Southeast Asia has some of the highest level of adoption for Precast Concrete technology outside Europe. It also has some of the most advanced precast manufacturing plants in the regions. Countries like Singapore, backed by strong government initiatives, have been proactive in advocating and incorporating Prefabrication technology in their building and construction of their public and private housing projects. In line with the government’s objective to ramp up productivity, efficiency and to achieve shorter construction cycle. The building industry in Singapore is evolving and entered into a new chapter with the recent successful completion of several projects using modular construction techniques.
Poh Cheong is a privately-owned manufacturer of quality precast concrete products in Singapore. It has been providing comprehensive solutions for building and infrastructure projects in Singapore for more than 40 years and constantly adopts and deploys new manufacturing technologies to enhance the efficiency of its manufacturing processes. Poh Cheong envisages to maintain its presence in the Singapore market, at the same time enhancing its presence in Malaysia, Myanmar and other regional countries
Poh Cheong operates two manufacturing plants located in Singapore, one manufacturing plant located in Senai, within Iskandar Malaysia and a new manufacturing plant in Yangon, Myanmar. These four plants have a combined production space of more than 2 million square feet.
State-of-the-art plant for future success
The principles of quality, sustainability, consistency and efficient manufacturing methodology forms Poh Cheong‘s business philosophy. In line with their management’s vision to be a market innovator. Poh Cheong partnered with MCT Italy to embark on an ambitious project to upgrade its Malaysian precast concrete manufacturing facility that is strategically located in Iskandar Malaysia in 2017.
This upgrade transforms the traditional manufacturing facility into one of the most technologically advanced prefabricated concrete production facility in the region.
With a strong book order of 200,000 m3 of precast concrete to be produced over the next 2 years, this upgrade ensures timely and efficient distribution of quality concrete throughout its 850,000 square feet facility.
Equipped with 1.2 km of distribution network, and a state of the art high intensive 5.000 liters Eirich batching plant, Poh Cheong is able to batch and deliver 3 m3 of precast concrete every 3 minutes.
The upgraded plant is equipped with new integrated software solutions together with intelligent machines for concrete batching and distribution ensures that the production process runs at optimal level consistently. This definitely minimizes manpower required and reduces sources of error and at the same time improves rates of production and quality.
MCT Italy’s team worked closely with Poh Cheong to design and implement the entire plant concept and layout, which can now be used to produce up to 480 cubic meter of precast concrete daily on an 8 hours shift.
Supreme technical solution and layout: equipment to maximize the flexibility & speed of casting
MCT Italy was Poh Cheong’s first choice among many other European machines and equipment suppliers.
The technical department of MCT Italy succeeded in developing and proposing a fully customized solution which exceeded Poh Cheong’s expectations in terms of speed, redundancy and precision in concrete distribution and casting solutions.
A dedicated team of MCT key officials were appointed to work on the project in order to develop a genuine partnership with Poh Cheong and to execute the entire process of pre-installation, erection, and commissioning.
Starting with the installation of four receiving hoppers, the system’s automatic aggregate loading system was thoroughly studied to ascertain any kind of contamination among the different aggregates to be used during production processes that can be avoided. The main technical features of the plant include:
- 660 cubic meters aggregate storage subdivided into 4 compartments;
- 210 cubic meters for cement, silica and filler;
- 1 unit of mixer feeding conveyor belt with automatic washing system, which warrants a perfectly clean operating environment.
- 1 unit of Eirich Intensive Mixer Type R28/51
The investment needed for the installation is fully justified on account of the supreme quality that the mixer guarantees in terms of the consistency and homogeneity of the concrete produced. This definitely strengthens Poh Cheong’s already excellent reputation in the Singaporean market and allow for new product lines in the future.
The concrete distribution system, developed by MCT Italy for Poh Cheong boasts on a flying bucket capacity that is truly breathtaking:
- 4 units of four-wheel drive flying buckets running on inclined rails of 5.000 liters capacity and up to 240 m/min speed;
- 1,200m of flying buckets rails;
- 5 units of automatic casting machine of 5.000 liters capacity and 360° rotation;
- System fully integrated through industrial optic fiber Wi-Fi signal exchange.
The flying buckets deliver the concrete to various production halls at an average distance of 300 meters reduces segregation during delivery.
The software plays a large part in ensuring that the production processes run smoothly. The CompuNet® system, developed by MCT Italy Software Development, consistently accompany all the aspects of the production process and concrete distribution system. These integral systems thus replace a multitude of partial software solutions, avoiding interface problems and ensures employees can perform their entire work process in one homogeneous, user-friendly system.
The CompuNet, solution developed specifically for the precast concrete industry, facilitates the planning and control of all business and production processes – starting from materials management, through production, project management and, eventually, also billing for concrete sale.
Strengthening market competitiveness in precast 3D elements and volumetric precast
The fully automatic concrete distribution system supplied by MCT Italy supports a stationary production of large variety of precast elements: further to walls, slabs, columns, beams, and staircases the 3D Automated hydraulic moulds for bathrooms and kitchens represent what Singapore has been promoting in its construction industry by means as government’s vision is to improve productivity, increase the quality, efficiency and to groom skilled workforce.
Thanks to the special casting machine engineered by MCT Italy, the volumetric precast elements, that can be fabricated perfectly, and in a variety of dimensions since both walls and floors are adjustable according to the project requirements.
As the pre-fabricated 3D elements are up to 90% pre-fabricated, it is possible to reduce costs significantly: sanitary equipment, electricity systems and furnishings are installed as part of the production process, delivered just in time to the construction site, where a crane places them in their final position.
The General Manager, Ivan Leng, is satisfied with the MCT Italy’s complete equipment package and software solution: “The new machinery installation increased our production output, giving stability and reliability to the daily production volume of our plant. All these systems ensure a seamless flow of data, which increases not only our productivity, but also the quality and precision of our products.”
The Director, Kyo Seah, affirms: “Poh Cheong is committed to nurture a diverse work force that reflects the nature of our regionalization objective. Poh Cheong envisions itself to be recognized as a quality manufacturer and an innovator of precast concrete solutions globally. Our inner aim is to attain profitable growth through setting the highest standards in service, quality, safety and cost containment in our industry”.
He also explains: “The MCT Italy overall concept of the system is thus in perfect harmony with our objectives to produce quality products in the factory with the minimum variables to handle production processes. We will to adopt digital technologies and automation, to remain competitive in the long term. We will infuse and adopt new technology into this old industry, in order to make it relevant for the future.”
Mr. Gabriele Falchetti, MCT Italy’s SouthEast Asia Sales Director, says: “In order to achieve and work out the smartest solutions in precast technology, production automation and services, it is crucial to monitor business conditions and to consult customers’ needs proactively. Our goal is to enable Poh Cheong to achieve higher performances levels and to increase production rates.”
“Prefabricated Pre-finished Volumetric Construction (PPVC) and Prefabricated Bathrooms Units (PBU) is the new trend in the market. It’s a construction method whereby free-standing volumetric modules complete with finishes for walls, floors and ceilings are constructed and assembled in a fabrication facility and then easily installed in a building at work site. The system can achieve a productivity improvement of up to 40% in terms of manpower and time savings; furthermore, dust, noise pollution can be minimized as more activities are done off-site. With the bulk of the installation activities and manpower moved off-site to a factory-controlled environment, site safety is also improved.” Mr. Falchetti adds, pointing out this latest trend in the market.
Gabriele Falchetti introduces Poh Cheong’s as the first precast plant in the Malay Peninsula with this technology: “The pioneer technique developed by MCT Italy to cast 3D modules in a fast, reliable and flexible way thanks to the joint action of high-speed flying bucket and automatic casting machines supports the manufacturing for special precast elements utilizing the latest generation of special concrete. Precast technology can offer an excellent solution for this. At MCT Italy, we help our customers to adapt to the changing environment and to new business opportunities throughout the project. Poh Cheong’s project is an outstanding example of this approach”, Falchetti explains.
They jointly conclude that the high level of customization provided by MCT Italy’s concrete plant solutions and the skills of the Poh Cheong’s engineering team have guaranteed the success of this ambitious project and a long-lasting partnership is assured.