Corobrik’s technological advances have driven down the embodied energy of clay brick. New extrusion technology had reduced fuel use by up to 20 percent while the use of natural gas for the firing of products had nearly halved the carbon footprint of clay brick manufacture, he said.
“The two factors matters driving change in our factories have been a need to achieve incremental reductions in energy consumption and hence lower greenhouse gas emissions and a desire to innovate in order to provide our customers with even better products with concomitant productivity improvements," he noted.
The new 10 core holed brick that resulted from the introduction of Corobrik’s extrusion technology achieves the latter.
Meyer said that a lighter mass brick improved productivity. The National Productivity Institute had established that a bricklayer doing straight brickwork using bricks with an individual mass of 2.9kg would lay approximately 690 bricks in a day. A new 10 core process reduced brick mass to 300g, increasing productivity to 769 bricks per day.
The lighter mass of the bricks also allows more bricks to be loaded onto vehicles for transport, lowering greenhouse gas emissions per 1,000 bricks delivered.
Meyer added that Corobrik had also introduced unique robotics’ technology at its Rietvlei and Lawley factories. Once again, this would reduce energy consumption and reduce greenhouse gases whilst also giving our customers even better products.
“The consistent gaps in the setting pattern achieved by the robotics allow for easy access of heat during the drying and firing processes which optimises the amount of energy required for brick production. Product quality is significantly improved owing to the precision handling of 'green' products by the robots which eliminates handling damage resulting from manual setting. This minimises defects which means fewer rejects and a better quality, uniform, end product for our customers,” he concluded.