The Big 5

E9 ... latest generation of Elematic extruder.

E9 ... latest generation of Elematic extruder.

Strategic step

February 2011

AS A MAJOR precast technology supplier in the Gulf region, Elematic of Finland believes that its decision to participate in The Big 5 Saudi Arabia could well prove to be a strategic one, considering the construction boom that the kingdom is witnessing.

Despite a couple of weaker years, the company believes that GCC’s construction market – and particularly Saudi Arabia’s – will emerge even stronger.

“We want to maintain our market position and Saudi Arabia is currently an active market where we want to be present. In addition, our experience at The Big 5 exhibition in Dubai has been good,” says Petri Vesa, the company’s sales director.

Elematic is a leading worldwide supplier of precast concrete machinery and equipment for many decades. It has five main product ranges, which are flooring technologies; batching and mixing plant with concrete distribution systems; Acotec partition wall technology; various technologies for general precast concrete walls, facades, beams, columns, railway sleepers and others; and EliPlan ERP (enterprise resource planning) and other software.

At The Big 5 Saudi Arabia, the company will be promoting this entire range and particularly its capabilities to deliver technology to support the current affordable housing projects.

Established in 1959, Elematic has its head office and production facilities in Finland. Its presence in the Middle East dates back to 1976. To service the Gulf region, the company has a customer service centre and a warehouse in Dubai, which can supply spare parts. In recently years, it has delivered precast plants to meet the construction boom in Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Qatar.

Vesa cites the example of one of the company’s recent installations in Saudi Arabia for Al Fanar Company. Elematic signed an agreement in September 2008 to deliver to the Saudi firm a complete precast factory in a new industrial area near Riyadh.  The factory, which was operational by November 2009, can produce a variety of precast elements including hollow-core slabs, facades and grey walls, and columns and beams. Covering a total area was 122,000 sq m with a production area of 25,000 sq m, the facility includes batching and mixing (B&M) plant, element storage, aggregate storage and facility buildings.

Hardware supplied consisted of two extruder-based hollow-core slab lines, each 8 by 150 m long with extruder, saw, BedMaster, covering system and lifting beams for the manufacture of 150, 200, 250, 300, 350, 400 and 500-mm hollow-core slabs, and an Elsa line (including an Elematic FaMe Flex system and plotting machine) for walls and facades. It has a combination of a circulation line and cross-transfer beams with a curing chamber. FaMe aluminium profiles with magnets are used to produce the shuttering for elements, while Comcasters are used to cast the elements. Hydraulic tilting moulds for special products, TT-moulds, and beam and column moulds as well as a concrete distribution system are also installed at the factory. Additionally, the facility has laboratory equipment.

The plant uses a casting skip for casting beams in a skeleton casting bed, which includes a beam bed with side walls and pre-stressing abutments. EliPlan software is used (EliMix for the B&M plant and EliLine for the circulation line) at the plant, which has a production capacity of 200,000 cu m per year.

While the Al Fanar plant was a big project where the schedule was challenging from the start, Elematic uses the same strategy in delivering all projects – a strategy that focuses on close teamwork with its clients, says Vesa.

The company claims to be the only one-stop-supplier in the industry providing precasters in more than 80 countries on five continents with products and services, everything from a single accessory or machine to an entire product line or a complete plant.

As part of its ongoing growth strategy, Elematic continues to develop new products. Among its various innovations last year was the new Extruder E9 and a new model of its Comcaster casting machine.

“Elematic extruders are superb machines used for producing prestressed hollow-core slabs on long beds using the extrusion method. A great variety of cross-sections is available for various applications. E9, the latest generation of Elematic extruders, comprises of an E9 power unit and an exchangeable nozzle unit,” Vesa says.

The company currently employs 180 people and registered a turnover of $80 million in 2009. Vesa says that from a turnover point of view, the company registered similar results for both 2009 and 2010. However with new orders having come in during 2010, the company expects a “clear improvement” in performance.

Elematic relies heavily on its export earnings, with about 90 to 95 per cent of its business coming from the overseas market, according to Vesa.

The company will be present at Stand B01 at The Big 5 Saudi Arabia.

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