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Digital, rational, international - the production of precast concrete parts

11/28/2019

The demand for high-quality, energy-efficient and cost-effective residential, commercial and industrial buildings is constantly growing - the production of precast concrete elements plays a decisive role in this. The current focus is on digitally controlled automation for the production of precast concrete elements. A forward-looking perspective, in this case implemented by Weckenmann Anlagentechnik GmbH & Co. KG and the KP1 Group.

 

KP1 is one of the leading French manufacturers of precast concrete elements. In the portfolio of the over 60 year old pioneer you will find a wide range of products: Foundation plates, slab- and wall systems, beams, girders and accessories for the building technology. Its customers are owners of apartment buildings and industrial and service buildings. The successful company has achieved a market share of approx. 40%. With the prospect of the 2024 Summer Olympics in Paris, the KP1 Group has now developed another state-of-the-art production site in Vernouillet (Greater Paris Area) - already the Group's 21st factory in France. With an investment of 15 million euros, more than 50 jobs were created on an area of 40,000 square metres.

 

The building made of precast concrete elements, was used to create virtually a shell around the production process of structural precast concrete parts. The concrete structure for this was produced by the company's own KP1 plants in France. The fact that the development of the building was optimized with BIM speaks for the future-oriented thinking of the company.

 

After the construction of the building, the Weckenmann circulation system was integrated as the productive core of the building. It stands for almost fully automatic production of concrete double walls and preslabs. Weckenmann performed as general contractor and handed over the turnkey circulation system to KP1. In addition to the circulation plant, the factory is also equipped with a steel processing plant and a concrete mixing plant.

 

General view of the new production plant in Vernouillet France

Focus on Weckenmann

The Weckenmann circulation system represents a production method which, by separating the manufacturing process into individual work steps, enables an optimal and variable production organisation. The decisive factor is the digital control of the processes of all workstations.

Automation does not mean the reduction to standard sizes, but offers the basis for a completely individual configuration of dimensions and quantities. A Weckenmann pallet circulation system is always planned as flow production according to individual customer requirements.
The production environment not only allows manufacturing processes to be carried out in a variety of ways, but also ensures the integration of the latest production and formwork technologies and thus guaranteeing continuous optimisation.

The entire production process is controlled by a central control system. Thus, a permanent control of the production process according to the standards of industry 4.0. can be guaranteed.

 

Productive Production

The installation for the KP1 plant concentrates on the production of double walls and preslabs with external dimensions of max. 3.8 x 13 m. Controlled by a central computer, the formwork pallet is guided through the entire plant. A formwork robot positions the formwork profiles. After the reinforcement has been inserted, the elements are automatically filled with a precisely measured and controlled quantity of concrete. After curing, the precast concrete element is stripped horizontally or vertically from the formwork pallet at the stripping station and placed on transport racks to be transported to the construction site. The process is monitored by a complex safety technology with light curtains, scanners and several fully controlled safety areas. The pallet cycle is of approx. 4.2 pallets per hour, which corresponds to a daily output of approx. 2,600 m².

Pallet turning device with compaction station for the double wall production
Automatic concrete spreader for the precise concrete quantity dosing

Creativity, quality and service.

The successful cooperation with KP1 is based on Weckenmann's extensive know-how and experience. The company is a leading developer and manufacturer of plant systems for the production of precast concrete elements - with international experience and a comprehensive portfolio: reliable production units of robust design, fully automatic, digitally controlled high-performance plants, individual formworks, formwork profiles and magnets. A whole multitude of innovations and nowadays worldwide valid standards have been developed by Weckenmann, such as the world's first computer-controlled formwork robot. All over the world, a large number of production facilities are equipped with Weckenmann systems for the construction, production planning and control.

The most recent examples include a wall and slab production facility in Indonesia, a precast concrete plant in Denmark, a circulation plant in Ireland, a precast concrete plant in Kazakhstan, a precast concrete project in India, a precast concrete plant in Russia ... the goal is the same everywhere: to make production processes and material flows in the production of precast concrete parts more effective.

 

Clear structures, clear processes

A cooperation with clients such as KP1 follows a clear procedure: Following the customer's request, a building and business plan is drawn up on the basis of the architectural plans and feasibility studies provided by the customer. The system concept is followed by the layout and project planning of the plants and the factory. After the submission of offer and the assignment of the general contractors, the focus is on the production of the machines and plant components. The customers is obviously also actively supported during site preparation, plant installation and commissioning. This process is completed by production support, training and after-sales service with spare parts, hotline, maintenance and upgrades to new technologies.

But it is not only technological and organizational that set standards. Weckenmann is committed to its social responsibility in protecting the resources of the environment and nature. The increasingly important issue of sustainability in mechanical and plant engineering is also due not least to Weckenmann's productive initiatives.

Stripping of the precast concrete part and storage in transport rack
Manual workstation with high safety standard
Storage and retrieval device with curing chamber including climate control.
Precast concrete parts in transport racks on storage location.

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