The Besser Prestopac…A notable, yet nearly forgotten machine has recently made its way back onto our manufacturing floor.
The Prestopac, a one-at-a-time block machine, was first manufactured in 1947 for Besser customer, Neisser, located in Lima, Peru. At the time, this machine (standing less than 5′ tall) was used to produce quality concrete block for local housing requirements. At the peak of its operation, this machine could only produce 300 block a day – a far cry from the Vibrapac®, released eight years earlier. In the early 1960s, because the limited appeal and usefulness, the basic Prestopac model was modified and marketed to be a laboratory machine that producers could use to run a “test” block with various mix designs to achieve a desired weight or color. Customers were able to perform small-scale quality testing at a fraction of the cost of testing previously completed in their full production facility.
Besser maintained a Prestopac at the Alpena Community College Blockmakers lab until everything was moved to the newly built World Center for Concrete Technology facility in 2000. That Prestopac was ultimately sold to Johnson Concrete in North Carolina for testing purposes. We were pleased to have the recent opportunity to refurbish it at our 23 North location in Alpena, Michigan this past month. This unique machine immediately caught the attention of some of our newer employees who wanted to know the story behind it.
The results – as with all of our refurbished equipment – are incredible. Thanks to the brainstorming of our engineers and the skill of our manufacturing team, this machine once again looks and functions brand new! Even better, there are many new features and improved components. With these changes, we expect to see a growing demand for the Prestopac. It will be a while before anyone forgets the name of this machine again.