Turning a bank vault into a police office

Published 10/7 at 14:29

Previously there were gold bars piled up to the ceiling and bank notes transported on pallets. The walls and ceiling of the two-storey vault at the branch of this former State Central Bank in the Swabian town of Aalen, Germany, were therefore designed accordingly.

Cutting four windows into the nearly 2m thick vault walls as part of the alterations to the office complex is a difficult task. But this did not deter the contractor assigned for the job. “They always call on us when it’s really difficult, when nobody else can or wants to do the work,” said concrete drilling and sawing specialist Jan Eckert from Simmelsdorf near Lauf. To tackle the job, Eckert used Husqvarna W 1405 and W 1410 Diagrip saw blades with a diameter of 600mm to 2m.

Eckert and his colleagues had challenges to overcome on this site. After the closure of the branch, the Federal Police will move into the building during the coming year. They need daylight in the two vault rooms and is why Eckert has to create four openings for four windows, two with a width of 7m and a height of 3m, and two with a width of 4m and a height of 3m. 

Each vault has double walls, 1m and 500 mm thick, with a distance of 500mm in between. The concrete in the 1m wall includes materials like ceramic and fibre steel, which makes the concrete extremely hard. There is also a layer of 3mm to 5mm steel balls. “Cutting conditions are really difficult here. I tested blades of several brands to see if I could get better life time, but Husqvarna W 1410 was the only blade able to make the cut,” said Eckert.

Husqvarna used this site to test a new 800 m blade design with the high-frequency electric WS 482 HF wall saw operated by the new PP 490 power pack. “We have coordinated closely with the central office in Sweden to develop a special compound for the segments and also to change the geometry,” said Husqvarna diamond tools product specialist Lukas Rettenbacher. “Our goal is to increase the stability of the tool, especially when used in extremely hard concrete, but without a loss in speed.” 

The test in the vault was a success. “We were able to significantly extend tool life by about a factor of three,” said Rettenbacher. “When our specialists on a site like this gain experience and forward the data to the central development department, it will benefit all our customers.”

“The top priority for me is the productivity,” said Eckert. “The machines and tools just have to operate. Because basically we work extremely quickly, which is what makes us so successful.” 

The focus on productivity is also is why the new PP 490 power pack has become a favourite for Eckert. as it is equipped with a wireless remote control unit, providing an output of 20kW, and can operate multiple devices such as power cutters or drill Motors. “Modularity and flexibility are always an advantage,” said Eckert.

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