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WHAT'S NEW - BLOG - Brickyard Layouts & Set-ups

 

BRICKYARD LAYOUTS 

A yard layout for brick making machinery is not an easy one-size-fits-all schematic to follow. It depends on certain factors:

  • Type of brick or block machinery (egg layer vs static)
  • Existing buildings / structures (offices, lock-up garages, etc)
  • Entrance(s) to yard (one, two, paved or grass)
  • Size & Shape (Workable surface area, rectangular or square, etc)
The best approach here is to offer advice on the principles of what makes a brickyard more productive and convenient for the manufacturing of bricks, blocks & pavers.

 

ENTRANCE

If there is only one entrance, the major concern is simply that there is enough space for offloading trucks or collecting vehicles to manoeuvre to turn around. Either a large paved area can accommodate this or a ring road that loops the vehicle back to the entrance.

For two entrances, it would be imperative to select an "entrance" gate & an "exit" gate. A simple paved road can be implemented to connect the two entry points with a small parking area for customers / service vehicles.

For simplicity, you would like to use the same road for all vehicles - customer collection & deliveries. Naturally you can assume that the raw materials aren't so close to the final products in the floor space. This already proposes a schematic that puts the raw material on the one side adjacent to the entrance & the collection point for the final bricks & blocks along the roadside near the exit side.

Obviously security is important - have a security guard posted at the exit gate near the bricks / blocks. Alternatively, lock all gates & place your contact number on the sign board, if your land is vast.

For stationary deployments, a similar tactic is required in terms of the entrance / exit, but the mixing station will be adjacent to the operating machine. Then instead of a concrete slab, you will simply have open ground to place the bricks upon whilst they set for the first 24 hours.


You may decide to have the mixing/machine in the open or place it under cover to protect against the elements for both your workers & equipment.


OFFICE

Administration is a component of all businesses. Unless your admin office is off-site & this is strictly a production plot, you will need a place to conduct business with customers, keep records of activity, etc.

STORAGE & SECURITY

The machinery is an asset. It provides you with the ability to make bricks & generate a profit after sales. You must, therefore, protect your asset. A lock-up garage is the easiest way for safeguarding your Doubell brick machine. It will also promote a cleaning ritual to be followed before storing the unit away.

For static machinery, security can simply be in the form of land security (fencing, walling, etc) or guards. The valuables are not the sand & crushed stones - it will be the vibrating unit on the machine as well as the cement.

While the machinery is locked up, the cement also needs a place to be kept. This is to prevent theft & also prevent rainfall, humidity & other weather elements from destroying the compounds. Store cement in another locker, raised above the cement floor & only open up once a day to take the bags you need for the days production. 

MIXING STATION

In the egg-layer scenario, the mixing will happen away from the machine. It would not make sense to perform the mixing work far from the raw materials (sand, stone) so place your Doubell Panmixer according to your off-load area.

Mixes will be couriered from the mixing station across to the machine as it operates along the concrete slab, usually in columns. You can imagine that as the day progresses and the columns fill up the slab, the machine will edge its way closer towards the mixing station with the travel distance of the delivery barrows becoming less & less.

 

For the delivery of sand & crusher dust (or blockmix - many names for a similar product), it may be a good idea to build a three-sided holding nook. This will allow the truck to place the material neatly with the same material remaining.

If you obtain a cement silo, this can be situated adjacent to the Panmixer & raw materials.

The water source needs to be able to reach this station in order for the Panmixer to perform its task of creating a workable strong mixture from your raw components.

 
 

MACHINERY WORK AREA

An egg-layer style Jumbo MK2 or MK3 machine will require a laid concrete slab of 450m² & 900m² respectively. The DIY hand mould needs about 150m².

There is no "correct" way to fill the slab - you can start a column & at the end turn around & start the other way, rather than returning the machine to the top again. For a square slab with the mixing station in one corner, you could run a row of bricks, turn 90 degrees & add a row perpendicular before turning around & doing the reverse. As long as you try to maximise your work area but at the same time leave enough space between drops so that the vibration does not break the set behind (±150mm apart).

CURING AREA

The curing area is the space allocated for the brick making products to be stacked & watered each day. The watering is CRITICAL for the brick making process. The cement requires the water to continue its chemical process of calcification to make the brick/block hard. The strength formation can be impeded in the absence of enough moisture.

Thus, the water source needs to be split between the mixing station & the curing area.

COLLECTION

Collection need not have an additional dedicated area - it can easily be shared with the curing area since by that stage it is assumed that the bricks are already stacked & ready for transport.

If your brickyard is a simple start-up, you may not have a forklift with which to load vehicles. Either you would be using a third-party transport vehicle that may have an on-board crane, or you would just load by hand for smaller orders. No forklift means that utilising a concrete floor for the curing blocks is not necessary; outside ground will be sufficient - but ensure areas do not become too muddy - dirty blocks will have a poor appearance for customers & ultimately reduce your business image & good name!

WORKERS FACILITIES

Your workers will require an area to store their belongings & to wash up after the day's hard work. Because this is not a critical structure, this can simply be an adjacent room to the back of the offices or storage area.
 

GENERAL 

For calculating more precise area coverage, first determine the bricks or blocks you wish you make. With that, use their dimensions to work out the number of units in a stack & the area needed for the number of stacks you will keep. This depends on your retention period; If you keep your blocks for 4 weeks, you will need more space than if customers collect after 2 weeks.

If you need any further assistance, please email me at dane@makebricks.co.za