Leading brick manufacturer Brickworks Building Products (ASX: BKW) has joined forces with robotics company FBR (ASX: FBR) to automate bricklaying operations.
The two companies have annouced a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to establish a joint venture, Fastbrick Australia Pty Ltd, to provide ‘Wall as a Service’ (WaaS) services to the construction market.
Fastbrick will charge customers by the square metre of wall built, and exclusively utilise FBR’s Hadrian X bricklaying robot and Brickworks masonry blocks in its Australian operations.
FBR chief executive, Mike Pivac said: “Partnering with a company of the scale and reputation of Brickworks is a significant step forward for FBR in commercialisation of the Hadrian X and provides an excellent opportunity to introduce the Wall as a Service business model.
“Our relationship with Brickworks will significantly accelerate the global commercialisation of our technology.”
Hadrian X is a large-scale collaborative robot that works with experienced operators to construct structural brickwork from blocks 12 times the size of a conventional brick.
Mounted onto a classic cab over engine truck for easy transport to building sites, Hadrian X’s telescopic arm automatically feeds bricks to to a precision bricklayer.
Pivac said: “Fastbrick Australia will be the first robotic WaaS entity established in the world.”
The two companies will begin a pilot project in Perth with a focus on residential construction.
The Fastbrick system uses CAD technology to design buildings in 3D and generate a materials list.
While the MOU, to be signed within 45 days, applies to the Australian market, it should be noted that Brickworks is a significant brick producer in the United States market.
Brickworks managing director, Lindsay Partridge said: “We are pleased to be able to leverage our experience and capabilities to manufacture customised blocks for use by FBR’s Hadrian X robots, and have the opportunity to secure exclusive block supply rights for these robots in the Australian market.”
Picture: FBR/Hadrian X
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