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Patented filling technology for high-tech thermal bricks

The project

The energetic requirements for their building materials prompted Röben Tonbaustoffe GmbH to introduce new thermal bricks into theirsupply range. The range of highly heat-insulating common bricks fi lled with mineral wool was extended by the thermal bricks TV 7 to  TV 10 with a heat conductivity of 0.10 down to 0.07 W/mK. With its range extension, Röben reacts on the increased demand for  innovative wall building materials. In order to integrate the necessary plant solution in the best possible way into the existing infrastructure at their Reetz site in Brandenburg, they opted for KELLER ICS, a high-tech partner and specialised plant supplier, who already provided convincing technical and economic answers in numerous comparable reference plants. Both companies already successfully worked together on several occasions. Their last joint major project was the development and commissioning of the complete plant of the new Röben factory in Bannberscheid near Montabaur in 2009. With this current project, they again succeeded in implementing an optimal plant solution within a very narrow time frame, and this is undoubtedly attributable to the extensive experience in fi lling technology the KELLER engineers gained over the years.

Filled bricks as a high-tech building material

Besides economic aspects, the modern residential housing sector sets its focus on ecological, health-relevant and static factors, accompanied by fi re and noise protection. Bricks with integrated insulating material are  on the market since the beginning of themillennium, but only with the energy requirements  of the energy saving regulation (EnEV) introduced in 2009 they became the new standard in Germany. This trend continues on a world-wide scale. Bricks fi lled with insulating material are ever more frequently offered abroad.

Common bricks filled with mineral wool

There are different materials which can be used as insulating material: In addition to Perlite and mineral granules, mineral fibres have proved their worth. To fill a natural material such as bricks with the proven mineral wool insulation turns out to be an intelligent combination which, due to the low thermal conductivity of filled bricks, makes all other additional thermal insulation composite systems at the exterior building walls redundant.

High thermal insulation

  • Low thermal conductivity of 0.08 to 0.07 W/mK as peak value
  • Suitability for KfW efficiency houses and passive houses

Health factors

  • No hazards caused by mold, algae, bugs
  • No toxic additives
  • No noxious fumes

Noise protection

  • High sound absorption
  • Highest noise level requirements are fulfilled

Structural analysis

  • Solid construction
  • Durable, robust
  • Pressure-resistant/dimensionally stable,best structural values

Fire protection

  • Bricks and mineral wool are inflammable (A1),melting point > 1,000 °C
  • No additional flue gases in case of fire

Ecologically valuable building material

  • Disposal as pure construction debris; recyclability
  • No artificial insulation/thermal insulation composite systems (ETICS) necessary

The functional process

The new brick fi lling plant complements the existing Röben plant infrastructure as a fully automatic stand-alone solution. The palletised common bricks from the existing brick production and the mineral wool boards are supplied to the plant via a system of chain conveyors. After drying, the common bricks are ground. This has the advantage, among others, that the insulating material can be easily filled. KELLER ICS created the new fi lling plant as a space-saving solution. In a first step, a cutting device cuts the mineral fi bre boards into inserts with a predefi ned size which will later fi t exactly into the brick holes. The cut inserts are then forwarded on a conveyor to the filling station.

The filling plant

The fi lling station consists of two lines located side by side. At one side, a high-performance industrial robot de-hacks and separates thebricks and groups them depending on their size. A transport belt then forwards them to the fi lling station. A special sting gripper mounted to a second robot picks up the cut mineral fi bre inserts and puts them vertically into the holes of the ready-positioned common bricks. Exact and uniform fi lling of the brick holes guarantees a homogeneous product quality and the very low thermal conductivity.

Patented technology

The KELLER engineers succeeded in uniting high-performance robotics and conventional technology. The fi lling station itself is equipped with a KELLER ICS patented technology which is successfully working in a number of brickworks. This technology allows very short change-over times when changing brick sizes, using synergies during the tool change. This technology also evens out dimensional brick tolerances admissible in the heavy clay sector and also achieves very good filling results with rough brick surfaces attributable to porous structures. Furthermore, the system both compensates for diff erent mineral wool board thicknesses and for dimensional variations within one mineral wool batch.

Plant output

The laid-out throughput of the plant is at present 800 fi lled bricks per hour. If the demand for thermal bricks increases, the KELLER plant design also allows a subsequent output increase. A transfer device forwards the ready filled bricks to the packing installation where they are palletised, heat-sealed and forwarded to the logistics department.

Conclusion: always having a finger on the pulse of the market

The supplied KELLER filling technology commissioned at Röben Tonbaustoffe in Reetz is on the cutting edge of development for ceramic machinery. Again KELLER ICS has shown its expertise in plant engineering for the heavy clay industry. With its compact design and the combination of robots and conventional technology, this plant will again serve as a worldwide reference. For many years now KELLER ICS has been realising the potential of fi lled bricks as a high-tech building material and supplied the necessary intelligent plant technology. With the new brick-fi lling plant in Brandenburg, KELLER ICS contributes to the safety of the jobs at the Röben site and once again proves its engineering capabilities and innovative strength "made in Laggenbeck".


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