Turning a bank vault into a police office


Previously there were gold bars piled up to the ceiling and bank notes were transported on pallets. The walls and ceiling of the two-storey vault at the branch of this former State Central Bank in the Swabian town of Aalen, Germany, were therefore designed accordingly.

Naturally, cutting four windows into these nearly two metres thick vault walls as part of the alterations to the office complex is a difficult task. But this does not deter the contractor assigned for the job, Jan Eckert: “They always call on us when it’s really difficult, when nobody else can or wants to do the work”, says the concrete drilling and sawing specialist from Simmelsdorf near Lauf.  To tackle the job, he uses Husqvarna W 1405 and W 1410 Diagrip™ saw blades with a diameter of 600 to 2,000 mm.

A special challenge

Jan Eckert and his colleagues have some very special challenges to overcome on this site. The building was built in 1998 at a cost of 36 million Deutschmarks with the two vaults totalling 285 m² and a floor space of approximately 4,000 m². Among other things, the State Central Bank used the building during the introduction of the Euro to supply cash to banks within a radius of approximately 200 kilometres. 

After the closure of the branch and its use by a variety of other companies, the Federal Police will move into the building during the coming year. They need daylight in the two vault rooms, one on the ground floor, the other on the first floor. This is why Jan Eckert has to create four openings for four windows: two with a width of 7 m and a height of 3 m, and two with a width of 4 m and a height of 3 m. 

And that is anything but easy: Each vault has double walls, 1,000 mm and 500 mm thick, with a distance of 500 mm in between. The concrete in the 1,000 mm wall includes materials like ceramic and fibre steel, which makes the concrete extremely hard. There is also a layer of 3–5 mm steel balls. This makes for example drilling impossible, but also cutting is very difficult. 

“Cutting conditions are really difficult here. I tested blades of several brands to see if I could get better life time, but Husqvarna W 1410 was the only blade able to make the cut”, explains Mr Eckert.

Test for new wall sawing diamond blades

For R&D purposes, Husqvarna used this vault construction site to thoroughly test a brand new 800 mm blade design with the high-frequency electric WS 482 HF wall saw operated by the new PP 490 power pack. 

“We have coordinated closely with the central office in Sweden to develop a special compound for the segments and also to change the geometry”, says Lukas Rettenbacher, Husqvarna product specialist for diamond tools and as such responsible for the German and Austrian markets. “Our goal is to increase the stability of the tool, especially when used in extremely hard concrete, but without a loss in speed.” 

The test in the vault was a success. “We were able to significantly extend tool life by about a factor of three”, says Lukas Rettenbacher, who had prepared the test in the vault together with his Husqvarna colleagues Cristian Kraft (Marketing) and Stefan Seehofer (Area Sales Manager). “For us, the product specialist is the interface between the manufacturer and the customer”, says Cristian Kraft. “When our specialists on a site like this here in Aalen gain experience and forward the data to the central development department, this will of course benefit all our customers.”

This also includes Jan Eckert, who uses Husqvarna PRIME™ equipment WS 220 wall saw, K 6500 ring saw and K 6500 power cutter, working almost exclusively with Husqvarna diamond blades. 

Productivity is priority

“The top priority for me is the productivity,” explains Jan Eckert. 

“The machines and tools just have to operate. Because basically we work extremely quickly, which is what makes us so successful.” 

The focus on productivity is also is why the new PP 490 power pack has become a favourite for him – it is equipped with a wireless remote control unit, providing an impressive output of 20 kW, and can operate multiple devices such as power cutters or drill Motors. “Modularity and flexibility are always an advantage”, Jan Eckert concludes.

For more information, please contact:

Erik Edvardsson, Global Product Manager Wall Saws, Husqvarna Construction Products
e-mail: erik.edvardsson@husqvarnagroup.com Tel: +46 (0)725 177 134.

Press Manager

David Hagström
Acting Vice President Marketing for Husqvarna Construction Products
+46 (0)31 94 90 08