Trenox and Aalto University Product Development Project Course have been cooperating for many years. This year, students have been building a prototype larger than ever: a turning table for concrete elements. The huge machine improves both cost-efficiency and safety at worksites.
Concrete elements used at construction sites are transported to the construction site horizontally and turned to the right position on the spot. This requires extreme caution and is a somewhat risky and slow process. Both a tower crane and a mobile crane are needed in the procedure: first, a tower crane lifts the element up from the end, and a mobile crane turns it to the desired position. Often a mobile crane is only needed at the construction site to perform this task, and therefore utilizing and waiting for the mobile crane to arrive is a costly phase.
A group of students planned and manufactured a turning table: a machine that performs the task safely and affordably – without a mobile crane.
“It all started with planning the structure of the trunk and the hardware that could endure huge loads. We made several 3D models throughout the project”, Valtteri Vainio, one of the students, describes.
The sizes of elements are usually very variable, thus the prototype is suitable for multiple sizes and thicknesses of concrete elements. The maximum weight of the elements is 20 tons – even though usually the weight of the elements is max. 10 tons.
Six Finnish and five German students building the machine have also been working together previously, hence the project has been moving ahead rapidly and painlessly. No obstacle has been too large to overcome. However, while welding the parts together, the Aalto university hall became too narrow for working with a device as large as this one. In May, the prototype was moved to a hall owned by Vainio’s family company, where bridge cranes were available and welding could be done more effortlessly. Over 3000 working hours have been used already, and the finishing touches are still to be made.
I think we’ve used more than 150 kg of filler rods. It’s been quite a lot of work.Valtteri Vainio
Out of all the projects at PDP course of Aalto University, the turning table is the largest of them all. Trenox has been cooperating with the Aalto University PDP course for multiple times.
“We know Trenox as a straightforward company with low hierarchies. Students are treated as equal cooperation partners”, course professor Kalevi Ekman describes.
This Turning table has been a one of a kind project. The final result like this is extremely challenging to reach for any kind of team – professionals of students.Kalevi Ekman
During summer 2020, some final stages like railings were still to be finished. After this, the prototype was deconstructed, sandblasted, and painted. The finished prototype works intuitively with remote control and can be used by all construction workers.
The new machine has the capability to increase safety by removing one tricky phase from the construction, and bring savings to the worksites. Both Trenox and the student group are waiting for the prototype to be tested in real-life projects soon. Removing one challenging and risky procedure is not only beneficial for the crane operators, but also for the civil engineers.
Since using the concrete elements becomes cheaper and more effortless, one barrier for planning buildings with large concrete elements is removed.Valtteri Vainio