2D machine control used for brick production

Case study

Strøjer Tegl with 2D machine control

Author: Karina Lykke Lumholt
Video specialist: Pamela Almeida

2D machine control from Leica Geosystems is the right solution for Strøjer Tegl’s because of the need for storage of clay both indoor and outdoor


Niels Opstrup has been forced to stay in Denmark during the corona epidemic. Niels, who has a background as an engineer and normally works in his own adventure company in Sao Paulo in Brazil, is currently working in the 150-year old, family-owned brick factory, Strøjer Tegl. Niels has agreed to work with the optimization and documentation of the company’s work processes and production, but he is not afraid of jumping on the dozer that distributes the clay for storage before it is used in the production of bricks.

As part of a substantial investment in the production facilities and the work processes, Strøjer Tegl is now using a Caterpillar dozer equipped with a 2D machine control solution from Leica Geosystems.

2D can be used both indoor and outdoor

Every day, about 25 trucks arrive at the factory bringing clay from local clay pits. The red clay used for red bricks can be stored outside, but the blue clay used for yellow bricks must be stored under a roof. The clay is stored for two weeks before it is used in brick production. Compared to 3D machine control solutions that need a clear view of the satellites, 2D machine control used together with a rotating laser and laser receivers placed on masts on the machine, can be used both indoor and outdoor.

The 2D solution is simple to use and shows only two dimensions: Height and slope, and this is exactly what is needed for this particular use case, where the clay is placed in a pile with a slope of three percent. Indoor, where the blue clay is placed, has less space and the clay is placed in a pile with a 12 percent slope.

- We receive clay that has a very mixed composition. You can roughly divide it into fat and lean clay, and we need to mix it in an exact blend to obtain the correct quality of our bricks. We spread the clay out in horizontal layers of 10 cm. when we need it for production, we dig down vertically to receive the right blend. In this way, the clay gets pre-mixed before we perform the final mix in the production, Niels explains.

2D machine control for dozers Niels Opstrup in front of the dozer with 2D machine control working under roof.

The 2D solution is easy to use

- It’s easy to set up the system when we are creating a new layer, Niels explains.

- I start up by placing the laser that is used for controlling the machine. Then I enter the values for the height and slope. The solution stores the latest height, and I just add 10 centimeters. Inside the cabin, it’s easy: You catch the laser, sets the dozer in auto mode, and simply start driving, says Niels.

Kasper Damsø was initially hired as a consultant to facilitate a smooth generational change but has since 2017, worked as CEO for Strøjer Tegl. Kasper and Niels share a broad and interesting background from the Sirius Dog Sled Patrol in Greenland. Kasper has worked 15 years as a captain, educational leader in the Minister of Defense, and holds an MBA in psychology. Kasper has even worked as a bodyguard for Britney Spears!  

- We have always delivered high-quality bricks, but thanks to machine control, we now have valuable data about the location of the different layers of clay, which allows us to reduce the waste in our quality control, Kasper explains.

Strøjer Tegl is today a very impressive company built with its bricks and with a large collection of vintage cars. Strøjer Tegl produces approximately 60 tonnes of bricks every year and is a modern and successful company as one of the last brick factories left in Denmark.

 2D machine control improves the quality control of brick production Kasper Damsø, CEO uses his many talents to help Strøjer Tegl through a smooth generational change.

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