Concrete Products

JUL 2017

Concrete Products covers the issues that attract producers of ready mixed and manufactured concrete focusing on equipment and material technology, market development and management topics.

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48 • July 2017 FEATURE BY DON MARSH Fast-track plant construction sched- uling was essential when Schluter Systems North America moved to round out its board and membrane offering to create a complete floor or wall installa- tion system for tile and stone. Built at a Plattsburgh, N.Y., complex with poly- mer board and membrane production, plus sales and headquarters offices, the new plant would harbor mixing, pack- aging and storage of Schluter Systems' first portland cement-based product: A namesake thin set dry mix mortar sold in 50-lb. plastic bags, shipped on 56-bag pallets. By June 2016, the company had a six- to seven-month window for build- ing a batch plant and bagging line. The schedule was dictated by launch of the Schluter SET, ALL-SET and FAST-SET mortar series at the mid-January Sur- faces 2017 show in Las Vegas, followed by formal launch 10 weeks later at Cov- erings 2017 – The Global Tile & Stone Experience in Orlando. Announcement to key dealer customers at Surfaces necessitated a build up of stock begin- ning in February; initial production would cover early orders in January and prepare Schluter Systems for much higher sales activity at Coverings. "We developed thin set mortars to complement our membrane product, and bridge the final gap in our tile installation system. The mortars are especially designed to work with our other products," says Schluter North America CEO Marco Ludwig. "The response to the Schluter Thin-set pro- gram was excellent. The mortars were exactly what customers were looking for. They trust our quality and now have a complete installation system from one company." MORTAR ORDER About one-third of the 300- x 150-ft. building is dedicated to Schluter Thin-set mortar mixing and packaging, the remainder for a warehouse serving distribution points across the U.S. and Canada. The Thin-set product is available in grey or white and three namesake varieties: SET, a premium, unmodified mortar for setting tile over the company's boards and membranes; ALL- SET, a specialized, modified mortar for use under and over boards or membranes—allowing a single type of mortar on the job site; and, FAST-SET, a specialized, modified mortar formulated to set rapidly and suited to fast track projects. PHOTOS: Schluter Systems

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