Innovative canal production: Automated planning, sustainable manufacturing

January 18, 2023

A time saving of 80 percent sounds like an unattainable dream for many companies. The CREABETON company has managed to do just that – with the help of an Allplan add-on from Pro Engineers.

We hardly think about it because it mostly runs invisibly under our feet, but our civilization would undoubtedly be an unhygienic affair without it. We are referring, of course, to the sewer system. In order for us to keep our groundwater clean, it is indispensable and must be continuously maintained, renewed or – in the case of new developments – even newly constructed. In Switzerland, about 80 percent of the components for sewer manholes come from the precast concrete manufacturer CREABETON. This company has now been able to enormously increase its efficiency in the planning and production of sewer manholes by means of automation. This was achieved with the help of a plug-in for Allplan from the company Pro Engineers.

Automated modeling

Normally, when modeling manholes, the required components would have to be manually adjusted and “laid” according to the manhole layout. This can take hours for several hundred meters of sewer line. The tool from Pro Engineers, on the other hand, now allows CREABETON to automatically model manholes and insert the correct components.


Material-saving and sustainable

However, the benefits of the automation tool are not limited to modeling alone. At the same time, the model provides, so to speak, a completely paperless work preparation or works planning for the individual concrete components. For example, the model data is sent directly to CNC machines for the production of the corresponding formwork. The machine production by the latter is carried out in a fully automated additive process. A granulate is used as the starting material, which can simply be shredded and reused once the formwork has reached the end of its service life. Theoretically, any formwork could be produced from one and the same medium. Since there is no waste material left over, this production process is extremely economical and sustainable.

Crea-Kanal_(3)© CREABETON

Win-win-win situation

According to Pro Engineers, the new automation of the design and manufacturing process saves about 80 percent of the time previously spent – a huge increase in efficiency for their customer CREABETON. However, the 3D modeling of the manholes also brings another advantage, which concerns the life cycle and thus the maintenance of the manholes. With the help of the model data, consisting of intelligent concrete components, wastewater simulations can also be carried out, enabling a reduction in maintenance work and the associated costs. The bottom line is that the small Allplan add-on creates a win-win-win situation in planning, execution, and maintenance.

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