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Stationary multilayer machine replaced after 38 years in operation by more advanced version

Betonwerk Strauch is a company based in Gedern, Germany, that has specialised in manufacturing concrete blocks. Since the end of the 1960s, this family business has set great store by functional and, at the same time, creative product solutions with its broad assortment of elements for road and landscaping construction work. Their stationary Zenith 844 multilayer machine had been in operation for 38 years.

Zenith Maschinenfabrik first equipped Betonwerk Strauch with their fully automated stationary Zenith 844 multilayer machine in 1981. In the course of replacement investment after these many years of production with the machine and of good cooperation between the companies, the decision was once again made for a Zenith 844. A more advanced version – the Zenith 844 Speed & Comfort – was chosen as a replacement offering numerous new features alongside the customary benefits. Before the new system could be commissioned, the 38 year old Zenith 844 machine had been sold to a Belarusian company and is still being utilised there even after such a long service life.

The fully automatic stationary Zenith 844 Speed & Comfort multilayer machine is a globally proven solution for manufacturing an extensive range of products. The machine has been continually improved over the course of time and guarantees extremely good production reliability and adherence to demanding quality standards. Speed & Comfort refers to its still higher performance controls and hydraulics. On top of this, it boasts numerous other features, such as a hydraulically driven feed drawer grate and frequency-controlled table vibrator.
The two-part vibration table can be adjusted in height to cover products from 50 mm up to 500 mm high. If needed, even a block height of 35 mm is feasible as well. This means that a variety of concrete blocks types, such as paving stones, kerbstones and solid masonry, can be manufactured up to a package height of 640 mm.
An extra unit enables paving blocks and kerbstones to be produced cost-effectively with facing concrete. Betonwerk Strauch also decided on a Colour Mix attachment with a view to offering a still more extensive product portfolio by manufacturing products in the most varied colour nuances.

The cutting-edge control unit for hydraulics and electrics enables precise machine processes to be carried on even at high production speeds. In this case, as with all machines from Zenith, a Siemens S7 TIA Portal control unit is utilised. The well-proven system of clamping lock, tamper head quick change device and electrically adjustable filling units makes for short set-up times and good availability with the production system.
The machine’s impressive longevity is not least due to its special frame design. Zenith utilises special frame structures, which can cope very well with high vibration loading, for all its concrete block machines.
The Zenith 844 S&C is also very easy to maintain since remote maintenance can be carried out via an integrated modem. Its bolted wearing parts made from Hardox special steel are very simple to exchange. In addition, Zenith’s service team is available for maintenance work and supplying replacement parts round the clock and even at weekends.

Special attention was paid to user friendliness in developing the machine. The innovative 15” touch operator panel with its clearly-arranged, self-explanatory menu navigation enables personnel to manage the machine independently after just a short training period. In the case of Betonwerk Strauch, the entire system is managed by just two employees.
The Zenith 844 S&C’s compact design is very economical in terms of space. When compared with circulation systems, it can be operated without components such as packaging unit, elevator and lowerator, side-shift device, finger car system and curing chamber; this makes production in a relatively small space possible.

No sophisticated foundations are needed except a pit for maintenance, which means that no complicated installation work needs to be carried out for foundations. As an alternative to supplying concrete using a bucket chain or conveyor belts, the mixing unit can also be set up with little space requirements on a platform directly above the machine.
The degree of automation can be varied from a simple system using a forklift for transport right up to a fully automated system solution with curing chamber and packaging line. For this reason, it makes good sense to invest progressively in further extension stages with the system.

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