FRAMAR-TMT specializes in the construction of ENELapproved concrete prefabricated electrical substations and cabins. The company employs high-tech systems and extensive automation to mold monoblocs into a single solution with unique performance characteristics. FRAMAR operates two manufacturing facilities, in San Bavello and Brescia.
FRAMAR was facing three specific challenges. Firstly, prefab concrete electrical cabins are traditionally reinforced with rebar and steel mesh. Both of these reinforcement materials lead to congestion and reduce the available space inside the cabin. Secondly, the use of rebar and mesh is extremely labor-intensive and time-consuming. In a highly competitive market, FRAMAR was keen to increase productivity and reduce labor costs. Thirdly, FRAMAR wanted to enhance its sustainability credentials by cutting CO2 emissions of its manufacturing processes.
One of FRAMAR’s new generation of managers had studied steel fibers at university and was fully aware of their value and benefits. He therefore began discussions with a local steel fiber manufacturer with a view to replacing steel mesh and rebar with steel fiber reinforcement. However, this company lacked the relevant specific application expertise, so he turned to Bekaert, as Dramix® steel fiber reinforcement solutions have been used for decades for electrical cabins. After running a number of trials, it became apparent that Dramix® was able to totally replace the steel mesh and up to 90% of the rebar traditionally used to reinforce FRAMAR’s electrical cabins. FRAMAR will use up to 40 tonnes (estimated) per year of Dramix® 3D 80/30 BGB to make its electrical cabins. Up to 20,000 square meters of concrete are reinforced each year with Dramix®. FRAMAR has made around 15% labor savings and has cut 20% off the time needed to make an electrical cabin. Moreover, each cabin is now made with 18% fewer CO2 emissions. This is because steel fiber reduces the amount of concrete and steel used per cabin, and also makes it lighter and easier to transport.