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Fully automatic single pallet plant for high-quality concrete products in Mali

Mali in West Africa has mainly made international headlines in recent times because of conflicts and the related United Nations’ peace-keeping mission. Now, Zenith Maschinenfabrik from Neunkirchen has accepted an order from the Toguna Group to set up a Zenith 1500-2 high- performance single pallet machine in Bamako, the capital of Mali. The project will make a major contribution to sustainable development in the country.

Mali is a land locked state with an area of 1.24 million km² in West Africa and home to about 18.7 million inhabitants. The main areas of settlement are found in the south as the northern part of the country extends deeply into the Sahara desert. A United Nations’ peace-keeping mission is present in Mali on account of armed conflicts. Alongside agriculture, the most important economic sector, mining, has gained increasing significance in the last twenty years. Substantial economic growth of 4.7% was attained in 2018 despite an extremely low level of education and an infrastructure strongly in need of development.

The Toguna group of companies has been active in various areas since 1994. These include agriculture, mining and the sale of agricultural machines. The Toguna Mining Corporation is a subsidiary engaged in mining but also manufactures construction materials, such as concrete blocks and bricks. Simple Chinese machines had previously been utilised for this purpose. The company has also undertaken numerous urban development projects. The group of companies works closely together with the government of Mali and is actively engaged in local development aid through the Toguna foundation. Its main focus is on the areas of infrastructure, education, healthcare and culture. The company’s aim is to pursue future-oriented development aid by constructing buildings for educational institutions, roads, and monuments, amongst other things.

To keep up with the growing demand for high-quality construction materials, Toguna Mining decided in January 2020 to invest in a Zenith single pallet plant based on the Zenith 1500-2 high-performance single pallet machine. A state-of-the-art concrete block production facility will be set up in Bamako, the country’s capital, where the company possesses more than 50 hectares of land.

Maximum productivity, product quality and user-friendliness were the main emphases in developing the fully automated Zenith 1500-2 single-pallet machine. The system covers a wide range of production possibilities. Alongside pavers, hollow blocks and kerbstones, it can manufacture numerous other products for garden and landscaping work as well as niche products. This high-performance system sets new standards in respect of productivity with a possible cycle times of 12.5 seconds and an output of approx. 30,000 hollow blocks per eight hours.

The consistent utilisation of bolted connections in the machine offers a number of advantages. Whereas fractures can occur at the welded seams over the course of time on machines with welded frames, Zenith promises great longevity with the bolted frames of its machines. Moreover, wear parts can be easily exchanged in a short time and ensure that the machine is very maintenance-friendly.

Maintenance-free machine elements, such as Zenith cylinders plus slide and swing bearings, ensure a very minor incidence of failures. This provides for very low maintenance costs and high machine availability.
The innovative Ultra Dynamic servo compaction system with the latest generation of Siemens vibration motors features excellent compaction and dynamics. This means that very high quality can be achieved whilst manufacturing rapid and efficient. Zenith also works together with Siemens regarding the control unit and has relied on the advanced Siemens S7 TIA Portal control system in all machines since 2014.

Its self-explanatory, intuitive operating concept with touch panel provides exceptional ease of operation. Machine operations are simple to learn thanks to the clearly arranged visualisation concept. An intuitive mobile touch panel can be utilised for changing products simply and rapidly. The new handy, portable touch panel also makes it possible to operate the machine from various places within the plant.

The Toguna Group was especially impressed by the swift supply of replacement parts throughout the world and remote maintenance via the internet, which allow the Zenith service staff to connect up with the machine via the built-in WLAN router for diagnosing errors.

In cooperation with the Toguna Group, Zenith will be able to make a substantial contribution to development in Mali by realising this project. The concrete products to be manufactured will be utilised in the construction of schools, hospitals and roads.

Drainage is indispensable in road construction work so that catastrophes can be avoided during flooding, which regularly occurs during the rainy season. Guttering blocks manufac-tured on the Zenith 1500-2 will be employed in this case.

Most concrete products in Mali are produced in small businesses and show considerable quality defects. The government is encouraging the ongoing enhancement of production processes in order to counter safety risk posed by such defects. Zenith is providing assistance in this case by making its expertise available along with the high quality standards that can be achieved with Zenith technology. Concrete products manufactured in this way are for long-term use and very durable.

The project with its investment in a cutting-edge single pallet plant will advance technical progress in the country significantly. The Malian employees will undergo thorough training by Zenith service staff. With its many years of experience, Zenith will remain a reliable partner at the customer’s side.

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