Grupo Industrial Canal based in Panama started their
block and paver business in 2008 with one 1600-UL37
complete plant. Through hard work and an excellent
business direction, they are now a major player in one
of the most economically active Central American
As of today they operate 2 Model 1600-UL37 plants,
one Model 16HF-UL26 plant, and just started up the
operation of their newest investment, a Columbia
CPM50-PTSII plant that will increase their market share
and leadership to an even higher position. On the most
recent visit to their facilities by Ricardo Birkner and
Raymundo Pastrana, GIC reported excellent product
quality and low production cost.
GIC is a company with very clear goals and the drive
to achieve them. Their maintenance policy is aimed to
obtain superb production throughput and equipment
reliability every day. Plant personal training in all aspects
is one of GIC main goals. For that purpose, their plant
personnel have attended all of the diff erent levels of
technical schools Columbia has off ered in Latin America,
making them top-level producers.
It was in 2008 when Grupo Cochez, the GIC parent
company, considered investing in the production of
concrete masonry units for their chain of construction
materials stores. Several equipment vendors were then
evaluated, and after receiving details on production
cost, return of investment and a thorough revision on
Columbia support and equipment benefi ts, a decision
was made. Their fi rst Model 1600 plant soon proved that
they made the right decision.
Their economic analysis in the planning stages became a
reality with the achievement of the expected profi ts.
Their next investment decision was straightforward, a
second Columbia Model 1600 plant located on their
large property in Panama City and a Model 16HF plant
for the growing city of Chitre. Both plants were all
Columbia, from the aggregate hoppers to the cuber.
They worked very closely with Columbia technical and
sales personnel in every step of the project investment,
equipment confi guration, fast plant startup, commission
and plant efficiency.
Due to increased cost for plant personnel, their
evaluation for the next investment confi rmed that they
needed a complete automated plant. Suppliers from
Europe were considered for large pallet equipment, and
GIC visited their customers in the US. Columbia off ered
the CPM50 with pallet 1400x770 mm with PTSII and
provided full details on cement savings, real production
capacity and superior customer support. GIC Operations
Manager, Mr. Randolph Mitre, visited Unacem’s Model
CPM60 plant in Lima, Peru (1), and after this visit he
confirmed their previous assessment that their final
decision was to purchase another Columbia plant and
the CPM 50 PTSII was selected.
The Supply Agreement was signed by GIC CEO Mr.
Roberto Lombana, followed shortly after by a visit from
Richard Armstrong to thank GIC for their business, and
then the manufacturing of the equipment was started.
While the equipment was being manufactured, we
visited their construction site as part of our regular preinstall
technical support assistance. This was to verify
plant layout, equipment foundation, rail location and PTS
II curing kiln construction, which resulted in a fi rst-class
installation, with only a short amount of time required.
The plant started in August 2015.
We are proud to count GIC as one of our customers
and certainly look forward to more collaboration
opportunities in the future.
(1) Unacem article Volume 58 issue 1 Feed drawer 2015.