Jorge Vera
Director General
Doka México
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View from the Top

Focus on Viral Formwork Technology

Wed, 10/19/2016 - 21:59

With over 12 percent of the market share in Mexico, Doka México is currently the largest formworks system provider in the country. The infrastructure market has become a pillar in the company’s growth strategy since its technology is far better suited to the demands of this particular industry. Nevertheless, Doka provides innovative, unique solutions for the mining industry, oil and gas, and largescale developments. “Our equipment is state of the art and it is not a cheap system to acquire since it can be difficult to import from Europe,” concedes Jorge Vera, Director General of Doka México. However, Doka attributes its added value to the detailed design of the projects and its engineering department that offers integrated services. “Our engineers in Mexico are highly skilled and our hub offers services to all markets in Latin America and Europe as well,” says Vera. “In Austria, we have a competence center and it is a specially made division that focuses solely on the mining sector.”

Vera admits that underground mining can be a difficult area in which to fully integrate because the technology is expensive. Doka has a tunnel formwork solution that is hydraulic and automatized, and this means it can move easily in the constricted tunnels of an underground pit. For tunnels built with the mining-bored underground construction method the required cavity is created by conventional or continuously stabilized mechanical work. After ensuring the success of several safeguards in the process such as shotcrete and watertightness, the tunnel’s inner shell is completed using various options. Mines in Mexico continue to use traditional formworks for underground tunneling. However, Vera is beginning to see a change of mindset across the whole value chain from investors and contractors to subcontractors. “Normally these players focus on cash flow but now they are beginning to evaluate the cost/benefit of our products,” he shares. “The area where Doka has found its foothold is in shoring systems for open pit operations.”

Doka’s 360° Performance Cycle is made up of six main pillars, and the idea behind it is to provide the sector an added-value package that goes beyond renting formwork and scaffolding. The company’s competence center works for all Doka operations around the world from Russia and South Africa to Chile, Peru, Australia, and Mexico. The first step is the consulting stage and this entails the risk evaluation, technical viability analysis, and proposal of formwork solutions. The second and third steps are engineering and safety measures, which includes the planning of cycles, structural analysis, safety and inspection systems, and list of materials. The fourth step is the formwork solutions that Doka provides. The remaining two pillars are logistics and on-the-ground services, and these are crucial since they smooth out the implementation processon site.“Doka is regulated by strong specifications from Europe and this means we cannot be lax in our safety standards and policy procedures,” Vera indicates. “At Doka, we never tropicalize our procedures, especially in terms of safety.”

Doka has developed a solution called Concremote that measures in real time the strength of the concrete in an effort to help improve the implementation of formworks, permitting more accurate management of the forming and cost in place (CIP) concrete operations. The system makes it possible to measure concrete strength on the site by using the weighted maturity method to provide reliable and standard-compliant information on the strength development of the concrete. Influenced by Big Data and IoT trends, this system also has a mobile web application that allows users to access data on the development of their concrete from anywhere, on notebooks, tablets, and even smartphones. The implications of this solution is that it makes the development process much faster, and the sensors on the slabs mean that the users can remove the scaffolding and molds, and then move on to the next area. With an online platform called myDoka that controls project data, the client is able to control its inventory and have an encompassing view of the planning and construction of the project.