December 23, 2013

Deltabeam car parks in Russia

 
Residential buildings need also places for the most loved family members, cars. The parking places take a lot of space, and in most countries the amount of cars per apartment is very well defined in the building permit.
 
Russia is not an exception - parking lots are a must in residential projects. And like in all the countries, constructing the car parks is not very easy. Typical way of constructing is in-situ casting, taking a lot of time. 
 
In St.Petersburg there is a project under construction at the moment where the 2-storey-high parking structure is build under the yard, in the middle of the houses seen in the pictures below.
 
What is smart in this? The parking structure is made with Deltabeams and hollow-cores, precast floor elements. The benefits are e.g.
 
1) assembly can be done efficiently during winter time and very fast,
 
2) there are height savings as the beam and floor slab are same (less digging leading less costs),
 
3) the structure allows even ceiling and limits the amount of columns (=long spans of beams and hollowcores), making the parking experience nice even with larger cars. 
 
 
 

 

December 2, 2013

Multifunctional Deltabeam

I had the opportunity to visit last week a site in Southern Finland, a public building in a brand new residential area.
 
What I found pretty interesting in this Opinmäki campus concept in Suurpelto, was the objective of the building. Not only for one use only. In addition to school and day care also library services, adult education, cultural, sports, youth and residents' park activities are also offered at the campus.
 
So no longer only schools, but all public services under one roof!
 
And of course what I also liked in the project was the use of Deltabeams and Peikko´s composite columns: giving clear flexibility during the lifetime of the building.

 
Flat ceilings, with Deltabeams

3-story-high composite colums, fast to assemble

Composite colums filled from the bottom,
 to able good concreting inside the column.
Have also a look at the electricity wires;
 helping casting in minus (C) degrees.

November 14, 2013

TERA Joint paves the way for the President

A new factory opening is an everyday event, and this one happened in Russia last summer. 
A company Almaz Antey opened a new factory, with the Russian President present at the opening ceremonies.

What has Peikko to do with this? Because Peikko delivered more than 2.5 km of TERA Joint for the project, also, most columns are standing with Peikko´s column shoes firmly in its place.

Nice floor, even for the President to walk :-)


November 1, 2013

Deltabeam works with Filigrans !

Some weeks back I had the opportunity to visit a building site in Central Europe. This commercial building site was in a middle of the town center, and the height of the building was clearly restricted, although all moder HVAC technology was also very much in need.

In order to solve the challenge the structural engineer selected Deltabeam, a product that was able to reduce a lot of extra space otherwise required in the building if built with other technologies.
Local builders were very familiar with cost-effective Filigran floor slabs, so these were used in this project. The project seems to be going nicely forward and the target has been achieved.

Deltabeam provides advantages – and works also well with Filigran floor slabs.


October 8, 2013

Quality matters – or does it really?


When travelling in the Middle East it just many times amazes me how poor the construction quality can sometimes be. Of course not in all cities.  Of course not in all circumstances.  But unfortunately too often one can see attempts to build something that even I can myself could do much better. And trust me, I cannot build myself anything J.

Please have a look at the enclosed examples, they are taken in a fancy factory project under construction. The buildings were meant to resemble some gate houses in this factory area. Have a look on how the bricks are laid; even my 9-year-old son could understand this is bad quality.
How is possible that somebody can work this lousy, is there no pride at all what one does? Who has controlled the work? Does it really not matter? Is the intention just to cover with blaster and paint, prior things start to collapse…?


September 21, 2013

Story of Peikko - how history can explain the future


Last year, we worked on a fun project at Peikko – we participated in the making of a movie called the “Story of Peikko”. This 17-minute movie was prepared for our employees, customers and partners. Film is usually a powerful visual tool to tell a story, and we thought this could work well also at Peikko.  

The process of making the movie was exciting: browsing through old brochures, pictures and films. It was amazing to realize that the issues that were important to us decades ago have remained nearly unchanged. Innovation, speedy decision making, customer relationships…all these have, and continue to be among our priorities.

It was also nice to get to interview so many people and to remind ourselves how long careers many of our team members have made at Peikko. In the movie you can see, for example, two of our former managing directors, both of whom are still working for Peikko, albeit in new roles.  And last but not least, the film also introduces to its viewers one of our most devoted employees – he started his career at Peikko in 1965 as a 15-year-old boy, and he is still working at our Finland factory.  

Peikko is today a nearly 50-year-old firm. Our ripe age, of course, does not protect us against challenges of the corporate world - these days even well-known companies are announced bankrupt every week. We have to change ourselves continuously, to keep apace with global markets and the industry, and to adapt better to our customers’ expectations.  Throughout its history, Peikko has focused on continuous change, and that is the approach that will keep the company alive also in the future.

So, please fetch yourselves a can of Coke and cone of popcorn and join us to watch the Story of Peikko. The film is available, for example, on our YouTube channel at: http://www.youtube.com/user/PeikkoGroupCorp

September 6, 2013

Prefabricated gymnasium structures - with Peikko column shoes & bolts



Time is money. And the projects which are in hurry need special solutions. One example of a specially good solution is a precast concept to be used for gymnasium structures for high schools. The precast solution (structures casted in a factory environment, then brought to the building site) is saving time and limiting the work force near the crowded school neighborhood.
 
This is particularly the case if there are 65 gymnasiums to be build within a 6-month period. Yes, you read correctly, sixty-five different gymnasiums built within six months.
 
And naturally the precast solution is using Peikko columns shoes and anchor bolts, all secured for seismic conditions.
 
Where is this happening? Istanbul, Turkey. The place for great speed. Watch out the Turkish basketball team after a couple of years !!!!
 
 

August 23, 2013

Niagara is going upwards with Deltabeams

Last October Peikko announced a new project in Sweden, an University expansion in the city of Malmö – a new Niagara campus quarter.  It is about kilometers of Deltabeams and other Peikko composite structures. See more at http://www.peikko.com/news/n=Peikko+delivers+composite+structures+to+Malm%C3%B6+University+expansion+in+Sweden

It is always fascinating to see how the projects are developing from just drawings to ready-made buildings. It looks so that the project is running quite well with timeline: assembly of Deltabeams has been done with only small adjustements, despite that there are almost no straight corners in the building.
Have a look at the enclosed pictures to see more.



July 30, 2013

Greenfield of Peikko Germany


The overview of Peikko Germany, a real GREENFIELD investment over the last 7-8 years. Please note the solar panels on the top of the factory halls !
 I am getting frequently news from recent investment projects cited on various newspapers to my e-mail account. It is very rewarding to read through this information, because even in Europe there is a lot of developments on-going. One can not be pessimistic after reading all these to-be projects.

Surprisingly, I was last week caught with a surprise - there was article about Peikko and in fact all the details were correct ! A German magazine had explained our investments in Germany, see the article at http://www.hna.de/lokales/korbach-waldeck/fester-halt-waldeck-verbindungselemente-hochbau-3004450.html
Yes, we are investing in machinery, and yes, we are also investing in Germany.  We believe our Höringhausen site is long-term beneficial production place and we have been lucky to get excellent persons to work there.

I hope through these investments we can support our Central European customers even with better lead-times and be even more cost-efficient with our services !



July 23, 2013

Deltabeams – want to buy a copycat?




Picture:  Fake Deltabeams on their way to a building site – likely to be re-painted at the building site there with expensive fire-coating.
The goal to cut costs is sometimes strong, so strong that costs are cut by ignoring safety issues, or not to care somebody´s intellectual product rights.

In the recent case a large contractor bought steel beams from a smaller steel fabricator who realized that the fire-painting would cost a lot. In the standard, general HQ-beam structure the beams require fire-protective painting in order the building structure not to collapse during the first 2-3 hours of fire.  In order to save costs this steel fabricator decided to make the beams Deltabeam look-a-likes, as Deltabeams have a proven behavior under the situation of fire WITHOUT fire-protective coating.
OOPPSSS, what went wrong?
First of all, the steel fabricator naturally broke Peikko´s patents and got a nasty “warning letter” from Peikko´s lawyers. Why would Peikko put a lot of efforts on fire tests, and then give everybody the right make copies? A law suit will follow.

Secondly, the beam design was such that the steel fabricator needs to anyway fire-paint the beams – the project will be for sure a loss-making one for the company.
What is the learning from this incident?To do things right first time might cost less.


June 30, 2013

Concrete Connections & Deltabeams on vacation

It is amazing how difficult it is to forget work when being on holidays. Have you had the same feeling as well? Or is this only my battle...?
 
Middle of the June I was having holidays with my family in Usedom, Germany and on our way there we saw many wind turbine towers under assembly. I could not help to give a lecture to my children how Peikko´s products can be used in this kind of applications. In this spot at the former Eastern Germany it was not that difficult, so many projects were on-going. One of my sons calculated more than 150 wind turbine towers just be looking around from a car in one place! One of the most forward looking industries also trusts Peikko.
 
Yesterday I visited a city of Tampere in Finland where we were meeting some relatives, and oh well, at the Stockmann expansion project I saw the Deltabeams being assembled - and of course we had to stop to watch. Stockmann is a department store chain very strong in Finland but also in Russia. Even some best brands trust Peikko.
 
I feel quite priviliged to be working for an industry where things are tangible and can be seen. It is quite easy to explain to friends and relatives on what I do and where they can find Peikko´s items. But sometimes it is too easy, I cannot stop telling these stories...or only when my wife gives some clear hints to stop :-).
 
Let us have vacation some times where we do not think about the work. For me it is tough one, I hope for you it is much more easier!
 
Given that your vacation period starts soon - have a great vacation !
 





 

June 7, 2013

Great Deltabeams on FIRE !

Fire rating is important, as it is important to understand how many minutes or hours one has time to run out of the building before the structure collapses in the case of fire. Or how many minutes the firemen have time to try to put the fire out.

This week was an important week for Peikko North America. The latest Deltabeam fire tests were done at the Underwriters Laboratories (UL) in USA with great success.

A test slab was casted already long time ago and on June 6th was the time of burning it from underneath. And it worked beyond expectations !  

We had four exposed steel specimens (without fireproofing material) with fire designs for 1h, 2h, 2.5h and 3h. The first specimen designed for one hour tested over two hours and the specimen designed for two hours tested over four hours. Four hours being highest listing UL can grant, the data from test will allow Peikko to obtain listings of 1h, 2h, 3h & 4h.

Build safe, build with Deltabeams !






May 29, 2013

Peikko Solutions for Insulated Concrete Walls


I am very proud about Peikko´s animations, somehow our marketing persons have been able to do a great job together with our animation provider.

The recent animation is about the solutions for Insulated Concrete Walls, please see it at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jZvSkAxPDiw

In my almost 8 years at Peikko I have always had a problem to explain what we exactly manufacture and where our products are really applied for. Also the talk has always been for individual products. It is nice now to have some animation which gathers all our offering on sandwich wall elements - and there are many customers using our complete system already.

What do you think about the animation? Give comments !

May 13, 2013

Poland: Deltabeams and PSB Punching Systems

It is always very rewarding to get to deliver products in prestige projects. It is more fun to know that our items have ended up in nice-looking buildings in city centers than just in some industry hall in the middle of nowhere, although from the technical challenge point of view the latter could even be more demanding. The recent two nice project received were in Poland.

In South of Poland, the city of Cracow, Peikko is honored to deliver our composite beams, Deltabeams (see more at Deltabeam product information) , for a project of “Kapelanka 42”. The customer for us in this case is SKANSKA, and the project is a premium class office complex located in this historic, second largest city in the country. There will be almost 2 km of Deltabeams to be delivered, starting in July onwards.
In the Capital of Poland, Peikko will deliver punching reinforcement (PSB, see more at PSB Reinforcement System)  for Warsaw Spire project – an office building located in the centre of Warsaw. Warsaw Spire with total height of 220 m will be the second highest building in Poland. The total office space amounts to 100 000 square meters. The Warsaw Spire project received a prestigious architectural design award in 2011. The deliveries start this month.


It is interesting to see that modern building techniques are the everyday life in Poland.  And I am very proud that Peikko can be part of this development!

April 18, 2013

BAUMA or not to BAU, that is the Question

This week more than 400.000 construction professionals of Europe are gathering to the biggest industry trade show in the continent, BAUMA. This exhibition, taking place every 3 years, is quite an event, including e.g. real Zeppelin flying around the exhibition area to advertise one of the big machinery makers.

What always makes me wonder is that every 6 years there are two main construction exhibitions taking place in the exact same Munich location during the same spring period. BAU was in January (takes place every 2 years) and now BAUMA in April (takes place every 3 years). Competition between these two organizers is quite silly, and because of the rigid place reservation systems (if you are out of one exhibition one time, you will not have a good place anymore in the next event) all companies need to have proper places also during this "double-spring".
But based on the experience of the first three days, at least for Peikko it is worthwhile to be in both events. Our BAUMA booth was very full during the first three days, please find a picture taken on Monday morning prior opening below.



All the customers, all the co-operation partners, please come to visit us for the second time this year !!! At least the weather in Munich seems to be great, sunny and + 20 degrees C.  The exhibition is open until Sunday.

April 5, 2013

TERA Joint floorjoints & Australia

Peikko´s sales activities in Australia started during fall 2012, yet there are already a plentiful projects ordered and delivered in the region. The business started by our high quality floor joint of TERA Joint, with main focus on the East Coast of Australia. >

The main elements of success have been price, availability and quality. This seems to be like a no-brainer – how could you do any business in other way.  But let´s look at the details of these premises.
First of all, main items come to Australia to our fairly large factory in China. Based on the economies of scale, advantages in steel purchasing etc. our costs are reasonable and thus the prices we can sell are reasonable as well. We want our prices to be safe, not opportunistic.

Secondly, the availability is the key for any material in the construction business. This has meant for us to build quite extensive storage operations right from the very start in the Sydney area. Plus our factory has been very flexible in delivery times. And we have been determined not to overpromise our delivery times from factory either.

Peikko´s Trent Davis works from Sydney


Thirdly, with regards to product quality we have been surprised of the quality issues on the material so far used in the market. It looks like we really have a good and fitting product in the market.
I hope we can further develop the three things above and long-term successfully serve our new customers in Australia!

http://www.peikko.com.au/


March 26, 2013

Precast lifting systems – safety counts



They say that the best consultant for business is money. Unfortunately another parallel is also true – lethal accident is the best consultant for new governmental safety regulation.

The above seems to be very true in one developing country where several lives were lost at the building site when elements were lifted….and elements were fallen down to seven workers killing them. It seems that now everybody has started to really think how elements should be lifted and with what.  It looks like more regulation is to come and only standardized systems are allowed to be used – in order to not repeat the accidents.

For Peikko the precast lifting system has been a difficult challenge. The requirements from the market regarding the technical and quality issues have increased, however, the alternative for our customer have been to use certain low cost bulk products. In some cases regulators have been also allowing the use of some waste and leftovers from their own production (left-over rebar / rope from elements). Selling highest quality products at commodity prices is not always the best when trying to run business. But we have no doubts to continue in this key product range – it is essential in our precast product portfolio.

Peikko is one of the first companies to go for CE-marking in Europe not only for lifting clutches but also for lifting anchors. We have in-house production of anchors both in Germany and China and have constant quality control in our production – e.g. 100% clutches go through tensile testing in our Zhangjiagang factory.  
No compromises in Europe, no compromises in any other country.

March 14, 2013

Testing on products - for the sake of reliability

At Peikko we would like to do things right. We do 3D-design, we make FEM analysis, we make real-size steel samples of the products and study them further.; And at the end of the day, we need to make sure about the functionality of our products and for that – full-scale concrete tests are many times required.

To plan a test is a science itself. And actually, the plan is much more important than the breaking of the concrete or the steel itself. The test has to really demonstrate a real-life situation of a column, floor, balcony or other object in the building. Tests e.g. related to some new, coming product versions we did last year at the University of Greenwich, United Kingdom.

The reasons for testing are not just when we create new products. In 2012 we proved new calculations referring to EN –standards with regards to our punching shear to work in real life situation at Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), Switzerland. See below some pictures of the test set-up.
Sometimes we also want to make sure that products we have been selling a longer time really work and the conventional wisdom is really correct. For this reason we have e.g. done extensive testing of lifting anchor products range with interesting results at the Technical University of Darmstadt, Germany.

To enlarge usage of products to extreme cases we also do further analyses like three-dimensional FEM thermal analysis for PCs corbel in Centre Technique et Industriel de la Construction Metallique (CTICM), France.
For the sake of proving that there are weaknesses in EN-standards and need to be changed in certain sections, we have done tests at the Technical University of Zilina, Slovakia. Sometimes it is better to prove that we are right not with calculations, because physical parts can lead to faster conclusions by the authorities.

During the last year there was also one very absurd case with one of our competitor. The competitor claimed one of our connection products to be unsafe to both customers and to an approval body in one given country. This was the first ever claim in our 48-year history where Peikko were blamed to sell unsafe products.Again, the successful tests on our product at the Technical Research Centre of Finland, VTT, Finland proved the claims of the competitor not only technically baseless, but at the same time convinced the authorities and boosted the trust on Peikko as a reliable partner.>
All in all, these were the tests done during 2012. In year 2013 we will have further development programs, such as Deltabeam tests to be done in North America. We remain committed to make our industry more safe and reliable, now and in the years to come.

March 7, 2013

Peikko – a member of VBBF – to influence product approvals

Peikko joined some years back an organization called VBBF, an organization of which name will soon be changed to ECS, European Engineered Construction System Association. >

It was partly a difficult decision, because the other members were competitors of Peikko. We did not want to belong to some secret club of competitors where some pricing could be agreed, we were not wanting to reveal some info to our competitors. We considered the time spend on this kind of club as time wasted - the customer meetings are just always much more important.

Yet, we decided to give a try to see what competitors can do together the influence the technical surroundings. Our experience has been mixed, however, we are committed to VBBF.  It seems that parties respect the EU competition law and no illegal talk has been going around, e.g. on pricing.

To my disappointment not so many general technical projects have been started. It is just almost impossible from the competition point of view to agree on generic projects for the public benefit as all companies are worried that somehow the others would benefit from their own technical knowledge. It remains to be seen if any viable outcome is coming from this area.

But what I think has really started is that VBBF is able to influence institutes like DibT, Deutsche Institut für Bautechnik, as a group. There is a huge bottleneck of resources on these institutes and to influence this issue as an individual company is next to impossible, but as a group the voice has much more possibilities to be heard.  In Europe we need to get the product approvals for our new, innovative products much faster to be able to also competitive outside Europe. And this is clearly in the interest of the whole connections industry, not just one company.

I hope that joint effort, the work of VBBF, can be fully transparent to our customers and will benefit them long-term. Time will show how successful we are with this respect. But at least Peikko gives a fair try.

More info: www.vbbf.de

February 25, 2013

Are 80.000 pieces of column shoes a lot or just something ordinary?

Once upon time during 80s Peikko developed the very first column connections for column to foundation, and we created our own word for them – columns shoes. During the last 30 or so years there have been big and small projects. The biggest projects by far have been various paper and pulp factories made from precast concrete.

The projects we have just started deliveries are massive ones when considering the amounts of parts. Even though not necessarily our biggest projects in money value, to be involved in two projects that consume 40.000 pieces of these shoes each, is significant.

But is 80.000 shoes a lot? One can make a quite a big construction project with these materials. For us at least it is – our welding robots run like maniacs at the moment in our factories J. And to be involved in these kind of large scale residential projects clearly tells that Peikko´s connection system is a competitive one.
Special note for the competitors: Sorry, cannot tell the project names and where they take place, please keep on reading Concrete Connection –magazine and you will eventually find out.


February 15, 2013

The benefits of job rotation: Finland, Slovakia, Lithuania and Gulf

I am a great believer of job rotation. I have myself had many different kinds of jobs, after some careful counting in my career within four companies I have had at least 12 different kinds of business cards. We need to put ourselves and our organization in new or revised positions - otherwise we have a great danger to get stuck.

One of the biggest changes at Peikko on-going right now is the management changes in four units. No person is leaving Peikko, but people have different tasks, in some cases even in a different country. In principle we have 6 large-scale factories at Peikko and now 4 of those will have a new captain.

In short: Group CFO will head Peikko Finland, Peikko Finland leader will lead Peikko Slovakia, Peikko Slovakia leader will lead Peikko Lithuania, Peikko Lithuania leader will lead Peikko Gulf, Peikko Gulf leader will focus on major customer development in the area.  And after all, there will be a new CFO hired soon (if you are interested, send you application fast to us!).

Some people have told me that this is crazy – I have gone nuts; this is just not going to work out. Some are nervous about the coming changes. Nevertheless, there are many in favor and are looking enthusiastic on how much better we are able to serve our customers after these changes. 

Customers in Finland, Lithuania, Slovakia and Gulf area: be aware that there are now guys at Peikko working that are very eager to impress you and guide the business to better serve you. Take the benefit of the situation!
 

February 7, 2013

Product life cycle of 48-years – Peikko PD-tie for sandwich wall elements


Most of us have a cellular phone, but whose phone is more than 2-year old? Ok, mine is a 4-year old Nokia. Most of us have a computer, but whose computer is more than 3-year old? Even mine is only 2-years old Lenovo. After all this new product version we are facing every single day it is just amazing to recognize that our company is currently manufacturing a similar product than we started with, a PD-tie used for sandwich wall element, already for 48 consecutive years. Can´t we just not innovative anything better or is the product just so good that there is nothing to do anymore?

Just recently we found out a residential precast building made by sandwich wall elements from 1976 that was torn down to give space for a new elderly home construction project.  We took large samples of the elements and our PD ties that had been in use for almost 40 years. And the tests done by the VTT Institute in Finland were amazing: products were as good as new one.  Wow!

Please see some pictures of below, also all kinds of tests and pictures were taking with various machines.
 


It is no wonder we are still keep on selling the product for sandwich element producers, even increasing the sales as we now have increased our manufacturing capacity not only in our Finland factory, but also in Russia and UAE.

The only thing I can say is…..long live the PD tie !

January 28, 2013

PeikkoDesigner® – something to be proud of!


 
When meeting those who make structural designs of buildings, they many times start to analyze the challenges of their business. The end-customers are pushing for pricing, even though the cost of design is a fraction of the cost of the building itself. The end-customers many times do not understand that better design can lead to huge savings in construction cost and time, despite the fact that the actual design time could be a bit longer.

On the other hand, the tools for structural designers have also improved greatly. The FEM-calculation programs, the 3D design tools and last but not least, the selection tools made by the product manufacturers have changed the business tremendously.

Peikko had some years back still very elementary calculation programs, difficult to update and mostly programmed by some one-man-companies leading to huge updating problems. It was difficult to find suitable partners, partners that both understood the world of structural design and software programming. Luckily we found a partner and started our path with PeikkoDesigner®.

This free program helps the designers to select the right product easily and fast for the object in question – e.g. the right column connections, punching reinforcement or fastening plates. The calculations are accurate, one can see everything in 3D format and last but not least, it saves the designers´ time and thus increases the productivity. The investment from Peikko´s side has been massive; however, we have a long-term commitment to serve our most important interest group.

Based on our recent survey the users are so happy that most of them have already recommended their colleagues to download the software. What a better sign of success can there be for a program?

The challenge for us is, of course, that all this good creates now a lot of pressure for us to make more improvements and to create new modules even faster. Let´s see how and when we can present more new things into the software!

January 11, 2013

Column Shoes - if for nothing else, for the sake of money

Some time ago I visited a precaster in Central Europe. I was there together with our local Sales Director and what impressed me were the persons involved in the meeting. There were people from purchasing, administration and top management present.

If a supplier comes to Peikko, how many time I am myself present in the meeting? Only for very important suppliers. And I was very honored to realize this during my meeting at this customer. In addition, the people in the meeting also had time and knew a lot about us and our products.

The customer was making huge precast columns for various large-scale industrial projects. The explained how the usage of Peikko column shoes is really helping them, in fact most columns seemed to be made by using column shoes. As the customer is also a construction company they will get all the benefits from faster and more precise assembly to themselves, not to talk about benefits at this factory I visited.

It was nice to see a satisfied customer, great to make people pleased by helping their work. These moments are the moments one remembers! And this is the value of Peikko as a company - customers that trust us.