Piling Canada

The Brextor

Product minimizes manual work and eliminates the risk of cracks in the concrete – a quantum leap in pile head processing
Written by Lisa Kopochinski
February 2023

Contractors will find numerous advantages in using Brextor such as ensuring damage-free removal of residual concrete

BRC Engineering AG – a firm based in Rain, Switzerland, and has decades of experience as an innovative service provider specializing in developing, trading, renting and servicing construction machinery – changed its course 15 years ago.

This was when CEO Alois Portmann invented the BRC’s Brextor after needing help finding a suitable solution to process piles non-manually for a project with more than 7,000 piles.

“He developed his own method and – in the first 10 years – he further developed the method to be ready for series production,” said Roland Pfister, BRC Engineering AG head of international sales.

For years, Brextor was only sold to Swiss customers. Now patented worldwide, Brextor is distributed internationally.

What it does

BRC’s Brextor is an innovative, sustainable and economic solution for construction processes. The patented head can process piles for an optimal connection to the base plate in just a few minutes.

It is no surprise for those in the industry that manual work can take its toll on construction workers’ health, especially if they suffer from hand-arm vibration syndrome (HAVS). HAVS is caused by working with vibrating tools for a prolonged period and causes changes in the sensation of the fingers and leads to permanent numbness of fingers, muscle weakness and, in some cases, bouts of white finger.

“Additionally, Brextor eliminates the risk of cracks in the concrete body. Also, the risk of torn-off irons can be minimized,” said Portmann.

Due to its horizontal rotational director of the milling chisel, no uncontrolled cracks occur in the concrete structure

How it works

Essentially, Brextor represents a quantum leap in pile head machining. Everything must fit exactly – especially the foundation – when a structure is built. It is also necessary that extreme care and precision are applied when removing residual material from iron-reinforced concrete piles.

Contractors will find numerous advantages in using Brextor, such as ensuring damage-free removal of the residual concrete. Due to its horizontal rotational director of the milling chisel, no uncontrolled cracks occur in the concrete structure. In addition, the bearing surface remains 100 per cent stable, which means there will be no corrosion damage due to penetrating water.

“From the alignment of the milling head to the uncovered reinforcement, machining a pile that is one metre in diameter and one metre in structural height can be completed in 30 minutes,” said Portmann.

The system is both modular and flexible in that it offers excellent flexibility and is suitable for different pile types – local concrete piles and element piles – from 40 to 200 centimetres in diameter. It also works well in confined spaces, such as shafts and underwater.

“There is a wide range of internal and external milling cutters, as well as accessories, and can be custom combined to suit individual requirements. Thus, pile heads measuring less than 0.5 to nearly two metres in diameter can be machined,” said Portmann.

“Brextor also ensures more efficient workflows and greater process reliability, which means entire value creation can be better planned so that scheduled deadlines can be met.”

Brextor provides a wide range of other benefits, such as:

  • Economic: increased construction quality, reduced material consumption and shortened construction time.
  • Eco-friendly: a smaller CO2 footprint and less resource consumption. There is less noise and vibration than conventional methods, which benefits the environment and employees’ health.
  • Social: increased occupational safety and fewer emissions.

“Brextor also ensures more efficient workflows and greater process reliability, which means entire value creation can be better planned so that scheduled deadlines can be met.”

– Alois Portman, BRC Engineering ag

International awards

Brextor has received several innovation awards, in addition to international awards, such as the following:

  • Seal of Excellence from the European Union (Cemex Ventures 2021)
  • Top 50 Most Innovative Companies in Construction
  • Top 10 Shenyang Overseas Elites Innovation and Entrepreneurship Competition 2021
  • IV Award 2021
  • Seal of Excellence (Horizon 2020)
  • Zinno Ideacheck (first place)
  • Swiss Innovation 2018 (sixth place)

“This shows that the technology is well-recognized,” said Portmann. “We’re also proud to have won the IV Award 2021. It’s an award for the integration of people with disabilities within our company.”

It’s little surprise to those in the industry that the response to Brextor has been overwhelmingly positive.

“On one of our LinkedIn posts, we received more than 300,000 views. Of course, it’s a new technology that needs time to prove that it really works. We’re sure it works because we have been working with this method on construction sites every day for 15 years.”

BRC’s patented Brextor pile head can mill the base for an optimal connection of the piles to the base plate in just a few minutes

As for what the near future holds, Portmann says BRC Engineering is planning to open Brextor Competence Centres where end-users can rent Brextor-heads for their project-specific pile diameters locally. It is also looking worldwide for rental partners with competency in hydraulics. 

Photos supplied by BRC Engineering AG



Categories: Business

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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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