Precasting with a purpose: NVC Precast

Precasting with a purpose: NVC Precast

NVC Precast’s prestressing beds range from 18 to 115 metres in length.

For NVC Precast, meeting the appetite of the civil infrastructure market for precast elements is the main goal. Building a momentum for internal growth and technological development has helped grow the company to where it is today.

Since its foundation in 1989, when it was known as North-Vic Constructions, NVC Precast has grown to be recognised as prestressed and precast concrete specialists, across both Victoria’s and New South Wales’ civil construction industries.

As Steve Reilly, General Manager Construction and Engineering at NVC Precast recalls, the company’s early days under the direction of Managing Director Dan Kleinitz laid the groundwork for it to become a major player within the precast market.

“When North-Vic Constructions started, it was a small construction company specialising in piling and bridge construction. Dan has slowly grown the business, with particularly rapid growth within the last five to ten years,” he says.

A turning point in the development of the company was when NVC decided to start making their own prestressed beams, which required significant investment into the infrastructure of the yard, Reilly adds.

This investment substantially increased NVC Precast’s production capabilities, he says.

“I would say that was one of the key boosters for the business, as we started to grow and take on not just our own construction projects, but also to supply the market with prestressed beams.”

In a similar way, NVC identified an opportunity to take on L-beam precasting, which the company has continued since. This, in turn, sparked growth in other areas beyond L-beams, leading to the company currently manufacture a wide range of precast elements.

According to Reilly, this significant growth from a small construction company to a major precast manufacturer has been fuelled by NVC Precast’s ongoing support for the local supply chain, working with key stakeholders throughout the region.

Located in Kilmore in Victoria’s Mitchell Shire, NVC Precast has been supporting the local construction industry and businesses as part of the continual growth of its own portfolio.

Precasting with a purpose.
NVC Precast is a major contributor of precast products throughout Victoria and New South Wales.

“Something that NVC has been mindful of, even while we work on major infrastructure projects, is that this company was founded on doing the smaller jobs,” Reilly says.

“So we are always mindful of backing that side of the industry as well. We are not just about supporting the tier one projects. It’s also about supporting the contractors who operate in all segments of the market and making sure that we still have the capability to complete the jobs they require.”

Ortensio Caroli, General Manager for Business and Finance at NVC Precast agrees, adding that investment into local sectors is an important aspect of NVC Precast’s operation.

“At any given time, we engage up to 100 individuals or companies. Whether that is on a sub-contract basis or as permanent employees, around 90 per cent of these people live within the Mitchell Shire area,” Caroli says.

“They are spending their money back into the Shire, their families are attending local schools in the Shire, they see local practitioners in the community. So effectively, by creating employment for approximately 90 people, that is 90 people who are spending that money back into the local community.”

Supplying new markets

While maintaining its service to local industries and projects, NVC Precast also has a focus on major infrastructure works throughout Victoria in the road, rail and tunnelling sectors.

Working on such projects has enabled NVC Precast to develop a manufacturing capacity for large scale structural segments, which are built off-site.

The formwork and moulds to produce the essential precast components such as large column forms, casting decks, dedicated crosshead, and headstocks, as well as prestressing beds are manufactured with quality, operational efficiency, and installation in mind.

NVC Precast’s prestressing beds range from 18 to 115 metres in length, with options to customise the elements as per the projects’ design.

NVC Precast has grown from a small construction company in the Mitchell Shire of Victoria to a major player within the precast market.

As an example, NVC Precast supplied 112 radiant heat cured T-beams varying up to 35 meters long and 1.8 metres deep, cast in the 80-metre-long prestressed T-beam bed for one major project.

On another project, NVC Precast’s 115-metre-long prestressed L-beam casting bed allowed the company to create L-beam segments to form a viaduct for trains as part of a major project in Victoria. The casting bed could accommodate L-beams up to 2.2 metres deep and four metres wide. The casting bed was serviced by two 80-tonne gantry cranes, with beams weighing up to 135 tonnes being manufactured and transported to site.

In addition to the array of prestressing beds, NVC Precast has the capability to cast various column sections exceeding 50 tonnes.

Recently the company manufactured and supplied elliptical columns up to six metres in length and 2.3 metres in diameter, meeting the especially high tolerances necessary for installation on site.

Segments such as headstocks, approach slabs, bridge deck slabs, abutments, segmental wingwalls and deflection walls are manufactured on versatile casting bed at the facility, where a 280-tonne capacity crawler crane allows the team to cast segments weighing up to 110 tonnes.

NVC Precast also has a dedicated crosshead manufacturing facility, where in-house, purpose-built moulds allow the team to manufacture headstocks from 50 to 110 tonnes.

Eye on quality

As Reilly explains, segments are frequently reviewed to ensure that only the highest quality products are being used for the infrastructure projects.

“There has always been a very specific focus on quality, and it stems from the time at the beginning of the company when NVC Precast was performing the works on-site,” Reilly says.

“So, as we are now predominantly supplying the marketplace, there is still a sense of pride in everything that goes out of this yard. We are always reviewing the products prior to being delivered, making sure that the quality is there. The guys out in the yard understand that the higher the quality of products going to clients, the better the feedback that they will receive.”

Reilly adds that positive feedback from clients is a major contributor towards  striving to maintain that level of quality.

“Everyone likes to get positive feedback, to know that what we are producing is appreciated. Not just internally but also by our clients. When we receive this feedback the guys in the yard do take that on board,” he says. “It can provide a real sense of accomplishment and achievement for them.”

Such feedback has also contributed toward internal growth within NVC Precast, leading to projects constantly growing in volume.

Caroli is confident the growth will be continuing in the coming years. “

From my perspective, the company’s growth has been in tune with what has been happening within the local economy. The Australian Government spending on a number of different projects as part of a large infrastructure build, not only in Victoria and New South Wales but also in South Australia, has provided opportunities for the market,” he says.

“We consider all jobs, large or small, interesting, and challenging. We will look at most jobs as we have the capacity to grow, we have the knowledge and experience, the technical capacity, infrastructure, and the land to expand. So, the future looks pretty bright.”

Reilly adds that the upcoming scheduled infrastructure projects will present exciting opportunities for NVC Precast, to increase its own capabilities to service clients.

“There is still a lot of projects in development in Melbourne, with major infrastructure work scheduled for the next five to ten years. We still see opportunities in the marketplace for further developments in technology, whether that is changes to beam sizes, different shapes or even moulds,” he says.

“I think there will be some significant and exciting innovations in the world of precast over the next five to ten years, and we are certainly well positioned to be a part of that.”

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This article was originally published in the October edition of our magazine. To read the magazine, click here.