Patent Confirms NessTech's Top Form in Universal Concrete Molds
As the largest forces in block manufacturing pursue the Holy Grail of innovating a workhorse universal mold, that prize has gone to one of the industry’s smallest companies.
NessTech, a family-owned specialty machining business in St. Paul, has won a patent for a unique actuating mechanism that – for the first time – can deliver concrete manufacturers amazing versatility, improved production runs and superior durability in a universal mold compatible with existing dry-cast machines.
“This is the premium mold available,” says John Ness, president of NessTech and one of six family members in the operation. “We’re marketing to manufacturers who want to diversify and innovate, to run smarter and get higher margins.”
NessTech's universal mold, branded “N-E Face™,” eliminates the need for manufacturers to own a different mold for each size, shape or texture of concrete product they produce. Infinitely adjustable for new block configurations and utilizing interchangeable face-plate liners, N-E Face is the only machine mold capable of stamping up to five surfaces. It offers deeper recessing and finer detailing than ever seen before in the dry-cast industry.
N-E Face's unique, dual-action, gear-driven actuating mechanism won a patent earlier this year, one of five the revolutionary mold is seeking. The patented technology adds strength and reduces stress on the mechanism, yielding cleaner production runs that reduce material waste and equipment maintenance.
“The manufactured concrete industry has been working on universal molds for a while,” said Ness, who entered the concrete machine industry 15 years ago after being asked by Keystone Retaining Wall Systems to craft replacement parts for molds in its manufacturing plants. “But the big guys are not set up to take our approach. NessTech has custom machining in its DNA. Our molds were developed by minds that have been asked for years to come up with innovations in medical, defense, and other precision industries. Every NessTech part is precision-machined solid steel. Not only are we designing the most innovative mechanisms, we're also fielding the highest-quality product. This is a lifelong manufacturing asset for your production line.”
Ness hopes that as the patents roll in, N-E Face will earn recognition as the uncontested choice for high-end concrete manufacture, with applications as varied as civil infrastructure, home landscaping, architectural block and veneering.
NessTech drew crowds at its debut at the Manufactured Concrete Products Expo in Anaheim last February. Most of the industry pros who saw the landscaping block produced by the N-E Face mold could not believe it was dry cast. At the 2007 MCPX in Orlando, NessTech will follow up with a wide range of artisan block produced by N-E Face.
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Revolutionary N-E Face™ Concrete Block Mold to Debut at MPCX
N-E Face, an integrated design and manufacturing system unlike any other in the concrete block industry, will make its debut on February 23 at the Manufactured Concrete Products Expo in Anaheim, California. Look for N-E Face at Booth 1378.
Aimed at the high-end market for landscape and architectural block, N-E Face delivers limitless sizes, shapes and faces of concrete block with a single universal mold. For manufacturers, this means greater efficiency and higher margins. For designers, it means endless creative opportunity that was simply impossible until now.
N-E Face can transform otherwise predictable concrete surfaces into signature looks emulating virtually any texture, pattern or detail with stunning accuracy. The system can also yield exciting new solutions for specialized or site-specific uses in architecture and civil engineering.
The N-E Face system can emboss up to 5 surfaces of any block design using interchangeable face-plate liners that are created from hand-sculpted forms. The mold’s deeper recess capacity creates lifelike detail and limitless design options.
Moreover, the patented N-E Face mold is distinguished by its reliability. All precision-machined steel construction makes the N-E Face mold a lifelong manufacturing asset.
NessTech Concrete Molds, Inc. of St. Paul, Minnesota, licenses the N-E Face system of design solutions for all types of concrete block, as well as the unique manufacturing technology that makes the customization possible — a high-test, universal concrete mold system manufactured by Haberman Machine.
NessTech, owned and operated by the same family as the industry-standard Haberman, was created in 2005 to focus on the block market and drive innovation in design.
“We began by repairing molds, then building new ones at the request of block manufacturers,” said John Ness, president. “We hit upon the idea that, using our custom machining expertise, we could make a top-quality universal mold and really change things.”
“The manufacturing technology out there is limited, so there have been a small number of choices available in the market. With N-E Face, we are returning artistry and inventiveness to the equation, and we are confident that designers and manufacturers will want to utilize our idea.”
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