Economical solutions for a precast concrete plant in Romania

Manufacturing of precast concrete components calls for more and more flexibility, in order to be in the position to react quickly to changing production requirements. As to be competitive in this field in the long run, exact planning and realization of formwork and vibration equipment plays a decisive role. The example of the precast concrete plant CON-A S.R.L. in Romania shows that exactly the fine adjustment between formwork manufacturer and vibration equipment supplier gives the customer an important competitive edge and provides for economical production conditions. The German companies Howal and Wacker Neuson Concrete Solutions stand up in this joint project for the success of the project through close collaboration and high flexibility. At the beginning of 2008, the precast concrete plant CON-A planned the refurbishment and complete re-equipment of a factory building at the Romanian location in Sibiu. Not least because of the know-how gained over many years and the readiness of both equipment suppliers to work closely together already in the planning stage, the decision was made in favor of the German team. Thus, the formwork manufacturer Howal and the specialists in consolidation of  Wacker Neuson concrete solutions cooperated already during the preliminary stages of assembly and deliberated together upon the perfect adjustment of vibration equipment, circuitry and automation technology to the formwork. “This approach it quite important in order to provide the client with an optimum solution right from the beginning,” explained Ralf Bauer, who belongs to the technical sales staff of Wacker Neuson. The fact that Wacker Neuson has recourse to an international expertise network is an exceptional advantage in this process. While the Munich-based company provides the planning and engineering service for the vibration equipment, the world-wide 160 subsidiaries of Wacker Neuson are available for customer support and ongoing servicing.
Significant benefits even for the formwork supplier
This combination of “competence center” and global support service is also a benefit for the supplier of the formwork technology. “For the formwork supplier it is an important relief, if he has not to worry about the details of the vibration technology himself, but may just concentrate on his core business. On the contrary, we rather appreciate of course to be able to work out together an optimum equipping for his product.” According to Bauer, this approach pays off later on: “Owing to the clearly divided responsibilities and competences, we simplify the process flow and even make the project more economical for the customer. At the end, he gets a package solution being well thought out from first to last.”

Flexibility due to international project experience “Due to our comprehensive international activities even in large-scale projects, we have gained quite valuable experiences,” explains Helmut Wockenfuß, who attended to the installation locally for Wacker Neuson. “Therefore, we are in the position to respond quickly and flexibly to changed requirements.” A core competence which is also demanded in case of the CON-A project. At first, the precast concrete plant had requested an equipment of the factory with two three-piece beam formworks. The pre-assembled formwork including vibration equipment had been delivered to the plant in Romania. Helmut Wockenfuß and an engineer of Howal traveled to Sibiu for instructions, assembly monitoring and commissioning. Contrary to the initial planning, the client had meanwhile decided on a different layout and requested now for a configuration with three two-piece formworks. “We are accustomed to such kind of spontaneous requests for change,” explains Wockenfuß. “Therefore, we had been able to react quickly and flexibly to the unexpected change requested by CON-A and to adjust everything directly on site to the utmost satisfaction of the client. Thus, the hydraulic system of the formwork was reconfigured under survey of the engineer of Howal and the connection of the vibrators and distribution box was reconfigured according to my instructions.” It is easy to imagine that otherwise the client would have been faced with a considerable amount of additional costs and possible delays in commissioning. “Even when carrying out international projects, flexibility is of great importance,” added Helmut Wockenfuß.
Optimized equipping helps to save costs Wacker Neuson concrete solutions had developed a very cost-efficient equipment concept for the project. “In case of quite robust formworks such as the steel formwork of Howal it is possible to use fewer and instead stronger external vibrators than in case of soft formwork materials,” explains Ralf Bauer. “We were able to optimize the equipping in such a way that the entire plant made do just with a total of 32 external vibrators of Wacker Neuson type AR 54/6/250.” In this way, it is possible to achieve very good consolidation results with a minimum number of vibrators. The three formworks have been equipped with two vibrator groups of five and/or six vibrators each, which are turned on and off by means of group switches. Practical details: The most important basic functions can be controlled remotely by means of a hand-held transmitter – saving the operator any unnecessary running about. In addition, the integrated sequential control allows to adapt the operation of the external vibrators to the concreting cycle at the push of a button and to switch single groups through. The electrical installation and commissioning was carried out on site by Helmut Wockenfuß together with local electricians – this as well saved costs and expenses for the client, who could rely on an economical solution. “In this project the good collaboration of all parties involved has turned out to be quite beneficial to the client,” emphasized Ralf Bauer. “CON-A got an one-stop package solution, benefits consequently from economic advantages and an overall service package by the companies involved. With this strategy we are well positioned in order to carry out international projects with a high degree of advisory competence and an excellent service.”

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