 728 999900
Robert Hening, Development Manager
+40 730 230716