In-line aging machine opens new dimensions for split masonry units

In 2005, German unit masonry machinery specialist KBH announced the global launch of surface-distressing equipment technology dubbed the “Dancing Weight System.” More recently, the manufacturer has tooled a mobile version allowing producers to deploy the system in multiple locations. The company can also rent the model on a “pay-per-cycle” basis.

The Dancing Weight allows the creation of a tumbled/aged look on almost any machine-molded concrete product, including slabs and multi format paver shapes. Split product, however, would require that units run through the machine twice, in order to treat all 12 product edges. In the case of lower volumes, KBH engineers note, this process is an acceptable solution since labor-intensive handling can be omitted and cull rate reduced significantly compared to that of drum tumbling alternatives.

For distressing/aging the range of split products, KBH recently launched its fully hands-free In Line Aging Machine. The design is such that the machine treats a two-sided split product in one pass—on all 12 edges. The system can be tailored for block production lines of two-at-a-time to six-at-a-time output. In addition, the system allows integration in big board machine plants. The feed conveyor, aging unit, and out feed conveyor are designed based on the user’s plant configuration and target throughput.

For integration in big board plants, the system can be specified such that it follows the cycle time of the press. The design of this new development allows producers to fine tune the aging intensity to individual market requirements. Even the appearance of “scuff marks” can be controlled from non-existent to slight, medium or strong scuffing on the split face. In addition, the top face can be treated as well in pass whereby the upper top side looks as if it is chiseled. It allows offering a product without the addition of a coping unit on top—an important feature in the home improvement retail market.

The In Line Aging Machine is fully automatic and of rugged, solid and operator-friendly design, with a manufacturer-cited cull rate close to zero. The operating costs are low because no specific, wear-prone distressing tools are needed. In addition, the model allows users to process units in multiple lengths in one pass; hence, new strategies for wall systems with different length units are now possible to be aged in line fully hands off.

KBH offers a full equipment line, including models for feeding virgin blocks to the system, splitters, and Block Aging Machine, plus packaging devices. — KBH GmbH & Co. KG, Lachen, Germany; sales contact, Alwin Bennmann, [email protected], +49 4942 204737;