Change of construction industry
Highly automated precast concrete factories are changing the face of the construction industry in Singapore. The slogan is: out with time-wasting and labour-intensive traditional building methods, in with maximum prefabrication. Straits Construction Group, one of the largest construction companies in Singapore, recently commissioned a carrousel system from EBAWE. Wall and floor panels, including solid slabs, 3D kitchens and bathroom modules are produced. Singapore is activly issuing numerous directives and offering incentives to move ahead with the industrialisation and automation of its construction industry. The city state sees its targets as optimising land use, increasing productivity, improving quality and creating new jobs for more highly qualified employees. In this, precast concrete elements have a special and important role to play.
Integrated Prefabrication Hub
The State Building and Construction Authority (BCA) promotes investments by construction companies in this technology. It makes the land available for highly automated production plants and puts out to tender projects, which can be realised by private companies. These projects, known as the ICPH (Integrated Construction and Prefabrication Hub), are intended to contribute to creating new residential accommodation quickly, cost-efficiently, safely and to rejuvenating the infrastructure in the coming decades. At the start of October 2017 the ICPH gave its formal agreement to the Straits Construction Group. The highly automated plant produces prefabricated concrete wall and floor panels, as well as complete room modules on 5 levels.
At the opening ceremony, which was held in the presence of the Finance Minister, Heng Swee Keat, the Ambassador in Singapore of the Federal Republic of Germany, Ulrich A. Sante, and the entire management teams from Straits Construction Group and EBAWE Anlagentechnik GmbH, the opinion was expressed that this technology is definitely the solution for the future. The Singaporean Finance Minister emphasised the importance of the highly automated plants. „The development of ICPHs is hugely important. They smoothen the way for innovations and new technologies.“ The new production site with its connected high-bay warehouse for the floor and wall panels is unique in concept and form. On the ground floor the carrousel system and the production lines for pre-stressed concrete products have been installed.
Efficient production on 5 floors
The first floor houses the entire manufacture of made to measure mesh, while on the second floor, moulds for stationary manufacture have been accommodated. The bathroom and kitchen modules are finally assembled on the third floor and are then stored on the fourth and last floor. In this environment a workforce of 60 employees is able to produce precast concrete elements for 48 four-room apartments within 10 days. „On a traditional construction site three to four times as many staff and twice as much time would be needed,“ was the satisfied final comment from the Assistant Director General Lim.