20 year old plant is ongoing permanent modernization
Beton-Fertigteil-Union (BFU) in Waldmössingen is a full-service provider of high-quality precast concrete parts for residential and industrial construction.
Although the circulation plant the company uses to manufacture its large parts is 20 years old, it is very up to date from an engineering perspective. After all, BFU has continued to invest in upgrading the plant for the last 10 years, drawing on the expertise provided by Weckenmann. PreFab spoke with BFU's Managing Director Volker Koch.
Mr. Koch, how would you assess the market for precast concrete parts today and in 10 years?
Volker Koch: Precast concrete parts are becoming more popular all the time because they provide numerous benefits compared to other building methods. One benefit is that they allow sizable projects to be realized under very tight schedules due to minimal on-site assembly times, which are complemented by the fact that plastering and other finishing work can largely be avoided. Precast concrete also facilitates intelligent construction, whereby electrical and heating or cooling systems can be integrated directly into the parts. Design offices must take advantage of these options during the planning stage, however. Lastly, first-class finishes can be achieved with exposed concrete. In short, precast concrete parts offer low-cost, high-quality solutions that meet a wide variety of requirements.
You have been looking to Weckenmann to help you modernize your plant for 10 years now. Why?
Volker Koch: Weckenmann impresses with its wide offering from a single source, innovative and practical technologies, expert consulting, tailored solutions, and perfect service. This allows us to gradually improve our plant which, incidentally, did not originally come from Weckenmann. An automated concrete spreader considerably reduces the amount of material used. New shuttering pallets lend the quality of our exposed concrete a new dimension. The shuttering robot for molds with integrated magnets translates into shorter throughput times, even better dimensional accuracy of our products, and lower production costs, and the lifting unit installed years ago helped eliminate the capacity bottleneck during mold removal, thus further minimizing turnaround times and maximizing Output.
You are currently collaborating with Weckenmann to implement a second production line, a fourth curing chamber, an oscillating compactor station, and a suction reversing unit. What results do you expect?
Volker Koch: It is important that we increase capacity and flexibility while improving quality. The additional production line and curing chamber will boost capacity, whereas the suction reversing unit will allow us to provide even better Quality.
What key factors will drive BFU's success in the future?
Volker Koch: Quality is critical and is achieved by never settling for less. Continued investment in our plant, which we organize and implement together with Weckenmann, ensures that we maintain our edge in the market when it comes to production technology, management, and processes. We are also committed to providing our qualified and motivated employees with further training opportunities, since top performance is only possible when encouraged.