SpektrumBau 2017: Innovation in action on the northern bypass in Zurich

Eberhard with pile cutter

The press team of Spektrum Bau is on the road again. This time at the Nordring construction site on the A1 motorway, which is progressing step by step. However, the real highlight here is not just the spectacular construction site itself, but an attachment that will revolutionise pile breaking now and in the future.

The construction site on the A1 motorway is undoubtedly one of the most impressive in the whole of Switzerland. For kilometres, construction machinery is lined up next to construction machinery, while traffic rolls on towards the Gubrist Tunnel just a few metres away. All the devices fulfil their very special purpose to bring this mammoth project to a successful conclusion. Brextor pile cutter from Baurent Central is also in use.

Construction site meeting

The revolution in pile cropping

This attachment can rightly be described as a true revolution in pile breaking: Until now, the alternative for this type of processing was either pointing using a pneumatic hammer or an excavator with a hydraulic hammer. The health risks of manual chipping are well known, and several countries in Europe allow a maximum working time of just two hours per day to protect construction workers from serious secondary illnesses. A further disadvantage of these conventional processing methods are cracks far below the surface and severely bent or broken reinforcements.

Problems recognised and solved

Pile breaking

Alois Portmann, Managing Director and owner of BRC Baurent Central, and his team recognised these problems and developed an all-round solution: With the Brextor pile cutter, the pile core and the pile outer skin are removed mechanically in a single operation. The remaining concrete is then easily removed with the BRC pile head crusher, leaving the reinforcements completely intact. What particularly impressed the editors of Spektrum Bau was the speed of all the work processes. Pile head after pile head is completed in the shortest possible time, which further underlines our judgement: this attachment not only offers higher quality compared to conventional methods, but also enormous performance and is also worth its weight in gold for the health of the construction workers. The verdict of machine operator Michael from Eberhard Bau AG, who is responsible for the milling work, is therefore very positive: “The pile cutter and the biter are working perfectly. By the end of this section at the end of the year, we will have completed hundreds of piles in tip-top condition, a clean job.”

A flawless collaboration between two companies

Brextor pile cutter project began back in 2007, when Alois Portmann and his engineers worked out and developed this innovative concept. In the years that followed, many well-sounding reference properties were added to the now bulging portfolio, such as the Prime Tower in Zurich, the Swisspor Arena in Lucerne and the Sawiris Resort in Andermatt. The positive experiences made with this system across the board also drew the attention of one of the largest Swiss construction companies, Eberhard Bau AG, to the BRC Baurent Central, and a short time later the purchase of the attachment was finalised. Silvan Eberhard, Head of Logistics, emphasises the innovative power of the Brextor cutter in the interview: “Eberhard Bau AG traditionally focuses on innovative products. We were completely convinced by this attachment, which is why the decision to purchase it was unanimous within the company.” Both partners praise the mutual, uncomplicated cooperation, which is now producing positive results for both companies. Silvan Eberhard comments again: “We enjoy working with BRC, the service and any spare parts deliveries work perfectly.” Alois Portmann adds: “It is our greatest aspiration that our customers are completely satisfied. Not only with our machines, but also with the after-sales service.”

Breaking out residual concrete
Cropping piles with a pile cutter

Innovative strength pays off

It will be several years before the northern bypass is completed and the first cars roll through the third Gubrist tunnel. Until then, countless piles will be driven or drilled into the ground. Thanks to the innovative power of BRC Baurent Central, the extremely important pile breaking is now finally being revolutionised and brought into the 21st century. The fact that Swiss piling companies such as Eberhard Bau AG rely on these attachments is not only the final proof that the product is more than mature, but also clearly shows that Alois Portmann and his company are shaking up the Swiss construction industry, true to the company motto: “Your path to success is our goal”. Nothing seems to stand in the way of a successful future for these construction pioneers.▼

Original press release in German.

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