Rector Lesage from France began constructing a production unit in 2018 to increase production capacity and expand their product range with double walls. This facility now assures the production of conventional, insulated and matrix-bearing double walls as well as floor elements. It has been erected at their Tournefeuille site near Toulouse directly next to their existing 6,500 m² historical production facility for beams, columns and element floors. At that time as well, Weckenmann Anlagentechnik GmbH & Co. KG supplied the complete circulation system with machines, pallets and formwork system, which was commissioned in 2004.
Rector Lesage is the market leader in France for prestressed beams, and has equipped one third of the structures built in the country with them. Rector is also the second largest manufacturer of precast concrete elements and the third largest manufacturer of precast walls for buildings. Today, the company employs about 1,000 persons.
Only the latest digital tools were employed in planning the 7,700 m² production facility at Tournefeuille on a total area of 95,000 m² with an investment of around € 20 million. It was possible to visualise and plan the spatial conditions within the building structure in virtual reality with the aid of 3D models of the structure as well as the machinery and equipment housed within it. This innovative technology ensured optimal cooperation between the suppliers involved on the construction site. For some months now, Rector has been successfully manufacturing double walls and prefabricated floors in 2-shift operation thanks to this cutting-edge planning. The facility offers a capacity of 500,000 m² of flat concrete floors per year. The production line has been running in three shifts since January 2022.
Rector has automated the facility to a great degree in order to attain the performance mentioned at the beginning. When choosing the automatic concrete spreader with pushers and gantry, Rector once again put their trust in Weckenmann as their supplier. Rector has been utilising the high-quality, robust, durable concrete spreaders made by Weckenmann for three decades.
The scope of the delivery from Weckenmann also included 60 pallets with matching formwork system. These are the circulation system’s nerve centre and assure its output capacity. On top of this, Weckenmann supplied the pallet oiling machine and the hoisting equipment with lifting crossbeam, which travels on a special stabilising structure. Four load arms are each individually powered by a drive motor with a slipping clutch. The floor element is picked up using a maximum of 24 spring-loaded hooks.
Thierry Boutonnet, the regional manager at Rector Tournefeuille, is planning to manufacture both standard designs and customised elements with this new circulation system in the future. The Tournefeuille site in Toulouse covers a large catchment area with its products. It stretches from Montpellier to Bordeaux, crossing the Aveyron in the north and reaching the Pyrenees in the south.