The story and the technology!

For the technically savvy!

Fired Brick Cutting Technology
A single operator future


The cutting of slips and corners from bricks is not a new idea, it was introduced in the 70‘s when it became ‘in vogue’ in the Netherlands to decorate interior walls using brick slips.  Since then, the trend has further extended to outdoors and today, across Europe, millions of brick slips and slip returns are being laid, mostly on concrete, reproducing the real ‘brick building’ look even when, from a construction point of view, real brick would not have been possible.

This combination shows a promising future and the demand for brick slips is continuing to grow. The brick strip has effortlessly withstood onslaughts from other materials over time.  However, little progress has been seen in the fabrication of such slips, due to the warping that takes place during the sintering process which is an essential step in the brick making process.   We can find a handful of leading brick makers who have, with much effort and using expensive raw materials, managed to keep the brick slips from warping.  But even then, the slip returns are still being cut, frequently from specially manufactured bricks. Therefore the majority of brick slips and slip returns are still being cut from the finished product.


Bit by bit we have seen the arrival of the art of  brick facade decoration from England, by this we are referring to the so called ‘brick specials’.  For large quantities, the shapes are generally manufactured by the brick manufacturer, however for smaller orders the shapes are made up of a number of cut bricks.  This requires an automatic saw, which can render a precise and clean cut, resulting in less noticeable joins and therefore producing a more beautiful result. It is exactly for this type of work that we have developed the DecoUni.

This document introduces the philosophies behind our systems.  We’ve excluded any formulas and calculations for the sake of simplicity, however this information is readily available in our product specified Catalogue.


Right from the beginning of all the hype it was quickly established that the cutting of such brick slips using the existing manual saws was an infernal job.  Attracting workforce was difficult, especially in western European countries.  In response to a growing need, a predecessor from the company Wienerberger, in a joint venture with our machine builders, automated the process.  To date, this has remained an automation of the transit of the bricks, with manual on- and offloading.  A higher level of automation can be found in a handful of extremely large producers.  There are of course, some companies who have a complete automatic loading system, but it requires an extremely large turnover to amortize such an investment.  Therefore we have remained dependent on a (low skilled) workforce.  This, however, is gradually changing, and®  is actively contributing to this change with our range of robotics friendly, easy to operate machines.


Cutting-edge technology for cutting brick materials
The cutting tools are another extremely important element of the system.  Till now, diamond saw blades have remained the cheapest option - calculated by unit price. However larger slip makers can expect to see changes to this in the foreseeable future.  Verheijen Equipment and Machinefabriek Verheijen (forthwith: ) have been involved in the question of brick slip sawing from the very beginning.  We are planning to break open this market segment completely with the introduction of our new machine, to be launched at BAUMA 2010.


Diamond saw blades
For many, this new method will require a too large an investment that’s why has built a complete new system based on circular diamond saw blades. It is high time that the Clipper sawing machines are only used for emergencies or when very small loads are needed. A low purchase price of the machine is essential and this is what has been working on since 2008. Up until recently our main focus was on achieving the longest life for blades however with the sale of incredibly low priced Asian blades on the market we have been able to adapt our principles to the present-day demands.


Building both Better and Cheaper
An example of this, was the idea of giving cutting machines an extremely high running accuracy. This made the machine expensive to build, leading the way to the introduction of large cost savings.  The incorporation of electronics has meant not only faster setting-up and adjustment times but also fewer mechanical components, rendering it more economical to build.  Yet, great care has been taken to insure that these adjustments and supporting techniques have not become so sophisticated that it might frighten off the less industrialized sectors.  We recognized that there was much to be gained with smarter engineering. Therefore, it became time to give up the once ‘holy’ principle of vertical set saw blades:  not only did it increase the cost of manufacture, but the thicker horizontal blades can better withstand high radial load.  Nonetheless, we still prevent  the saw blade from being misused as a means of transportation for the debris, as this results in a large wastage of blades.  Transportation of the waste can be done by far more economical ways. Moreover we do not equivocate the fact that our machine components are no longer manufactured in the Netherlands.  These days we receive sub-assemblies from Eastern Europe, with the complete machine being built at our workshop in Andelst, Netherlands by Armac (, under Dutch management.  In addition, the testing is done by our own engineers who further accompany the machine across the world, to ensure expert installation.

The Deco® brand of saw blades
As of 2009, in co-operaton with our Asian associates,  we can finally offer you large savings on saw blade costs with the introduction of our two new varieties of blade for heavy duty automatic sawing machines.  These  blades, packaged in units of 10, are sold in Ø 350, Ø 500 en Ø 700 mm sizes, at sharply competitive prices.  They are available either for hard bricks or soft bricks.

Although there was already little reflection to be done on Deco® with regard to CE machinery directive compliance, this did not prevent us from taking security a step higher.  With the introduction of DecoBasic® it is impossible to even intentionally injure yourself on one of our machines, as the machine is completely enclosed during operation.

Service and Maintenance
For the first time ever our DecoBasic®  range comes equipped with an internet communication unit. This extremely useful tool compliments the service and maintenance contract on Deco®machines. This service will soon be offered as an option on our complete range. With this service we are able to observe online, over your shoulder, any problems you may be having in running the system.  The webcam can provide us with even more information such as any mechanical irregularities.  Furthermore, all our machines are delivered with exploded drawings and a complete BOM list(bill of materials), affording you independence, with the possibility of doing the basic maintenance in-house.


Full range of products
As of this year we will be introducing many single operator machines which can stand up to the larger production machines for harder brick types. This is mainly because of the limitations of the cutting tools as a whole, sometimes combined with the human factor with regard to the on- and off- loading capacities.  With engineering bricks the speed of the machine needs to be set back, resulting in idle operators, while for soft mud bricks the speed of the machine needs to be limited to accommodate the manual on-/off loading.


The launch of DecoBasic®  introduces a superb alternative into our range of machines: it is a single operator circular saw which cuts, using 2 to 4 blades simultaneously, depending on the type of brick.


DecoBasic® supersedes the earlier models DecoLine® 115,  DecoRing® 115 and DecoMill®, which in one blow have been economically surpassed.  However, because of its single/two-operator control, DecoRing® 215 remains a viable complement to our new range. Therefore, it will shortly be  overhauled and updated then reintroduced as DecoCircle®. At the moment we are still investigating the best alternative to remove the debris automatically in favour of increased productivity.


The DecoUni® has survived scrutiny because of its extremely universal characteristics owing to the application of an X, Y and Z-axis, which DecoBasic® cannot offer.  Should you really want the ability to cut everything, from slips to brick specials, then DecoUni® with its Ø 700 of Ø 800 mm saw blades is the best solution. This machine remains up-to-date with-standing two generations of critical testing.  As can be endorsed by the many satisfied users.


When it comes to really large quantities of slips and/or slip returns, then the new DecoStraight® should be your choice. With this elite machine you can realise between 6,000 slips or 1,000 corner slips per hour. According to the latest rationale the long cuts of the slip returns are made horizontally, however without transporting the cut bits.  We acknowledge this is a 180-degree turn around from previous thinking, however the lower price of saw blades has given rise to this. Unfortunately you will have to wait till early 2010 for the launch.


Due to the ever increasing cost of labour, manpower should be used to the fullest of its capacity. In western countries, automation needs to be increased to remain competitive.  Producers are more or less prevented from outsourcing to ‘cheap labour’ countries because of the relatively high transport costs, therefore productivity needs to be increased. It is for this reason we have developed our machines.
Further to the east where there is no tradition of brick building, there is the need for cheaper machines to replace Clippers:  DecoBasic® is our solution to this. We are at the point of seeing the end to unsafe handicraft. Today, every brick factory and brick trader throughout Europe can take the initiative in own hands even for the bigger models. Price is no longer prohibitory.



The new range    
Earlier models New range Operation

For strecher slips

Single operator DecoLine® 115 DecoBasic® and DecoUni® single operator
Two-operator DecoLine® 215 DecoStraight® two/three-operators
Two/three-operator DecoLine®215D  DecoStraight® two/three-operators
Single-operator Decoring 115® DecoBasic® and DecoUni® single operator
Single/two-operator DecoRing®215 DecoCircle® single/two-operator

For strecher and header slips

Two man operated DecoLine®215W DecoStraight® two operators
Two/three operators DecoLine®215DW DecoStraight® two/three-operators

High volume slips and slip returns

??                    ??                     ?? DecoStraight® two or more operators

For slip returns

Single operated DecoMill® DecoBasic® en DecoUni® single operator

For stretcher and header slips/slip returns/brick specials/brick extensions

Single operated DecoUni2® DecoUni3® Single operated
Saw blades

Ø 350, Ø 500 en Ø 700 mm, type Deco®, specially developed for automatic cutting machines

Profile belts and Rollers

Available in all dimensions and materials, also for the former 
Engels texturing machines and Tebberman Rusticators.

New manufacture with higher resistance against wear.


For more detailed information see our Products.