Herbert Koch's company in Ainring near Freilassing, Germany, close to the Austrian border with Salzburg, has been producing the MHM solid wood wall (Massiv-Holz-Mauer) since 2008. The system makes it possible to independently produce solid wood walls from dried, rough-sawn boards. In the first step, the rough sawn boards are grooved and leveled on one side in the grooving and folding machine. Then, the boards are pressed crosswise and connected layer by layer with aluminum groove pins. During this process, vertical layers of air form inside the walls which raise the insulation value by about 20% compared to normal solid wood. The machining is done by a Hundegger gantry machining center.
The timber construction company is doing very well, and as a result, an expansion was planned. In addition, there was a change in law regarding the fall protection heights for carpenters. To ensure the safety of his employees, Koch wanted to increase the degree of prefabrication of roof, ceiling and wall elements. In the future, insulation, windows and battens are to be installed on the production site instead of on the construction site.
In order to improve the degree of prefabrication and the working conditions of carpenters, a Bauer Tectofix 3000 system was ordered, thanks to which a demand-based prefabrication of flat timber construction elements of all dimensions is possible in the production hall all year long.
This system makes it easier to manufacture wall, ceiling and roof elements. This year it should have gone into operation, since all necessary permits have been obtained and the company looked for possible sites near the headquarters. Then, however, Holzbau Koch faced a setback: A noise impact assessment did not allow any expansion. A second assessment, obtained by the company itself, came to the same conclusion. The community argued that residents could not be expected to put up with any further noise by neighboring factories.
In the nearby industrial area and in neighboring communities no suitable site could be found either. To ensure the future of his business and his 40 employees, Koch had to find another way. Koch stands for the personnel policy from training to retirement. The goal was to find a partner for the production of MHM solid wood walls. Eventually, Penzkofer Bau, in Regen in the Bavarian Forest, became his partner. Penzkofer bought the gantry machining center and will manufacture the MHM elements for Holzbau Koch in the future. At the end of the year, the machine will be disassembled and moved to the Bavarian Forest. The new Tectofix 3000 system will then operate where the machining center used to stand. As MHM solid wood wall elements are an important building block at Koch, they will still be available in the future – only the production has been transferred.
“The MHM elements are easy to use and our customers are very satisfied with this adhesive-free alternative to CLT, which is why the elements will remain a central building block for us”, says Koch. Currently, the preparations are well underway. The company purchased a new carpentry shop, a vehicle hall and its own truck fleet. The Tectofix 3000 system is to complete the changes which have been made and is going to start operating in January.
In future, Holzbau Koch is going to expand its product portfolio of MHM wall elements, which will be provided by its partner company Penzkofer Bau, with prefabricated roof and ceiling elements.
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