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How to establish a new precast plant?

Here’s what you need to do to enter the precast business and establish a new precast plant. You may come from a completely different industry or business adjacent to construction or switch from conventional construction methods to industrialized precast production – whatever your starting point, we help you make the right decisions!

What are the minimum requirements for the precast plant?

Whether you will produce walls, floors, or other precast products, here is a list of what you need to start the precast production.

  • Convenient location on economic distance from the future construction sites.
  • Space for production lines. The specialization and volume of future production define the total land area and production area’s required size.
  • Make a plan and all necessary applications for financing the investment.
  • Batching and mixing plant close to the production facilities.
  • Storage of raw materials and supplies, cement silos, and a separate storage area for manufactured products.
  • Appropriate utility hook-ups like water, sewer, and electric powerEnsure also good communications networks, especially if you are going for automated processes
  • Secured supply of raw materials, cement, and water for the concrete mix.
  • Equipment for making and transporting concrete mix and machines for precast production and finishing.
  • Finally, you will need a skilled workforce for the plant operation
Establishing a precast plant. Points for consideration.

BLOG: 5 TIPS FOR AN EFFICIENT PRECAST PLANT PROJECT

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Is it worth investing in precast?

Yes, it is!

Precast concrete is a sustainable method of industrialized production and construction with fast ROI. Industrialized production means high quality in a controlled environment, and rapid erection on site means shorter construction time and sooner move in for tenants. Money invested in precast production pays itself back quickly.

First, though, you need to define your competitive advantage.

How do you plan to be successful in the market?  Are you perhaps the only precast factory in the area? If yes, just being a precaster may give you a competitive advantage.

But if there’s competition, your competitive advantage must be based on some other qualities, such as investing in advanced production technology that keeps your production costs lower than those of your competitors, for example through high automation level, efficient raw material uses or high uptime.  Or perhaps you find your competitive advantage in producing a precast product that other factories in your area do not have in their offering?

Furthermore, how do you plan to manage risks? It is of utter importance that you choose a reliable equipment supplier, a company that can not only deliver the equipment in time but also be there with you for the factory and machinery start-up.

It is also important to see the big picture, to think ahead: can your equipment supplier support you throughout the whole factory lifetime? Are they able to supply spare and wear parts fast? Can you get updates to your machinery and software? Is it easy to expand your production? Will you receive fast problem-solving online and at your site?

It is important to pay attention to the technology partner’s abilities, knowledge level and resources – when these are in place, your life will be a lot easier, not to mention the smoothness of factory operation or profitability of your business.

When you evaluate the level of investment, consider a few key points:

  • Conduct a profound feasibility study
  • Find your competitive advantage
  • Define your needs and requirements
  • Make profitability calculations
  • Evaluate risks and make a risk management plan

 

 

Here’s some plant projects where we’ve had the pleasure to be involved in:

A feasibility study is a base for your decision-making

Evaluate market situation and demand, future trends, competition, location alternatives and soil conditions, plant building design and construction costs, manufacturing technology, level of automation, and future running costs of the precast plant.

Decide what you are going to manufacture and what is your business model. Shall you start from one single line or build a complete plant? Do you want to specialize in specific products like wall or floor elements, or do you plan to produce a full range of precast products? Shall you expand production in the future? Will your business combine both precast production and precast construction?

Elematic will be glad to help you with the precast design feasibility study.  As the leading precast technology supplier, we have the knowledge and networks to guide you through the whole precast production lifecycle successfully.

 

Go to Elematic Design Services
Hollowcore slab production line and Elematic Extruder E9, Parma, Nurmijärvi factory, Finland

Precast production investment scenarios from small to big

If you want to start small, for example, from about 40,000 m2 of a limited range of precast floor slabs, piles and beams annually, you can have a basic installation of the mechanized set of four hollow core slab production lines in an open-air site on simple foundations. The line needs nine operators and requires only 3,000 m2 for production and 4,500 m2 of total area.

The opposite, a highly automated precast production line of a wide range of floor slabs and beams with annual output from 150,000 m2 to 800,000 m2, requires twice more area up to 9,000 m2 and a factory building.

4 tips on choosing production technology

Production of various wall elements follows the same principles – the higher volume and automation level requires more space and covered production facilities. If you want to go even bigger, you can establish a plant that will produce all precast products needed for the erection of an entire building.

Learn more from the article “Choosing a wall line? Don’t miss these 5 points”

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Production lines for all needs

Choose an economical location for the precast plant

A standard precast plant is a permanent establishment unless designed movable in the first place. Soil conditions and the site’s preparation in the chosen location may also significantly impact the final investment because we speak about heavy-duty hardware with massive loads.

The precast requires careful planning of logistics and schedules. The most economical distance is a maximum of 100-400 kilometers from the construction sites, depending on the delivered precast product and road conditions. A widespread practice among contractors is to organize deliveries on a Just-in-Time principle when the precast elements are scheduled to move from the truck directly to the installation place.

Hollow core transportation

Find the right design, technology and building partners early

When planning a new precast plant, you need a design partner, a building contractor, and, of course, a technology supplier. Tender technology supplier already at the starting point – all equipment needs its foundations and machinery loads are individual, so you need to know which equipment and supplier you will buy. The supplier will need drawings of the plant to be able to provide the machinery layouts.

Elematic can help you to define the plant’s initial design requirements.

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Chosen production technology determines the plant layout

Knowing your demands for precast products, factory capacity and flexibility, level of automation, and investment level, we will consult you in production planning and provide you with a preliminary factory layout proposal and production plan. Together we will ensure that both the plant layout and the machinery are optimized for your production needs.

What others say?

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Precast plant layout has a huge impact on the production efficiency

The precast plant’s layout and logistics plan for the production site are essential parts of your future factory building design. The designer needs to know the amount of space and its shape, exact measurements, ground conditions, and the location of raw materials and planned roads for element logistics.

Compact positioning of materials, workers and production equipment has the most considerable effect on plant efficiency. Production efficiency can be even more increased with the minimized logistics at the site. We can offer you proven precast factory building and layout design, where all production flows are optimized.

After you have made a final investment decision, and our mutual purchase negotiations successfully ended up in the supply contract, Elematic will provide you with the plant layout’s initial drawings  in 3D that will include forces to the foundation and columns and electrical, water, sewer, compressed air, and network feed points.

This will allow you to finalize the plant design together with your building design partner and ensure that the building is structurally viable.

Check out some of our 3D concept plant layouts!

EDGE Floor PRO Floor SEMI Wall

Precast production machinery is tailored to the specific site

After the detailed plant and machinery layout, detailed equipment list, foundation and interface drawings are made, the equipment engineering can begin. The complete precast plant is always designed, and there is always non-standard or – or even standard – equipment that will need adjustment to the specific dimensions of the project in question. For example, concrete transportation always needs to be engineered to the specific dimensions.

How long does it take to establish and start-up the precast plant?

Depending on the plant’s size and location, it takes, on average, from 6 to 12 months for design, construction, and the plant’s start-up.

The machinery manufacturing schedule depends on the plant’s size and the equipment’s complexity, but the average production time for precast plant equipment is 4 months.

Get more tips from the blog  “How to schedule a precast plant project?”

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The production line installation schedule depends on the schedule of the whole factory, particularly the foundation work. The machinery foundations must be checked before equipment installation.

After all the machinery is installed, the start-up, testing of the machinery, and personnel training can start. Test runs and actual production presume, of course, that all external utilities are connected, raw materials for the concrete mix secured, and skilled staffing hired.

Do you have questions? Contact us!

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