|Concrete Block Producing Equipment (GTZ, 1991, 22 p.)|
The following is a summary of the main points to be considered when selecting the most suitable concrete block production equipment:
· Available financial resources (budget restraints can limit the choice considerably).
· Required quality of concrete blocks (single-storey low-cost houses do not need very high quality blocks, larger buildings and harsh climates may need stronger blocks).
· Required production rate (this depends on the expected market demand).
· Weight and mobility of equipment (these may have to be moved frequently from site to site).
· Available energy sources (not only the costs must be considered, but also the frequency of power failures and supply shortages of diesel, petrol, etc.).
· Availability of spares and skilled technicians for maintenance and repairs (machines with standardized parts create less problems).
· Versatility of equipment (machines with interchangeable moulds for a variety of items can bring about considerable savings).
· Operational safety (for this, several demonstrations of use, especially with unskilled workers, should be seen).
· References (contacts with equipment users should be sought whenever possible).
· Conditions of purchase (since machines with similar outputs are available, comparisons of prices, discounts for large orders, delivery time, etc. are urgently recommended).
· After sales services (not only should the manufacturers be fair enough to rectify defects of their machines by providing technical assistance or supplying spare parts a minimum or no-cost; users should also take the trouble to send accounts of their experiences and suggestions for improvements to the manufacturers. for without this feedback no effective development is possible).