Fayan leads the concrete cutting China in to the future

Published 29/12, 2016 at 15:04

The founder and chief executive of the Chinese concrete cutting firm Beijing Fayan is aiming to form China’s first national concrete sawing and drilling association. PDi editor in chief Jan Hermansson reports on his recent visit to China’s biggest concrete cutting company.

Beijing Fayan Engineering Technology is considered to be China’s biggest contractor for concrete cutting, controlled demolition, reconstruction and related services. Civil engineer Pan Hongbao formed the company in 2002, but it was recently acquired by the government owned conglomerate China Metallurgical Geology Bureau, with Hongbao continuing as chief executive.

The record of projects the company has done over the years is quite impressive and the majority are extremely large and complex. Currently about 80% of the jobs are in the Beijing area and has about 130 employees.

Hongbao has a metallurgical background, but has worked with construction related projects since the 1980s. “At the end of the 1990s I realised the concrete sawing and drilling technique was a sector that had enormous potential and I started to build up a network of contacts,” said Hongbao.

His first contact with manufacturers was with Japanese Hakken and Hilti.  “I saw with their equipment that I could also develop equipment for special applications and my services where appreciated as I could offer a different, more efficient and safer solution,” said Hongbao. In 2002 he started his own contracting company and used the word Fayan, which means Hakken in Chinese.

Through his Hakken contacts Hongbao sent his staff to train at some of the largest concrete cutting firms in Japan. It started with traditional concrete cutting, but the company grew fast and were soon taking on controlled demolition projects and reconstruction jobs. This included work on replacing the major 12 lane Sanyuan viaduct in the North East third ring of Beijing. The viaduct had to be replaced in 43h and was cut into 45 pieces with 68 wire saws and other types of concrete cutting equipment from Tyrolit, Hilti and Hakken. The new viaduct was ready to be jacked into place on trolleys once the old structure had been removed.


Wide range of special equipment for special applications

In 2005 Hongbao contacted Husqvarna Construction Products as it needed power cutters for a large contract on the new Olympic Sports Centre in Beijing and was the biggest construction project in China at that time. Since then Fayan has had a prosperous cooperation with Husqvarna and has invested in different concrete cutting equipment, such as core drill systems, power cutters, concrete floor grinding machines and floor saws. The company is also investigating the use and possible purchase of a Husqvarna DXR remotely controlled demolition robot.

Fayan also provides hydrodemolition services with its recently acquired range of Conjet equipment including a Conjet Robot 557, a Conjet Power Pack with a Hammelmann hydraulic pump, a Conjet water cleaning system, a Conjet Jetframe 117 and Conjet CCU 217. Fayan also has handheld waterjetting systems from the German manufacturer Falch. “In China there is a great demand for renovating numerous bridges all over the country and we see great potential for us in this area,” said Hongbao.

Another major project Fayan is involved with is the demolition of 60 storey Tianjin complex in Beijing. Hongbao is investigating different methods for taking down the three buildings. The current plan is to use demolition robots, wire and wallsaws and take down the buildings in parts. The elevator shafts will be used for channelling demolition rubble down to ground level for crushing and recycling. Hongbao estimates demolition will take 12 months and aims to use this project as a blue print for other similar projects.


Future looks promising

According to Hongbao the future looks very promising for Fayan, as there are many buildings that need to be demolished or renovated. Many bridges also need to be renovated or replaced and airport runways are in poor condition. There is also a great demand in the process industry, at conventional and nuclear power plants and dams. “With our special knowledge and wide range of equipment we can solve most problems with new methods and technology that cannot be found anywhere else in China,” said Hongbao.

Currently Fayan has three offices in the Beijing area. The research and development centre, machine storage and demonstration area are in the Yanjiao area East of Beijing. The head office is in the suburb of Wangjing and there is also a workshop at the airport to support maintenance work. Fayan also has a branch office in Wuhan City in the centre of China. The strategy is to increase Fayan’s presence in other parts of the country. “We are aiming at starting at least five new branches a year and in five years time the goal is to be present at around 30 branches in the country,” said Hongbao.

In order to grow additional training of personnel and machinery will be necessary. Hongbao has a wish list of machinery and equipment needed and estimates that an average of about 20 new machines and equipment systems will be purchased each year. But if the company develops according to his plan the need will be much higher. He estimates that they will need around 200 wire saw systems, 1,000 drill systems, several demolition robots and wall saws, power cutters and floor saws to mention some of the equipment needed. Turn over for 2016 is estimated to reach €20M.


Join the international concrete cutting establishment

Another task for Hongbao is to start a national concrete sawing and drilling association, which would be welcomed by the International Association for Concrete Drillers and Sawers. An association would help the Chinese concrete cutting industry to develop and also provide a picture of the size of the Chinese concrete sawing and drilling industry. Hongbao intends to join IACDS and ask for help to establish a national association.

Husqvarna Construction Products marketing and administrative supervisor Dacy Ta and northern region sales manager Miles Wu hosted the visit to the Fayan Company. They advise that there are three major concrete sawing and drilling firms in the Beijing area each with over 100 employees, about 10 medium sized companies and well over 100 small concrete cutters.

“To attract the bigger clients we normally arrange demonstrations of our machines or we visit them at their sites explaining our products,” said Ta. “We have some difficulty selling for instance our wall saws due to the financial problems for the contractors. Wall saws are rather expensive and it is easier to sell less expensive products to the smaller firms.

Also the building and construction market started to decline in 2014 and 2015, which effected sales. It is hard to say when we can expect an upturn as it is still declining. We try to focus our efforts on large and medium size contractors, as they have more projects. The biggest players are normally state owned and the availability of projects is quite good and Fayan is a good example of that.”


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