Concrete is around us everywhere. Buildings, streets, houses, underground structures and many more things that are too long to list are made from or contain concrete. But how do you and I know the difference between a good piece of concrete and a bad quality concrete structure? For most mortals this is something that is out of our reach. Yet, when a building collapses or you see cracks in concrete titles or structure you tend to think that what happened was due to low quality concrete. In Latvia, and who would have imagined that Latvia also produces amazing concrete, there is a company that apart from making concrete and exporting it mainly to Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Germany and Iceland, it also pays really close attention to research and development which is the core area responsible for the success of this Latvian company. We are talking about the Latvia based company Primekss.
Primekss was founded in 1997, in Riga, Latvia. With the years the view and approach of using highly innovative concrete became more important and was what drove the company to its success. At the moment Primekss has offices and licensees across the globe and is exporting a big amount of its production and knowledge to many countries in Europe, South Africa and the United States. The company places a great deal of importance to the research and development arguing that this is why they can achieve such good results with their concrete products and can make big contribution to CO2 reductions (PrimeComposite enables a reduction in CO2 emissions from concrete production of more than 30 percent). The company has twice received the prestigious Most Innovative Product award at World of Concrete in Las Vegas for its PrimeComposite floors and rafts, and has received many different innovation prizes all over Europe.
For Primekss, research and development is the most important part of the business and is what makes Primekss different from the rest of the companies in the market. Through their labs and scientist all over the world they can produce the most resistant concrete in the world and continue to improve as time passes. The Primekss laboratory combines quality control routines with an extensive research and development program with competencies such as controlling shrinkage of concrete in order to reduce internal stress development and minimize cracking of concrete; optimization of structural design for steel fiber reinforced concrete structures,; property characterization of fiber reinforced concrete composites, including mechanical, durability, place-ability testing; Improving sustainability and durability of concrete constructions; and research and applicability of Non-destructive test methods. The company thinks that even though concrete was discovered long ago they continue to rediscover it and to invest time, efforts and budget to make the research and development department the core profitable area. They think that concrete is like the Cinderella of materials: “Hard working, but forgotten and neglected by the R&D community. Primekss is changing that view on concrete and improving it through research. They use the slogan “Better Concrete Through research”
Using their research and development approach Primekss has invented a way of preventing concrete from cracking and has become a unique company in a global context with global clients such as IKEA and Volvo. Primekess has come up with an approach to concrete production called PrimeComposite which uses a very high dosage-rate steel fiber reinforcement coupled with anti-shrinkage concrete and special quality-management techniques. With this development they were able to produce PrimeComposite concrete that is tougher, stronger, crack-free and ecologically friendly, and around the middle of the last decade they launched their concrete for the global markets. Since then, PrimeComposite has been the most extensively used industrial flooring technology in Europe with key advantages over conventional concrete floors such as Joint less floors up to 5000 sq. meters, zero to negligible cracks, non-shrink concrete, around 70% shorter turnaround time for floor delivery, tremendous life-cycle cost savings running into Crores of Rupees for end-users and reduced maintenance costs and productivity improvements. PrimeComposite has been extensively used in industrial, logistics and supermarket flooring, but now it is being used for roads, reservoirs, raft foundations and other applications due to its superior characteristics.
Primekss is also an environmental company in many aspects. They are worried about global warming because they understand that concrete production is responsible for seven per cent of the total global CO2 emissions and with their solution they can reduce this number by 30%. And they are also a very trendy company to work for. Their mission and vision statement are very simple and easy going: “Our mission is to create excellent concrete to make life simpler for our customers; Our Vision: Crackless concrete everywhere”. They also have a management approach called Responsible Autonomy which means they give their team freedom to perform and grow, within the limits of supportive rules; they only hire the best and then let them achieve major goals by creating structured support.
Something that may come as a surprise to many: Concrete from Latvia. And not only concrete but research and development knowledge to be exported. Amazing.