The French precast industry has a large number of small and medium-sized companies that, given the lack of qualified labor, look for technical solutions and automation that allow them to continue increasing production while maintaining very high standards of final quality of the concrete elements.
One of these companies is PREFA OUEST based in Saint Nolff, in the Brittany region. This company is specialized in the manufacture of made-to-measure reinforced concrete elements for the industrial, public works and housing sectors. Given the growing demand, PREFA OUEST has decided to install a new industrial plant in La Vraie Croix.
The company turned to MOLDTECH to acquire equipment allowing to continue advancing in the process of modernization and increase in production capacity, incorporating a new tilting table, a double mould for the production of beams with hydraulic opening and closing as well as a column mould also with hydraulic opening and closing for the production of columns with corbels.
The 24x4 meter MOLDTECH tilting table allows manufacturing of concrete elements up to a thickness of 30 cm and with a load capacity of 750 kg/m2. The company wanted to invest in this panel production system to facilitate the handling of concrete elements, reduce the amount of reinforcement steel, improve the demoulding system, but also to guarantee an excellent level of concrete surface quality. This table was designed for use with self-compacting concrete, thanks to a special polish of the metal casting plate which is in direct contact with the concrete. The PREFA OUEST tilting table has a pneumatic vibration system. Magnetic fixing formwork has also been supplied to produce different types of panels.
Moldtech has supplied PREFA OUEST with the classic double beam mould, widely used in France, and in this case with the incorporation of hydraulic opening and closing systems. The double beam mould has a length of 24 meters. Each casting line has a maximum section of 1500x1500 mm. These moulds have a fixed bottom. All surfaces in contact with the concrete are prepared to work with self-compacting concrete. The mould has working gangways on the sides in accordance to the latest safety regulations. Moldtech has incorporated an integral pneumatic vibration system to this double beam mould.
The third piece of equipment supplied is essential for all types of precast projects, and in this case we are talking about the simple column mould with one casting line. This mould has a length of 24 meters, with a maximum column section of 1000x1000 mm. This mould has a hydraulic adjustment for both the vertical as well as the horizontal side of the column. This feature allows to work more efficiently thereby helping to resolve the labour shortage problem. This hydraulic variation of the column section permits Prefa Ouest to take on any project in the residential and industrial sector. The mould also has the possibility of producing columns with corbels. The mould has been designed to use self-compacting concrete but at the same time has a complete pneumatic vibration system.
The great complexity faced by the precast industry in France is, on the one hand, the high demand for product quality required by the market, and on the other hand, the shortage of skilled labor for production. That is why Moldtech works closely with its customers to find innovative solutions and equipment designs that allow obtaining very high-quality finished products with minimal labour requirements.