From a housing development in distant Peru to a transformer manufacturing plant just four hours up the autobahn, powerful molds from RATEC of Germany demonstrate how one company’s clever magnetic engineering can bring change to a traditional industry such as prefabricated construction. By introducing extremely powerful precision magnets to position and fix the formwork, it has brought new capabilities and efficiencies to the market.
Recent reports from the company illustrate how its magnetic formwork is being applied to a variety of projects. The image above shows a mold being completed at the company’s plant in Hockenheim that will help build two-room modules at a modular housing factory in Peru. About nine years ago, the first modular housing project in Peru went into operation using RATEC molds to build 3,600 homes. This mold was destined for a second production facility to build a new project in the north of the country.
“We are very pleased that our customer has once again decided in favor of quality “Made in Germany”. Our equipment ensures that the customer can produce at the very highest of standards – and with the utmost in efficiency”, says Joerg Reymann, managing director of RATEC GmbH and Reymann Technik GmbH.
In another example, last August RATEC completed its third successive delivery of formworks to a transformer manufacturer located north of Hockenheim. Beginning with the first project in 2018, RATEC has now equipped all three of the company’s sites in the country.
The design is extremely variable, allowing the customer to produce two transformer station sizes with a single formwork while at the same time enabling different design variations. Interchangeable attachments are used to create the different inner workings of the stations. The formwork has more than 60 tons of lifting force that is transferred over four cylinders. Because the formwork can cover different lengths, heights and shapes, it is suitable for all common transformer types that the company manufactures.
Over the years, RATEC has developed an impressive lineup of tools and accessories in support of its technology. Its “magnet in the box”, Pro-Magnet, is the basis of all its ideas, says the company.
Standard magnets of the Pro-Magnet series are the foundation of its magnet components and shuttering systems. In-house magnet production allows them to be tailored to customer requirements and for special solutions. In addition to standard variants with a retaining force of 990, 1980, 2970 or 4620 lb, RATEC can also implement other designs and magnet strengths as required, or adapt the installation components structurally without losing retaining force. High performance neodymium magnets are used, installed in-house in a patented process. Stainless steel bandages and various coating steps and processes make the magnetic core extremely corrosion resistant.
The KPB Klacker Power Box is a switchable shuttering magnet for precast concrete plants which has a Pro-Magnet integrated into it.
The company’s Easy Form siderail system brings several of the products together to enable dealing with a wide variety of situations. Designed as a modular system, it can be easily used even with just a few components or in combination with a range of accessories.
Among the accessories are magnetic chamfer and reveal strips for quick and clean formation of chamfers, drip molds or dummy joints. The strips are made of high-quality steel with built-in magnets so that screwing or welding on the table or on the formwork can be omitted.
Insert magnets for mounting and assembly from RATEC have been used for years in the precast concrete industry. Through the combination of rubber bodies with integrated magnets, they can be produced in almost any geometry. The strong, integrated magnet fixes the insert part in the exact position desired for fixing threaded sleeves, anchor plates, anchor channels, pipes, loop boxes and lifting anchors of all common manufacturers.
It also makes a series of standard magnets suitable for stabilizing shuttering all types of formworks. They can be configured with handlebar grips and additional holes to accommodate angles, even equipped with various adapters using magnetic rubber or neodymium magnets.
There is strong demand in Peru for adequate residential facilities for a growing middle class. In the Los Altos de Castilla residential project in Piura located about 1,000 km north of Lima close to the border with Ecuador, houses with a living area of 25 to 30 square meters are built on lots that are up to 70 square meters. The purchase of the land and houses is subsidized by the state to enable more people to own homes.
Begun in 1974 as Reymann Technik, a one-man engineering company, today the RATEC group is a global enterprise run by three brothers of the second generation – Joerg, Andreas and Mathias. It has about 70 employees and has delivered its products to more than 70 countries. For more info, see www.ratec.org.