International award for Cape Town concrete manufacturer
Bobcrete, a Bellville based precast concrete manufacturer, has won an international award for an innovative fastening method for its precast hollowcore slab panels.
Precast hollowcore slabs are laid horizontally in the construction of floor levels in multi-storey buildings, but can also be used vertically to erect walls. The slabs are five metres wide, 1.2m high and 150 mm thick, making them ideal for use on large surfaces.
However, until Bobcrete’s recent breakthrough, the slabs could only be joined together through a slotting mechanism or by fitting fasteners through holes drilled after the panels had been cast, which considerably added to the cost of construction.
In the award-winning panels the fasteners are cast as part of the slabs, so the costs are reduced, the final product is much stronger and wall and floor coverings can be easily applied.
“This is a world first,” says Phil Surridge, a director of Bobcrete, who travelled to Oslo in Norway last month to accept the award on behalf of all at Bobcrete.
In his acceptance speech he emphasised that the firm’s innovative products are the result of the cumulative efforts of the Bobcrete team, and that the award would provide further encouragement.
Bobcrete has won a number of awards for innovation since its first SABS award for design of the Bobflor-plus hollowcore panel in 2001. The company also won three regional and two national first-place awards in November last year for excellence in precast hollowcore slabs, in a competition held by the concrete manufacturer’s association of SA.
“Bobcrete was the only Cape based company to win any hollowcore awards at all,” says Surridge.
“Interestingly, the product that won the international award wasn’t submitted in the local competition, as it was completed only after entries closed, so it is further testament to the depth of innovation at Bobcrete.
“Our customers are largely responsible for fuelling the extra drive the innovation process needs, together with our mission to maximise customer satisfaction. It’s a winning combination,” says Surridge.
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