Part 1 of “Project Yellow” completed in Chanovice

With the construction of the new shuttering panel production facility, the Pfeifer Group continues its extensive investment programme at the Chanovice location. A modern, state-of-the-art shuttering panel production facility was built in 2017. With this, Pfeifer is expanding its position as a world leader in the manufacture of shuttering panels.

In 2017, 10 million Euros were invested in stage 1 of the expansion, the second part of which will follow in 2019. The high-performance, highly automated machinery currently generates an output of 1.3 million m² of shuttering panels per year, and the capacity will increase to 2 million m² when the project is completed. This means that shuttering panel production in the Czech Republic will be almost as efficient as at the Imst headquarters, where 3 million m² of shuttering panels leave the plant every year.

Technical refinements The existing infrastructure is ideally suited, as no new hall had to be built. Managing Director Josef Dringel reports: “We had enough space – 9,000 m² to be precise – in the former glulam production hall to house the shuttering panel factory. It was a pure technology investment.” Technically, the new plant offers a number of refinements, such as thin cutting in the separation of the cover lamellas using band saw technology of the highest quality. “This enables us to achieve an even higher material yield,” Managing Director Roger Fränkel explains.

New jobs While 25 employees were working in the discontinued glulam production, the number of employees in the shuttering panel plant has increased to 80, and work is carried out in three shifts. “Glulam was not competitive in Chanovice and is something we can produce more efficiently in Imst,” says Josef Dringel, explaining the reason for the streamlining of the product range. The essential preparations for the second stage of expansion at the shuttering panel plant have already been made, with a doubling of production capacities scheduled from 2019 onwards and being “already very concrete” according to Josef Dringel.

Schalungsplatten von Pfeifer

The Chanovice site produces "red" panels with E-profile in the dimension of 21 mm  – a product that is a triumphal international success as an alternative to plywood.

“Red” panels are gaining importance

“Thanks to the recovery of construction activity in Central Europe, demand for shuttering panels is higher than supply. That's why we invested in Chanovice and Trhanov at exactly the right moment,” says Ingo Meitinger, Sales Manager for concrete formwork products at Pfeifer. Thin-cutting technology will also be used in Trhanov from March/April 2018. For 2018, the aim is to produce 6.5 million m² of shuttering panels in all three plants and increase sales volume by 500,000 m².

Central Europe as a new promising market Chanovice supplies the same markets as Trhanov and Imst: the core markets in Central Europe such as Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Italy, Spain and France. Ingo Meitinger, Sales Manager for formwork products at Pfeifer, however, also identifies promising markets for which the shuttering panel production in the Czech Republic is very suitable: “Central European markets such as Poland, Romania and Bulgaria are developing rapidly. Of course, we can supply these customers from our Czech plants in the best possible way.” According to Ingo Meitinger, the product range of all three production sites has been optimised: “We don't have to produce everything everywhere, but focus on core competencies or standard dimensions, depending on the location.”