A new roof-tile manufacturing machine from Swedish roof-tile specialist ABECE is expected to provide Africa with a complete roof-tiling solution, filling the gap in concrete solutions and technology provider Pan Mixers South Africa’s (PMSA’s) product offering.
PMSA received the SPS712 machine last month, making it the only supplier in Africa to offer a mixing and batching plant and a roof- tiling plant package, says PMSA marketing and sales manager Quintin Booysen.
The machine was jointly developed by PMSA and ABECE and was initially manufac- tured by ABECE in Sweden, but Booysen notes that PMSA will now manufacture the SPS712 locally as orders are placed.
“PMSA offers a range of equipment and solutions for concrete product manufacturers, including brick and block machines, flooring solutions, self-loading concrete mixers and concrete piping and curbing machines. However, we were lacking in the area of roof-tiling technology.
“Our relationship with ABECE dates back to 2005 and we recently decided to form a strategic partnership and bring the SPS712, as well as the full ABECE range, to South Africa and the African market,” he says.
Booysen notes that the two companies have previously executed a joint project by building a plant between Westonaria and Lenasia, in Gauteng, for brick and roof-tiling company West End Claybrick in 2009.
PMSA supplied the concrete batching and mixing plant and ABECE was responsible for the roof-tiling machines and technology.
“The order was signed towards the end of 2007 and design, manufacturing and installation was done in 2008. The final commissioning took place in early 2009.
“West End Claybrick has one of the most advanced and high-capacity roof-tiling machines for roof-tile production in Africa, with capacity of up to 120 tiles a minute, or 50 000 tiles a shift. The plant also includes a full wet- and dry-product handling system, with automated packing of tiles and a double strapping facility,” notes Booysen.
The SPS712 can manufacture between seven and 12 tiles a minute depending on its configuration, using an aluminium pallet to shape the tiles, producing 3 000 to 5 000 tiles in a nine-hour shift.
“The machine was jointly developed to ensure its relevance for the African market by considering factors like skill levels, climate and local requirements. It is equipped with a dual stop/start function, which requires the operator to use both hands to start or stop the machine, ensuring that his/her hands are out of harm’s way at all times,” he says.
Booysen adds that the extrusion head of the machine flips upwards to promote easier cleaning and maintenance.
“This machine is a baseline model, designed for small- to medium-sized businesses wanting to manufacture 3 000 to 5 000 tiles a shift. If the clients’ company grows and it needs to produce more tiles, they can shift the SPS712 into ridge production to produce the ridges that join roof tiles at the top of the roof, and expand the main plant with a new, higher capacity machine,” he explains.
Booysen says there are other suppliers and manufacturers in Africa manufacturing roof-tiling plants, but that PMSA does not regard this competition as an obstacle.
“Rather, we regard this as an opportunity for future partnerships. PMSA can pro- vide these businesses with components and solutions for concrete batching and wet- and dry-product handling, to suit their concrete roof-tile manufacturing machinery, if they are not available in-house,” he says.
ABECE’s presence in Africa is less prevalent than in the rest of the world, making this an opportunity for the company to grow its African presence, explains PMSA area sales manager Fredrik Toftemo.
“We see tremendous growth opportunity for this machine in Africa, owing to the various planned infrastructure projects by South African and other African governments over the coming years, and the growing cement industry in Africa.
“PMSA is constantly expanding its range of products in-house and through strategic partnerships. We plan to keep track of the market’s needs as it grows over the next few years and to develop products and machinery to suit those needs,” he concludes.