For the purpose of further training, the association members regularly arrange field trips within the framework of their annual meeting. This year the Austrian brickmakers visited Bavaria and Thuringia and made their first stop at the fully automated brick wall manufacturing centre operated by Redbloc Elemente GmbH in Plattling. Even before the official inauguration in late autumn, the brickmakers received an insight into the patented dry adhesive process, with which wall elements are manufactured from backing bricks and accessories as per the requirements of individual customers (»1).
The second stop was a visit to the MFPA Material Research and Testing Institute in Weimar. The long-standing partner of the Austrian brick and tile industry presented the wide-ranging possibilities for testing and modelling the heat and moisture content properties of clay up to finished masonry bricks (»2). Special interest was attracted by the process developed by taurus instruments GmbH for fast, non-destructive and reliable determination of the material moisture content and the innovative solutions of the MFPA for assuring product quality in brickworks as well as the presented ideas and cooperative projects in research and development.
The field trip was concluded with a plant tour in Schirnding at Hart Keramik. Here the focus was on the manufacture of ceramic chimney flues and chamotte products. Director Michael Schwarz guided the guests through the production process and gave his Austrian brickmaking colleagues competent answers to their questions (»3).
For the members of the Austrian Brickmakers Association, the field trip to Germany was a successful event that will certainly take place more frequently in future.