MLADOST is one of the biggest and most prominent producers of building materials in the region, a familiar name on the market, a synonym for high quality tiles, building blocks and ceiling constructions which have found their way to many satisfied customers on the whole territory of Serbia and Kosovo, but also in the markets of Macedonia, Bulgaria, Romania, Albania, Montenegro and Russia.
Roof Tile production
Building Block production
Building Block production
Building Block production
From 2007 to 2010 numerous large investments were made in our three plants in Leskovac, Vlasotince and Mala Plana, especially significant being the investments in the latest technology and equipment, as well as the investments in infrastructure, business processes, marketing, human recourses etc. A steady increase in manufacturing output followed each subsequent year, together with greater market demand for MLADOST products.
With our investments in late 2010 and early 2011, and in addition to our newly reconstructed plant in Stalać in 2018, the investment cycle was finalized with the installment of key technologies that will enable a significant improvement in quality, capacity and product range – all done with the single aim of fully satisfying our customers.
The construction ceramics manufacturer MLADOST incorporates four factories in southern Serbia into one brand name, recognized primarily by its high quality products. Our clay roof tiles are manufactured in Leskovac, while the plants in Toplička Mala Plana, Vlasotince and Stalać produce a wide assortment of clay blocks for wall building and ceiling constructions. MLADOST bases its esteemed reputation on a century long tradition. Namely, by establishing our first factory for the production of ceramic products in 1911, the foundation was set for the manufacturing of modern building materials made out of clay. The highest chimney in Leskovac is situated in this very factory and is a symbol of tradition and a testimony to the skill, durability and beauty of architectural work.
Production of clay building materials in the vicinity of Leskovac, Vlasotince and in the Toplice basin, is as old as the presence of human communities in the area. The abundance of quality raw materials was used by builders of ancient empires, having left, thus, the monuments to their architectural skills. At the transition between antiquity and the Middle Ages, Caricin grad (An Empress Town) was built near what is nowadays known as Lebane, the oldest architectural monument in the area of southern Serbia. The tradition of brick production from the Byzantine era continues in the Middle Ages, when many works of religious architecture were built, primarily in the Toplica basin. Since those ancient times until today, the changes have occurred in the types of ownership and organization, but not in the skill of making products of clay, which happens to be, likewise the recognizable red color, more durable than many social systems and epochs.
It is on the foundation of this long and rich tradition in the production of ceramic products in this region, in the most attractive locations, that our factories in Leskovac, Vlasotince, Toplička Mala Plana and Stalać were built.
Today these are very modern factories. Large investments made it possible to introduce the latest equipment and technology which, together with highest quality raw materials and a skilled labour force, enables such a production to meet the highest requirements in terms of quality, cost and ease of construction. Due to the ideal mineralogical composition of the raw materials, all products, besides their exceptional physical-mechanical characteristics, have an intense and permanent red colour which makes them strikingly different from all other products of this kind. It is because of these properties that all of our products have rapidly gained an advantage in many markets. Nowadays it is almost impossible to imagine modern construction in Serbia, Bulgaria, Macedonia, Romania, Albania, Montenegro etc. without MLADOST roof tiles and building blocks.
In 1911 – by establishing “Ceramic Factory Rafajlović, Sokolovic and Bejaz” the foundations of modern industry of clay building materials were set. The huge building of the so-called “Old Brick Factory” with the highest chimney in Leskovac even today is one of the landmarks of the city. Roof tiles that are produced in the early beginning of the last century in Leskovac, bearing the sign of an elephant and their distinctive, intense red colour still decorate roofs in Leskovac, Nis, Vranje, Skopje and many towns near and far.
Traditional methods of clay shaping were applied as long as 1974 when a new hall with devices and machines for production of roof tiles and building brick blockware, modern for the time was built. However, some segments of the former production were still based on manual work of a large number of workers, without any detailed consideration of possibilities to increase production quality and quantity.
In 1928 – Mihajlo Sokolovic, one of the owners left and the factory got a new name “Ceramic Factory and Rafajlović Bejaz”. After World War II the factory was transformed into DP “Pobeda” – An industrial enterprise of roof tiles and bricks, whose products will be known throughout the old Yugoslavia.
In 1997 – the company was divided into a number of smaller ones, specialized in manufacturing of certain building materials. Thus the DP “MLADOST” was founded as a group of young, hardworking and motivated people who want to return to their old markets and conquer the new ones. From this point forward there was a period of stability in trading and moderate growth which was in line with the general conditions in society at the time.
In 2003 – By privatization “Mladost” became a stock company, the management and the employees were initiated anew for further improvement and development.
From that point until 2008 it had been worked on the constant increase of quality and production capacity, and the IGM “Mladost” company had been reorganized fully to produce roof tiles. At the same period, the company took the opportunity for hiring and training new staff of basic production profiles: technology, mechanical engineering and electronics.
In 2008 – a new era began by the reconstruction of the factory. It is an important step in modernizing the production process, particularly in the primary production, by the introduction of modern high-capacity mills for processing of fine clay. It is also a great progress in setting up and breaking down of dry and baked raw materials and especially so in terms of product packaging by the complete automation of the process. Also, during the first phase of the reconstruction, a great emphasis was given to the modernization and automation of the process of products drying and baking by the use of latest monitoring and process quality control systems. In addition a great improvement of working conditions and humanization of work were achieved.
At the beginning of 2011 – the second part of the reconstruction of production facilities followed. A new hall for crude production was built, a new German extruder made by the “Handle” manufacturer was set and the new twoheaded presses of Italian “Bongioanni” make were installed. They are among the most advanced in this area. The use of such modern and highly controlled technology directly affects the quality of products in terms of physical and mechanical properties as well as the aesthetic appearance of roof tiles which makes it possible to meet the increase of high requirements on the market.
In 2006 – the factory IGM “July 7” in Toplicka Mala Plana which had been a public company was privatized. Since that time the plant operates under the name IGM “MLADOST-TMP” d.o.o.
Immediately after the privatization, in 2006 the factory reconstruction had been started:
In 2006-07: a fully automatic line for composition and decomposition of products was built, a brand new fine mill of the famous German make Haendle was set, the furnaces were reconstructed and some new burner groups were installed. A system for monitoring temperature and other parameters of the furnaces and kilns, 6 groups of drying fans and a high pressure compressor were installed, and a new network for distribution of compressed air was made. A new production hall for storing the equipment and decomposition of products was also built.
In 2008 – The design line was reconstructed, the press with two outs was reconstructed and the appropriate automatic system for loading raw products into kiln railcars was built in. The number of ventilation groups in the kiln is enlarged and the complete line of forming, loading raw goods and unloading dry goods was automated. A driveway mill of larger capacity was built in, then another high-pressure compressor and a new substation of 630 kW power were constructed.
In 2009 and 2010 – the following equipment was built in: rough Bedeschi mill, extruder Bedeschi, a chimney, an exhausted gasses recirculation system of the tunnel kiln. The reconstruction of primary production was made. All of these investments and the technical-technological procedures, have enabled the production of high quality products while increasing capacity at the same time, which is why IGM MLADOST-TMP is one of the largest manufacturers of building bricks goods in Serbia.
In 2010th – A new high-quality clay pit that allows a proper access to exploitation with an appropriate access road for the smooth transport running was opened. A new fuel oil tank of 1,000 m3 of capacity was built and 10,000 m3 of space for storage of finished products was asphalted; a new administration building was constructed, the technical service offices and the workers restaurant within the manufacturing factory area were renovated.
The factory IGM “RAD” in Vlasotince operated as a public company until 06-11-2006 when it was privatized, and from that day the factory operates under the name IGM “MLADOST RAD” a.d.
Prior to the privatization, the factory was producing brick block goods (approximately 5.5 million pieces annually) and roof tiles (around 2,000,000 pieces), which were mostly secured on the local market.
In 2007 – The preparations for the factory reconstruction began aiming to improve and modernize the production significantly.
In 2008 – The reconstruction was done.
In 2009 – The new technology production started. With the reconstruction, the factory has become modern in terms of technology, it has been automated and robotized which was the prerequisite for the production of building materials in accordance with market demands and customers` needs. The specific investment ventures were: a brand new product line, the new mills of primary and secondary processing of “BONGIOANNI” make, the latest generation press manufactured by “BEDESCHI”, the latest generation of robots by the Japanese manufacturer “FANUKO”, the fully automated process lines of forming raw materials, dry stacking on trains and lines for production of baked goods, the completely refurbished and modernized kilns.
As a result of the above, the IGM “MLADOST-RAD” a.d. today produces Clay 5, Clay brick, Façade brick, Filling fert 14, Thermo block, Hollow block 5 and Ventilation block. The factory is both technically and technologically equipped to follow other contemporary trends and respond to market demands.
In our factories we use very good quality clay which has been subject to examination of the Institute for Materials Research in Belgrade.
EXCERPT FROM THE SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH WORK:
“EVALUATION OF QUALITY OF BRICK RAW MATERIALS FROM SOUTHERN SERBIA”
Zagorka Radojevic, BSc. Milica Arsenović, dipl.eng.technol.., Milos Vasic, dipl.eng.technol.
This paper presents the evaluation results of the quality of three brick raw materials from Southern Serbia: the pit near Leskovac, one near Vlasotince and another one near Mala Plana. The research has included chemical, mineralogical, granulometric and ceramic-technological characteristics of representative samples from these deposits. The paper shows the evaluation of raw materials in terms of the quality of brick products, the energy efficiency and the environmental parameters.
Basic raw materials for clay bricks are clay, loess, shales, marls and others. Geological surveys and research resources in Serbia are carried out in a unique way. These investigations are carried out by generally applicable methods and regulations, which provide sufficient information about the quality and quantities of raw materials and on the basis of which decision about the operation is made.
There is no building material that could replace brick products in terms of strength, porosity, insulating ability, durability, fire safety, resistance to weathering and corrosion resistance, form stability and opportunities for achieving diversity in construction. In addition to the positive characteristics of this building material, more and more urgent need to preserve the environment as well as the conditions for life, work and health refer to manufacturing and use of bricks.
Southern Serbia has developed manufacture of a range of various brick products. In the factories for brick production: “MLADOST” d.o.o. – Leskovac, “MLADOST-RAD” d.o.o. – Vlasotince and “MLADOST-TMP” – Mala Plana, the modern highly automated production lines were put into operation. Their work was supported by quality local raw materials. The paper grades raw materials in terms of product quality, energy efficiency and environmental parameters.
Based on the results of testing of brick raw materials from the south of Serbia it can be concluded that modern production can produce:
Brickware goods of a wide range of assortment (roof tiles, facing brick and blocks, clay products for indoor walls, ceiling-mounted elements, hollow clay products, etc..
The products of high aesthetic qualities, of intense red color,
The salt-free and lime-free products,
The products of high mechanical properties (compressive and flexural strength),
The products that provide good fire resistance and excellent thermal and acoustic properties of objects.
The colour of baked brick products basically depends on the mineralogical composition of raw materials, temperature and baking conditions. The dominant influence on the brick colour is iron. Brick raw materials mainly contain iron in the form of minerals from the group of hydroxides (goethite, limonite). In the process of burning, iron hydroxide is transformed into hematite, which gives the ceramic body its red colour. From the test results it is concluded that the colour of baked goods is the intense red.
The low content or absence of carbonates indicates the absence of harmful effects of lime on the baked goods.
The mechanical characteristics of the baked goods are high.
The test results of ceramic-technological properties of the samples show that the required baking temperature is relatively low, 830-9000C. Low firing temperature significantly lowers specific consumption of energy during the baking process and increases the energy efficiency of the process. For example, the most commonly required temperature for burning brick products produced in factories in Serbia ranges from 950 to 10500C.
Good plasticity of the tested samples enables production of brick with thinner walls and of less weight which reduces raw material need and energy consumption per unit of normal size.
Modern production processes are required to avoid environmental pollution. Brickware production allows the use of waste materials. The studied raw materials can be mixed with waste materials with the adequate plans for the optimal mixture for a particular type of a product. The emission of gasses in the baking process comes from the fuel and the raw materials. Thus HF, SO3, SO2, HCl, CO2, etc appear. This issue requires serious study of the overall emission and necessary measures to be taken.
However, based on results of testing the chemical composition of raw materials from southern Serbia there are no conditions for significant emission, because the content of components that emit harmful gases in the process of burning is minimal or non-existent. Even the content of carbonate in the raw material is low, and there is almost none CO2 emission that comes from raw materials.
Brick raw materials from southern Serbia represented by the tested samples make a significant raw materials resource for manufacturing a various range of products of high aesthetic and physical and mechanical characteristics. The properties of raw materials enable the production of energy-efficient modern factories. The raw materials can be considered high quality ones even from the standpoint of more and more demanding environmental requirements.