Feistritz/Drau (AT)/München (D), 8th April 2019. The Austrian company MAI® International GmbH develops, produces and markets mixing pumps for applications spanning the entire spectrum of plastering and grouting technology. The tradition-steeped company from Carinthia is the world`s leading provider of grouting machines. “MAI stands for Man Assisting Innovations, in other words, we are united by the desire to create something that is novel, even unheard of, in order to make people`s lives easier. The individual is our main concern”, is how managing director Hannes Papousek puts it. “Every contact with our customers has one sole target: We want to be first choice for our customers and make a permanent impact on them”.
“The special strength of MAI® International can be attributed to our development of highly innovative products for market niches. When it comes to grouting technology for instance, we`re the No. 1 globally in tunnelling and mining. In addition, we manufacture equipment to produce foam concrete, plastering machines for internal and external application, silo mixing pumps for the dry mortar industry and airless equipment for coatings. Currently, we are devising a new business field: 3D concrete printing”, Hannes Papousek explains his company`s application spectrum. Towards this end, reliability and user-friendliness of the machines represent core principles.
Leading Provider of Grouting Machine Technology
„MAI® International invented horizontal mixing and pump technology for cement-based materials. This is why we were able to establish ourselves as the market leader in tunnelling and consolidate this position thanks to user-oriented progressive developments”, is how Herbert Papousek, co-founder of the company, describes one of the contributing factors of success. For instance, the MAI®400NT mixing pump was not only honoured with an innovation and research prize, but furthermore grouting pumps from the successful manufacturer are applied worldwide in tunnelling, special foundation engineering and mining as well as for excavation pits and securing slopes.
A highly topical example for the successful application of the MAI®440GE mixing pump for instance, is its use in the exploratory tunnel for the Tulfes-Pfons construction section within the scope of the Brenner Base Tunnel mega project. Here the invert concrete segments are backfilled to the absolute satisfaction of the responsible contractor Strabag in charge of the technical management and the BBT SE as client.
In a few easy steps the various parameters at the mixing pump, set up a few metres behind the driving shield, can be adjusted, directly at the point where the invert concrete segments are installed. Even under the most rigorous site conditions experienced during tunnelling, the mortar can be backfilled with absolute precision. Optimal results are attained and at the same time the data logging unit MAI®LOG provides verification for the client. Thanks to this novel, revolutionary technology in the field of real- time data logging, MAI® International has been able to set standards for displaying and logging the amounts of water for documenting the water/cement ratio as well as pressure, volume, throughput and the time needed for placing mortar and grouting.
Wide Range for Plastering Technology and Screeding Work
In the field of plastering technology, the wide range of products includes pneumatic conveyor systems and screed processing units apart from the classical machines for internal and external plastering. The range is rounded off by horizontal silo mixing systems and under-silo mixing pumps for the dry mortar industry.
In the case of screeding work, MAI`s aim has been to make work on construction sites more straightforward and safer. The intelligent solutions for screed laying, which are in use throughout the entire world, are characterised by user-friendliness, safe operation and outstanding final results. Their modern, automated control systems and ergonomic, user-friendly operation mean that MAI screeding machines are the ideal partners for every construction site.
The Future is Today
“The innovations of tomorrow are to be found in today`s research and development. We at MAI® International are currently involved with very diverse and most exciting new developments. There is for example, the IoT (Internet of Things) by means of which we make our machines and equipment network-compatible in order to reduce outage times as well as service and repair costs, provide precise site data and enhance operational efficiency. A further topic relates to 3D concrete printing, where we set new standards for the production of components and complete assemblies by means of our MAIMULTIMIX-3D system. And last but certainly not least, we are engaged in creating a unit to produce foam concrete and porous lightweight concrete, in the case of which we replace a construction material that is harmful to the environment by one which is not. This centres around an ecologically high-grade lightweight concrete, which results in little CO2 being created even during the manufacturing process, and low energy consumption. Foam concrete is applied in building construction among other things as levelling mortar for insulating purposes in both cold as well as hot regions. The compact porous lightweight concrete unit devised by MAI is an internally networked processing system that operates continuously and can be operated intuitively like a smartphone. The dry mortar compound is mixed in it to produce a foam with an exactly defined consistency and density. All individual components are constantly monitored throughout thus ensuring high process safety. The system is already being utilised in Japan and Europe.” This represents the look into the future, as Hannes Papousek, managing director of MAI® International, sees the development of the company today and in the years ahead.
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Managing Director – MAI® International GmbH
Roland Herr – International Freelancing Journalist and Author
Figure 1: Application of the MAI®440GE in the Tulfes-Pfons construction section of the Brenner Base Tunnel for backfilling the invert concrete segments
(Credit: MAI® International)