At its headquarters in Sengenthal (South Germany), the construction company Max Bögl has produced more than 54,000 reinforced concrete segments for the Filder tunnel. Weighing several tons each, the segments ran through an automated evacuation line from the mould to the outside storage. The project specific steel structure designed and manufactured by Herrenknecht Formwork with customized automation did a great job: up to 84 segments per day and 1.500 segments per month were transported, cured, stacked, rotated, separated again, turned and fitted with a gasket.
The evacuation line supplied by Herrenknecht Formwork integrated existing rails on the floor and was adapted to the low ceiling height in the factory. Bringing together the demoulded segments from two different bays, the transport trolleys also served for segment storage during the curing time. In order to go through a narrow passage, the segments had been stacked and rotated. Before turning the segments through 180°, the stacks had been separated again. “We decided to implement an automated system as we had enough space and the segments had to be supplied very quickly” says Stefan Bachschmid, project manager for segment production at Max Bögl.
A customized system of this kind really pays off when it comes to projects with a long production run and large quantities of segments. There must also be enough time for assembly before the start of production. However, as Max Bögl intends to produce tunnel segments or other precast elements in the future in its 16 factory halls, the individual components will be in use again in new configurations in order to optimize production cycles also for future projects.
Besides automation of the evacuation and finishing, the segment production process offers further possibilities for increasing production by means of automation: such as using robots on the working line, automatic opening and closing of the mould by means of hydraulic systems, automated casting via RFID systems or applying energy-saving automatic systems for curing. However, it is not only automation of the individual working steps but also connection of the processes plays an important role in order to increase efficiency.
Modular production and logistics management systems such as the SDS developed by VMT GmbH control, check and record all key processes of the production and storage of concrete segments. Tracking of the position that the segment is installed in the tunnel is also included. In addition to the recording of data for documentation, the information can also be used for optimisation of the individual processes and finally increase of plant’s productivity and the quality of the segments.