Build it up, buttercup
Bricks proven reliability passes the test of time in any climate. Its insulating capabilities and passive solar heat retention make brick equally suitable for hot summers and cold winters. Nature creates the basic material used in brick manufacture. The weather and chemical reactions break up rocks producing fine-grained earth called clay.
Clay is workable when wet and can be moulded to any shape. A brick is made by wetting clay, pressing it into a mould, which creates blocks. These blocks are fired in a kiln until they are hard.
The process of making bricks generally consists of the following steps:
- Gathering, crushing, grinding, screening, and mixing the raw materials producing the brick
- The setting, drying, firing
- Packaging and inventorying is the final processing in the manufacture of bricks.
Before you start manufacturing consider completing a business course. This will be invaluable as you will learn about financial management, sales, marketing, understanding a balance sheet and more.
1. Prepare a business plan
It is very important to have a comprehensive business plan which should include your strategic focus, a marketing plan, operations plan, staffing plan and a financial plan. A business plan helps to clarify objectives and spells out what you want to achieve in your business.
There are DIY Machines available in South Africa and there are easy to use brick-making machines at affordable prices, such as:
- A DIY Brick machine, making standard stock bricks from: R2 600
- Output per drop: 6
- Production per day: 3 000
3. Build for less using the Hydraform system
What makes Hydraform blocks different from a regular brick is that they are composed of soil and just 5-10% cement is needed in the mix, significantly reducing the cost per square metre. Because of the interlocking mechanism of the blocks, there is no mortar required in 75% of the structure.
Not only are the mortar costs for building decreased, but the use of unskilled labour is also maximised because the methods of building are simple and easily taught. In fact, only the plastering, painting, ceilings and foundation preparation need to be performed by a skilled person. Building with Hydraform blocks can be extremely fast.
Typically, a good Hydraform block layer with two block fetchers can place up to 500 blocks in a day. That would be the equivalent of 1 500 standard stock bricks in a day.
Hydraform head office offers local training in South Africa. They offer two kinds of training:
- Training in a nearby block yard
- Training on any current Hydraform development.
Hydraform delivers clients’ machines and offers basic machine operation training at a nominal fee. In addition, training manuals accompany each Hydraform machine and technical advice is freely available.
One of the advantages of Hydraform brick making machines is that they are portable. It means that the blocks can be produced anywhere, training can take place on the job and rural development is easier as the machine can be transported to remote areas.
Mobile building centres
Hydraform can also provide Mobile Building Centres that move from area to area, providing technical guidance and using communication aids to educate participating teams. Locals can be taught valuable skills such as block production, block-laying and building process, quality control and machine maintenance.
Regular brick manufacturing
- Hollow brick making machinery 6 inch hollow: R11 168
- Output per drop: 4
- Production per day: 2 000
Why is Hydraform cheaper to produce?
The substantial cost savings are due to the use of freely-available subsoil which is the main raw material; the blocks do not require costly burning; transport costs are minimised since block production takes place on site; unskilled labour can be trained in both block-making and building with Hydraform blocks. Environmental friendliness is a major feature of the Hydraform system; blocks are produced under high compression from subsoil, without the need for the fuel-wood used to burn bricks.
Contact Hydraform to receive an Information Pack.