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Avoid bottlenecks in hollow core production with the new Drillbeam

Drillbeam for drilling waterholes in hollow core slab production

Drillbeam E9 – a newcomer to the Elematic hollow core production offering – kills two birds with one stone. By combining lifting and drilling, clean-cut water holes are made without the need for a separate drilling station, saving time and money on the shop floor.

Snow, rain, or moisture in other forms, can make its way to the hollow cores during storage and construction. That is why you often need to drill a hole in each void to get rid of excess water, known as water or weep holes.

Saving time by skipping a step

Drilling these holes can be a challenging and time-consuming operation, and factories prefer different methods.

Some drill right after casting directly to the fresh concrete on the bed, manually, or via an integrated feature in their plotter or modifier.

Others prefer to wait until the slabs are cured, and then lift them to a separate drilling station, where the holes are then drilled from beneath. This method gives clean holes, and as they can be drilled from beneath, they don’t need further fixing later. The lifting to a separate drilling station does however take time and can cause bottlenecks.

“With Drillbeam E9, you get the best from both methods, without bottlenecks,” says Jani Eilola, Product Director, Floor Technologies at Elematic.

“All hollow core manufacturers who make water holes can benefit from this innovation.”

Drilling devices installed in the lifting beam drill the water holes while the slab is moved off the bed to the transport wagons.

Lifting a slab takes on average two to three minutes, during which the drilling is done. To take care of this, the beam is equipped with two drilling entities. Each entity consists of three drills, working at the same time. Drilling the most typical water holes at the ends of the slabs takes for them about one minute.

This might be the small, but important, boost of efficiency that enables a factory to utilize the full potential of the extraordinary fast Extruder E9, Eilola notes.

Waterhole drilling in hollow core slab production

Holes anywhere in the slab

A few similar solutions exist on the market, but they can only drill holes in the ends of the slab. Elematic Drillbeam stands out, thanks to its ability to drill holes anywhere in the slab.

“Sometimes, you’ll have openings in the slab that will later be filled, and then it doesn’t help to have water holes at the ends, as they will be blocked,” Eilola points out.

Another benefit is the possibility to drill water holes in a line at any angle. While the competing solutions can only drill holes at a 90 degrees angle, Drillbeam E9 can position the holes to follow even the most creative architect’s uneven slab ends.

Furthermore, the drilling beam can handle slabs at their whole length – from a few meters up to 18 meters.

Same operator for lifting and drilling

The machine is semi-automatic, maneuvered by the crane operator. Holes at the ends are made automatically, while other drilling positions need to be chosen specifically by the user, after which the drilling is done automatically.

A special radio interface has been developed for Drillbeam E9. It is simple and user-friendly enough for one person to take care of operating the crane and the drilling at the same time.

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Drillbeam E9-1200db

  • Drills the water holes (weep holes) while lifting the slabs from the bed onto transport wagons => saves time / reduces bottlenecks
  • Get accurate holes when drilling to hard concrete from below
  • No need to fix the top holes (compared to fresh drilling)
    • New:
      • Can drill holes also to the mid part of the slab. Earlier/competing drillbeams could only drill to the ends.
      • Three drills vs. 1-2 in competing product

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