Recently, more and more popular among owners of private households, cottages and "townhouses", as well as organizations that own their own buildings, decorative fences made of concrete have been used.
The fact is that most of these buildings are being built according to more or less standard designs, so they look pretty monotonous. But with the help of concrete sections of various shapes and textures, you can give them individuality and a certain style. In addition, concrete decorative fences constitute a good alternative, for example, to forged gratings: they are cheaper, stronger and do not need to be painted against rust.
So there is a certain demand for this product, and the demand is constantly growing - low-rise construction occupies a considerable segment in the industry in Russia. But the production of decorative concrete fences is carried out by a relatively small number of enterprises, and mainly decorative fences are made on individual orders and as a complement to the main product - other concrete or reinforced concrete products - slabs, blocks, paving slabs, etc.
It is not known exactly why this is happening - it is probably not profitable for large enterprises manufacturing concrete products to invest in one-time and small projects by their standards, and for small ones to open a new, rather little-known, business by Russian standards. But in principle, the production of concrete decorative fences can become a "gold mine", especially if you competently approach not only the technical, but also marketing issues of this business area.
Indeed, now buyers are simply forced to pay a clearly inflated price for decorative concrete fences: this is due to the absence of manufacturers of this product on the market, and piece products, as you know, are much more expensive than mass products.
But if the production of decorative fences is sufficiently large, then at a relatively low price and high quality (and the quality of products manufactured by a company specializing in their production will be higher than the quality of products manufactured by an outside organization, for which such production is new, even if you have all the necessary tools and all the necessary equipment), the customers themselves will go to you.
However, in the production of decorative fences, it is necessary to strike a balance between cheap mass production and a variety of designs: no matter how high the quality of decorative fences, they remain primarily decorative and are purchased mainly by representatives of the "middle class" as a kind of refinement that emphasizes the individual style of the owner of the house (organization as a rule, less demanding). Therefore, it is necessary to create the illusion of an individual approach and a certain elitism of the product - this is what an active consumer appreciates.
Technology and equipment for the production of concrete decorative fences
For the manufacture of decorative fences, not only the molding equipment and molds themselves are required, which will be discussed below. Pre-treatment of the cement mixture is also important - the higher quality raw materials used, the better finished products.
The production of concrete decorative fences begins with the sifting of cement and sand - the main components of concrete. It is produced in special vibrating screens with an electric drive with a mesh size of not more than 5 mm.
One vibrating sieve (220 V; 0.55 kW) costs around $ 500, the number of these machines directly depends on the capacity and type of production: for large volumes and continuous production, sieves will need at least three or four, but in case of production under the order is enough for one or two - the term for the execution of the order is calculated according to the available equipment, and if an order is received for, for example, 10 tons of products with a capacity of 2 tons per day - the term for its execution physically cannot be less than 5 days.
The next stage of production is the mixing of concrete. Manual kneading is excluded in accordance with the manufacturing technology of concrete and reinforced concrete products, therefore it is produced in concrete mixers, which are often also called “concrete mixers”.
Here you have a rather difficult choice: the range of faucets provided is very large. In general, it is necessary to distinguish between gravity and forced concrete mixers. The former are cheaper, the price range for them is from 370 to 2130 US dollars, depending on the capacity (in this case, the volume of component loading and the output of finished concrete, which is usually indicated by a fraction sign, in this case, for example, 130/100 l and 430 / 380 l).
In addition, gravity mixers (except for the most powerful ones - from about 200-300 l) do not require industrial (380 V) voltage and are portable. Forced concrete mixers are usually stationary (and some even require a light foundation), are more expensive (from 2340 to 17600 US dollars) and consume electricity with a voltage of 380 V. But productivity also increases, respectively: from 200/150 liters to 1500/1330 liters.
In addition, many of the forced concrete mixers are equipped with a “skip” or a skip hoist designed to supply (lift in height) aggregate concrete mixes. The skip elevator consists of a movable hopper that is moved along the guides by an electric winch through a system of blocks and automates the process of loading primary raw materials into the mixer; Gravity mixers are loaded manually, which requires at least one auxiliary worker for each unit.
The third stage consists of the actual process of molding decorative panels - elements of the fence. This process is most important in terms of the appearance and consumer properties of the finished product.
Molds for the production of decorative fences should be of good quality, without welds, and also have sufficient strength to avoid deformation.
Decorative fences (as well as forms for them) are divided into two categories - blind and openwork, or, more simply, impenetrable and "transparent".
Forms for openwork panels are slightly more expensive - about $ 375 per piece, compared to 345 for a blank panel form. Accordingly, forms are almost the biggest cost when starting your own business: after all, for a normal assortment they will need to be purchased with at least 60-65 (both types), and for a normal volume of production per cycle - 5-10 pieces each, so as not to produce for example, a 50-meter fence in one section for one bookmark. And this is not counting the forms for the pillar holders, which cost, depending on the type, from 175 to 515 US dollars apiece and which you also need to purchase in an amount corresponding to the number of forms for the panels, that is, twice as large - 2 columns hold one panel right and left.
As with other high-quality concrete products (for example, paving slabs), concrete shrinkage requires a vibratory molding table - a special machine that forces concrete to settle using frequency vibrations (vibrations). The increase in concrete density is due to the removal of air bubbles from the mixture.
Vibration tables come in two types - on belts and on springs. The first ones are slightly cheaper (about 605 US dollars), but wear out faster due to abrasion and stretching of belts; the second - a little more expensive (from 950 to 1240 US dollars), but they are operated longer. In principle, the choice of table type depends on the volume of production - if it is small, then you can safely take a molding table on belts.
Although special plasticizers and modifiers are used in the production of concrete decorative fences, which are laid in the solution to give it plasticity, to prevent microcracks, including the easy removal of the hardened product from the mold, it is recommended, although it is not necessary to use a vibrating molding table for $ 550 .
Sometimes for knocking out finished products from the molds, the same molding table is used, equipped with a special nozzle costing only 25 US dollars, however, with a continuous process or large volumes of production, using this method is not practical: the forming vibration table is equipped with more powerful electric motors than a forming one, so every time, using a molding table for forming it should be reconfigured or disconnected one of the motors (if a pair wiring diagram is used).
Prospects for the development of a business for the production of concrete decorative fences
The main direction of development, besides, of course, increasing sales markets, is the direction of the provision of design and decoration services (apart from, of course, the obvious - installation of decorative fences): for a fee, the designer will select an individual drawing for the fence, its color and type, corresponding to the design of the house or lawn.
This direction is the most promising, as it opens up wide possibilities for expanding production: in addition to simple (unpainted) decorative concrete panels, it is possible to produce colored ones by adding special pigments (dyes) to the initial solution.
In addition, if your designer also makes out the front lawn or yard, you can also offer the customer additional design elements in accordance with the design of the fence: for example, flowerpots, flower beds, herbalists, benches, urns, decorative figures (the so-called "garden gnomes" and other creatures), fountains, balusters, borders, barbecue, etc.
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