The Swabian plant manufacturer Weckenmann, a notable supplier to the precast industry, is characterised amongst other things by its wide range of products. Everything from one source: the traditional company develops and manufactures its entire product portfolio in-house according to this tried-and-tested corporate philosophy. The employees' sound expertise and comprehensive experience plus a high-quality machine pool form the basis for the very high quality of the products.
In 2007 a new production hall with a floor area of 3,000 sq. metres and state-of-the-art equipment for formwork construction was built for the manufacture of pallets, formwork and formwork systems. The most diverse moulds and formwork systems are manufactured there in very high quality by a wellrehearsed and experienced team. Whether pallets or formwork systems with magnet technology for circulation plants, stationary formwork such as tilting tables, battery moulds or moulds for rod-shaped concrete elements - there is a product to suit every customer requirement.
Retrofit – as good as new
Many manufacturers of precast elements use their plants over periods of more than 20 years. Of course, machines and formwork show signs of wear after such a period of operation. However, only technically competitive production can meet the growing challenges presented by the market. The formwork pallets in particular are crucial for the surface quality and thus the product quality of a precast concrete element. Scoring or unevenness of the pallet surfaces has a negative effect on the surface quality of the precast concrete element. In many cases the edge shuttering of the pallets is also affected over the course of time.
Weckenmann not only supplies new machines, pallets and formwork systems of a very high quality, it also renovates them for its customers. Decades of experience with new plants and retrofits - i.e. renovations - of existing products make Weckenmann an expert in all fields.
The pallets are machined carefully with expert workmanship to achieve the tight evenness tolerances and high-quality formwork surfaces. "It's the only way we can ensure our high quality", says Dietmar Kiene, sales manager at Weckenmann.
Above all, where formwork pallets and formwork systems are concerned, a retrofit is often an interesting alternative to a new pallet or a new formwork system. In the pallet renovation, the formwork pallets are sandblasted, straightened, polished and painted. If necessary, the edge shuttering is also put into shape accordingly or replaced. The result is remarkable: the formwork surfaces of the pallets are comparable to those of new pallets.
It transpires that the renovation of formwork pallets costs around one third in comparison with the purchase of new ones, with the actual cost advantage depending on the actual condition of the pallet to be renovated.
So that the production process in the plant can continue unhampered, existing pallets or stopend formwork can gradually be removed, renovated and returned to the process. In practice it works like this: the customer delivers a truck-load of used pallets or formwork to Weckenmann and picks up the already renovated products. These are then returned to the production process in the precast plant. In the past, many of Weckenmann's customers have successfully renovated old formwork systems or pallets with this rota system.
In 2017 alone, well over 100 pallets were given a general overhaul in this way by Weckenmann.
Pallet renovation for Betonwerk Bürkle
One of these customers is Betonwerk Bürkle GmbH & Co. KG from Sasbach, Germany. The family-owned company was founded in 1957 and is currently managed by the second generation, Johannes Bürkle. The precast element manufacturer has an excellent reputation. In a survey for the magazine "Focus Money" in late 2017, the company was awarded top marks for the fourth time for product quality, price-performance ratio, reliability and safety. Bürkle can thus call itself "Germany's fairest precast cellar supplier". "In order to ensure the quality of our end products, we procure exclusively branded products and premium services from our partners and suppliers", says Johannes Bürkle.
In the course of the modernisation of its pallet circulation plant, Betonwerk Bürkle also had its almost 30-year-old formwork pallets renovated. In the process, the pallets were equipped amongst other things with centring points for the newly installed shuttering robot system. In addition the pallets, which were warped in the longitudinal direction, were straightened accordingly, the damage to the steel sheets welded on and the entire formwork surface subsequently finely polished on a special machine. "We are very pleased with the result of the renovation of our pallets at Weckenmann. The formwork surfaces of the renovated pallets are as good as new. That even exceeded my expectations. With regard to the costs, the renovation is really unbeatable in comparison with the purchase of new pallets", says Johannes Bürkle, obviously delighted with the result.
Renovation of formwork profiles
In addition to the formwork pallets, it is mainly the formwork profiles that are important for the product quality of a precast concrete element. Top-class precast elements can only be manufactured with high-quality moulds. The same is true here: a repair is worthwhile. It is often cheaper than a new formwork profile. Amongst other things, deformations, unevenness, damaged switching devices and even reduced adhesive force of integrated magnets due to damage to the adhesive surface can be remedied at Weckenmann in Dormettingen. The formwork profiles are returned to top condition and, if necessary, equipped with new individual parts.