Building material machine makers adapt to market trends

34 bauma 400The 2016 bauma trade fair is poised to be a major showcase for the latest technology in construction and building material machinery. Top themes in all sections of the exhibition will once more be resource and energy efficiency. The 31st edition of bauma, billed as “the World’s Leading Trade Fair for Construction Machinery, Building Material Machines, Mining Machines, Construction Vehicles and Construction Equipment,” will take place April 11-17, 2016, at the Messe Muenchen exhibition center in Munich.

Affirms VDMA Association for Construction Machinery and Building Material Machines Chairman Johann Sailer: “In building material machinery and systems, the trend towards automation is continuing, and this is coupled with an increase in resource efficiency.” At the same time, he observes, there is strong global demand for energy-efficient precast concrete components and building materials. Insulated, double-wythe sandwich walls are a good example of the trend’s positive impact on automated, resource efficient manufacturing of energy efficient components.

Vollert Anlagenbau, a German manufacturer of manufactured-concrete systems and plants, has a new workstation in its portfolio that cuts insulation material for wall panels automatically, using a six-axle robot with a water-jet cutting head. The Kerkstoel Group in Grobbendonk, Belgium, recently deployed the machine in its production of double-wythe wall panels. Management is already reporting a considerable increase in output and quality, as well as an enhanced use of resources, thanks to optimized cutting processes.

Many manufacturers of precast concrete components have set themselves the strategic goal of raising added-value levels. In pipe production, for instance, this can be achieved through an advantageous combination of concrete pipe and synthetic liner. One example is a system produced by the Austrian company Schlüsselbauer Technology: It produces concrete pipes with a firmly anchored, high-density polyethylene (HDPE) liner and a flexible synthetic plug connector. Mainly used in sewerage applications, these pipes combine the robustness of concrete with synthetics’ resistance to chemical erosion. This new type of pipe has already been successfully used in open trenches and jacking. According to Schlüsselbauer Technology, in both applications the plug connectors enable much faster progress in installation than with welded synthetic pipe connectors.

Masa GmbH, a plant and machinery manufacturer from Andernach, Germany, notes how the market for concrete blocks and pavers has been moving toward higher quality products with a premium finish. Some producers have even given up making grey blocks entirely, as such units generate the lowest return. Masa and other manufacturers of block and paver machines are making small changes to their systems to accommodate new market requirements.

Masa’s customers for block-making plants often order complete systems, ready fitted with the optional mixing and dosing systems for colored concrete and various surface treatment systems. These comprehensive solutions fit in very well with the current opinion in the sector: “In the manufacture of building material systems and plant equipment, the trend is towards turn-key projects; demand for individual machines is ever less,” Sailer contends. —


34 QR 200Online Pre-Registration for bauma 2016 is open. Confirmed or prospective attendees can scan the registration QR Code to purchase a personal print@home ticket, which ensures fast and easy access to the Messe Muenchen fairground.