Piling Canada

CZM Foundation Equipment

Continues expansion into Canadian market

Photos courtesy of CZM Foundation Equipment

CZM Foundation Equipment has been serving the North American market since 2002. Over the past two decades, the company has grown exponentially on the continent, expanding into the Canadian market in 2017. Since then, CZM has made Canada a priority, developing drill rigs to handle the unique requirements of the climate, expanding its sales and service capabilities, and bolstering partnerships to rise to the forefront of the Canadian drilling industry.

Company history

Clo Zironi Mecanica was founded by brothers Loris and Alfredo Clo in 1972 as a crane rental company in Brazil. Loris went on to build the company’s first piece of foundation equipment in 1976, marking a shift in focus and starting its trajectory towards the CZM of today. The next three decades saw the development of truck-mounted drilling rigs, micropile machines and continuous flight auger (CFA) machines.

CZM’s first sale in the American market was in 2002 and led to the development of the EK Cylinder Crowd line later in the decade. These machines were designed specifically for the American market to meet the needs of local contractors.

CZM went on to open its first North American headquarters in Pembroke, Ga., just outside of Savannah, in 2013. Since then, the company has seen rapid expansion and growth, including the addition of a Texas branch in 2015, construction of a 40,000 square foot factory in Ellabell, Ga., in 2020, and the opening of a California branch in 2021. The product line has further expanded to include all types of foundation applications used in the American market, including CFA, displacement piles, mircopiles, hydraulic hammer pile driving, cased CFA, soil mixing and more.

Throughout five decades of growth, CZM has remained a family-owned and operated business. Loris passed away in 2021, at the age of 97, with the knowledge that his legacy was in the hands of the next generations. His sons Dalvio and Marcos have been a part of CZM for many years, and grandchildren Giuliano and Marcello now run the North American division of the company.

Entering the Canadian market

CZM entered the Canadian market in 2017 with the EK90 model. The EK90 was adapted to handle the arctic conditions of the country, while also being able to handle its more mild climates. The 21st century has seen much shorter winters, reducing permafrost across the country. As such, projects in the northern region require piles that are up to 40 feet deep in many cases, as opposed to 10 to 20 feet in previous years when the permafrost was constant.

The CZM EK90 was used to install piles for a railway for a new gold mine in Nunavut and served as a great way to assess the needs of the Canadian market fully.

The CZM EK90 was used to install piles for a railway for a new gold mine in Nunavut and served as a great way to assess the needs of the Canadian market fully. Since then, CZM has added two designated sales reps for Canada and works closely with Globoquip to ensure a robust fleet of CZM machines are available to rent throughout the country.

“When I started with CZM in 2018, we only had a few options in our line which could be used in the Canadian market,” said CZM Canadian sales manager Jean-Paul Aube. “Since then, CZM has built entire lines of machines specifically to serve the North American market, with an emphasis on rigs designed to handle the demands of Canadian jobsites. Our partnership with Globoquip has also been a key component to increasing the availability of CZM machines in Canada.”

The Globoquip partnership also ensures quick and efficient service to all CZM machines in the country.

The EK90

The EK90 is a multifunctional drill rig mounted on a CAT 323 Next Gen excavator base. This versatile machine works for a variety of applications including micropile, jet grouting, segmented flight auger and tiebacks. Its unique design allows for simple conversion between these applications. It is equipped with radio remote control to ensure fast and safe operation. Operation can be executed either from the remote control or the cab. The parallelogram, the mast vertical slide and the rotary shift slide are useful for multiple processes of drilling operations.

This machine offers two distinct advantages for the Canadian market. The EK90 has the capacity to install a 50-foot pile in one shot. This eliminates the need to splice piles together, saving time and money. The second advantage has to do with operator comfort. It features a fully climate-controlled cab to help keep operators warm or cool, depending on the season.

Most recently, the EK90 has been a part of the Réseau express métropolitain (REM) project in Montreal. The REM is a light metro network which will revolutionize transportation in the Montreal area. It will consist of 26 universally accessible stations, 67 kilometres of track throughout the city and has created 34,000 jobs in Quebec throughout the construction process.

When it came time to begin the foundation drilling process on the Montreal-Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport section of the REM, Forage CBF wanted to take a different approach than the traditional use of cranes on a job like this. The EK90 was used to drill 18-inch piles 50 feet deep, and was a quick and efficient rig to get the job done.

“Forage CBF is a family-owned company started in 1950,” said Forage CBF president David Blais. “CBF makes using new technology a priority, and the EK90 was exactly what we needed for the Montreal Airport job.”

“We are very pleased to have had the chance to work with CZM and Globoquip on this project and utilize the EK90,” said CBF vice president of operations, Alex Blais. “The machine allowed us to get our jobs done in record time, especially with the long stroke reducing the amount of splicing, which would have been needed with conventional equipment. An added bonus of this relationship is Globoquip handled all of our machine service needs quickly and professionally throughout the project, allowing us to maintain our production schedule and deliver first-class service to our customers.”

CZM went on to open its first North American headquarters in Pembroke, GA., just outside of Savannah, in 2013

Cable Crowd series

The Canadian terrain and climate led to the realization that cable crowd machines would be necessary in the market, as they are ideal for working with segmented casing. In mid-2020, CZM completed the first machines in the series, the EK160LS and EK300LS. The Cable Crowd machine is indicated by an LS with the machine name designating ‘long stroke.’ The long stroke of the rotary allows contractors to work with longer segments of casing, which are required for marine projects and in specific provinces. They are also multi-purpose and can be easily converted to CFA, displacement piles, cased CFA and soil mixing. All of these features make the CZM cable crowd machines ideal for a variety of jobs in the Canadian market. The LS line consists of four models: EK160LS, EK240LS, EK260LS and EK300LS.

“Designing the initial machine took about one year. We knew there was a need in the industry for a crowd system to work better with segmented casing and we had a lot of feedback from our customers based on what they needed in the field. We understand the importance of listening to our customers to keep producing innovative solutions and better products. Keeping that in mind, these machines are very versatile to switch to other applications for specialty foundations. This innovative line of more powerful and versatile equipment opens new doors in terms of its versatility,” said CZM president, Giuliano.

Ideally these machines will be used for cased Kelly bar drilling, large diameter CFA, displacement piles and cased CFA with double rotary for secant piles. All of the machines are affixed on the fully integrated, reinforced H-style variable undercarriage and feature high resistance steel Weldox 700 for a reinforced mast. The rotary design for this series is robust with two slewing bearings on top and bottom, and features a strong pinion and main gear, three operation and spin off speeds, plus two groups of hydraulic motor/planetary gears for high torque and long life.

The future of CZM

This year CZM will break ground on an additional 33,000 square feet of manufacturing space at the North American headquarters. The space will add two assembly lines and a warehouse to the current 40,000 square feet of production space. The new space will also allow CZM to bring production of the forthcoming micropile line to North America and increase the company’s production.

The additional square footage will let CZM expand its product availability and solidify the company as [a] North American market leader for foundation drill rigs,” said Giuliano.

Aube has been joined by his son, Carl, expanding the Canadian sales team to continue CZM’s dedication to their clients. They look forward to continued success in the country and continuing CZM’s high standards for quality and service. Piling Canada

Category: Cover Story

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Piling Canada is the premier national voice for the Canadian deep foundation construction industry. Each issue is dedicated to providing readers with current and informative editorial, including project updates, company profiles, technological advancements, safety news, environmental information, HR advice, pertinent legal issues and more.

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