Introducing: Direxa Engineering – a young enterprise steps forward

Christophe Aubertot is the president of Direxa – a new provider of engineering, procurement and construction services for the construction materials industry (primarily clay and concrete) and the technical ceramics sector. Founded in September 2009 in Denver, Colorado, by Christophe Aubertot and JC Steele & Sons, Inc., the company is headquartered in Lakewood, Colorado, USA.

Direxa aims to become a worldwide organization through creations of additional subsidiaries and key partnerships with local entities. Already, the company has branch offices and/or production facilities in Melbourne, Australia (sales, customer support, project management) and Sao Paulo, Brazil (sales, customer support) and is planning to establish an Asian subsidiary by the end of the year. Direxa presently has 15 employees in the USA, four in Australia and two in Brazil. Direxa is at work in four different countries right now and quoting projects in more than a dozen others. Still in its first year, the company has supplied a number of kilns and dryers to the brick and tile industry, and present activities are concentrated in Australia (80%), followed by Brazil (9%), Africa (9%) and the USA (2%).

References include Austral Brick (extension of the Wollert Plant in Melbourne, Australia) and Ceramica
City (São Paulo State, Brazil). The Direxa team is composed of highly experienced engineers who have built more than 30 plants in the USA over the last 20 years and had extensive international exposure throughout their careers, so the following long-term breakdown is planned:
› 85% clay product industry (50% kilns and dryers – 30% automatic handling systems –15% grinding plants and shaping
–5% services/customer support)
› 5% concrete industry (block and paver plants)
› 5% technical ceramic industry (pure EPC)
› 5% other construction material industries
Direxa is anticipating total revenues of € 15 million for 2010.


Product and service package

Direxa Engineering can tackle any project for its customers, from simple retrofits to turn-key projects and, of course, customer support. The company designs its own grinding plants, shaping, dryers, kilns and kiln cars – including the respective computer supervision systems. It specifies the automatic handling systems and sources them from different established suppliers, depending on the geographical locations and the technical requirements.

The company is particularly proud of its proprietary fuel-efficient tunnel kilns and solid-fuel firing systems (petroleum coke, coal, sawdust). A main focus at present is on the development of high-performance tunnel kilns and dryers that can be sourced locally in developing markets.



Direxa Engineering’s first concern is to always keep the customer‘s best interest in mind with any project. This means listening to the customer, understanding his particular problem, developing and implementing the best tailored solution and, finally, delivering adequate customer support. Many new markets need to have advanced technology solutions developed for them with as much equipment and material as possible being locally purchased and supplied. Within that context, Direxa Engineering believes that having no manufacturing shop of its own is actually a plus, as it does not have to feed work to a manufacturing facility in priority over developing the most adequate solution for the customer. Direxa Engineering also believes that innovation is a key requirement of the clay product industry, if this industry wishes to play a major future role in the construction world.

Direxa believes that the next 10 years will see a lot of R&D being done on the limitation of CO2 emissions in the developed world. For the developing world, the main focus will be on upgrades for manufacturing plants, so that fuel efficiency improves significantly. Direxa itself is concentrating on the development of fuel-efficient solutions for fuels other than natural gas. Many developing markets do not have access to natural gas, and effective alternatives have to be developed, mostly with solid fuels.

Direxa can work practically anywhere with anyone, be they customer or supplier. A worldwide network of past and present customers, colleagues and suppliers gives the company almost unlimited access to technical solutions and problem-solving people whose cross-pollinating approach can turn a concept into a profitable reality.


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