Vortex Hydra is active within different areas in the construction industry. Today, it is the worldwide leader in concrete roof tile machinery, a reliable partner for hydraulic works with its customized valves and gates as well as a pioneer in the area of wet cast production.
The history of the company began 50 years ago, in 1967, when a group of young engineers joined forces to become active in the design and manufacture of solutions in the area of industrial automation. They became design specialists for production technologies in the construction sector and developed furnaces for clay products, prefabricated production plants and water control solutions, including mechanical structures for dams, rivers and waterways, among others.
“We have very skilled staff that are able to face problems and solve them,” states Marketing Director Elena Merli, whose father is one of the company’s founders. “In addition, our machines are renowned for their high-quality level. They are very strong, and some of our machines still work after 45 years.”
In the 1987, the firm built its own manufacturing facility for the production of its own products. The construction sector is still the most important industry for the company’s activities. “We produce automatic production systems for the manufacture of high-quality concrete roof tiles and other associated concrete products,” explains Ms. Merli. “We can manufacture different kinds of systems according to the individual requirements of our customers. The production capacities vary from 500 to 800,000 pieces per day. We have always made roof tile machines that meet the expectations of our clients.”
The machinery not only works with different capacities but also can produce a wide range of different profiles as well as different fittings and accessories. Vortex Hydra has also developed a special lightweight tile. Among its latest designs is a new product aging system called ROTARY, which optimizes the heating of the product.
The ROTARY rack system is a fully automatic revolving steel rack that allows wet manufactured tiles to be cured evenly over a minimum preset time period, resulting in the early release of aluminium pallets back into the manufacturing process for reuse. This system gives customers another competitive edge.
The company is also active in the area of hydraulic works with large valves to control water flows and gates to build dams and waterways. Vortex Hydra has been a partner for many different international dam construction projects.
“We are an expert in engineering work for dams and make things rational and manageable in the construction process,” says the Marketing Director. “We manage to simplify things and develop concepts and solutions which are easy to implement and maintain. We have a very future-oriented approach and want to create solutions that can last for many decades. Our customers value this approach, and we have, for instance, completed different projects for water gates in Iraq.”
Wet cast production is the newest business unit, and the company has recently developed a new patented technology in this area. This technology called Brush demolding system® significantly increases the level of automation and enables the customer to demould the rubber moulds automatically with significantly less personnel.
Other advantages are the ideal control of the quality of the product, a higher degree of safety and a reduction of heavy operations for the workers. In addition, Vortex automation for wet cast is used to reproduce a natural stone finish on a manufactured concrete veneer cladding stone with the use of special rubber moulds.
With regard to digital transformation, the company is also working on solutions such as total production management software. The machines will be equipped with machine sheets, which comprise a summary of the machine’s settings, replacement of spare parts, maintenance time and involved operators.
“We have a comprehensive technical competence and a high level of automation,” points out Ms. Merli. “We keep in mind quality control and also people’s health. This is rewarded by the companies working with us.”
Vortex Hydra has not only been active in Italy, but also abroad, and today, 100% of the customers are located abroad, for example in Africa, Asia, Thailand, Indonesia and the USA. Besides its headquarters in Italy, the company has locations in Australia, Brazil, China and the United Kingdom.
The firm has a total of 60 employees and realizes annual turnover of 17 million EUR. For the future, Vortex Hydra is looking for sales representation in Africa, Asia and South America. “We can look back on 50 successful years, and we plan to remain in the market for the next 50 years,” says Ms. Merli. “We still have a lot of ideas for innovation. We are an Italian company and have the right spirit for future development.”