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Flexible formwork systems according to the modular principle

Published in CPI – Concrete Plant International – March 2023


in Company news

The build-up or expansion of a flexible formwork inventory does not necessarily have to be accompanied by high investment costs. High-quality, durable and reliable formwork solutions can also be put together cost-effectively - thanks to the modular principle. The article provides an overview of the three systems that formwork specialist Ratec offers its customers as flexible modular solutions for numerous formwork tasks, and which can also be implemented without a high initial investment.

The basis for all these formwork systems is the switchable magnet box SPB. The Standard Pro Magnetbox has become a classic and is used in many factories around the world. The magnet box is equipped with holders to attach adapters or formwork skins of any kind. The hole spacing originally defined by Ratec for accommodating the screw fittings is now standard in numerous competitor products. Due to the strong and reliable holding force of the magnet boxes - from 450 to 2100 kg - many applications are possible with just a few components.

Practical tip

In practice, it is striking that often far more magnet boxes are used than necessary for a given formwork length and height, in keeping with the motto “a lot goes a long way”. With original Ratec magnet boxes, however, you usually need far fewer magnets for the target length and height of an element. As a rule of thumb and recommendation, the manufacturer prepared an overview for the necessary number of magnets depending on formwork length, height and holding force of the magnet box, which are available in the catalogue and on request.

The classic – PSV Pro System Vario

For more than 20 years, PSV has been successfully in use with its variability and user-friendliness. PSV stands for profitable, systematic and variable, or Pro System Vario for short, as it al-lows formwork height variability from 100 to 500 mm as well as telescopic length graduation in the millimetre range. The formwork system is used on stationary tracks, tilting tables and circulation plants and can be relocated and assembled by hand or using the handling crane. Both wood (Betoplan, alkus, etc.) and steel for high series are used for the formwork skin. The formwork can be prepared independently of the tilting table or the circulating pallet. This helps to keep form-work skin material waste as low as possible.

Practical tip

With the standard C-rail length of 250, 1100, 2000 and 3000 mm, any formwork length from 550 mm to 3500 mm can be implemented without gaps. This means that maximum flexibility can easily be achieved with the standard components. The manufacturer offers an overview of possible combinations for the flexible length grid in its catalogue and on request.

PSV is:

  • Flexible in height by changing adapters for heights from 100-500 mm
  • Flexible in length due to standard length grid of the C-rails for formwork 550-3.500 mm
  • Extendable with an extension arm and a special corner bracket for use with recesses
  • Easy to handle due to quick fixing and detaching of the formwork skin using Dywidag bolting of the C-rails
  • Advanced version PSV² for shuttering and demoulding without re-measuring

The classic of the adapter systems: PSV Pro System Vario, here PSV²

The lightweight for manual handling and concreting on both sides - MST

The modular formwork beam MST stems from the desire to offer a system that is simple, versatile and, above all, lightweight, while being able to cover many different formwork tasks. The MST is universally applicable for the production of wall and ceiling elements from 100 to 500 mm thickness. The system combines the advantages of various other solutions as it is flexible in both length and height, consists of few individual parts and impresses with its low weight and easy handling. The formwork beam is attached to the magnet box SPB 2100 by clamping brackets and serves as a base for attaching the formwork timber or front sheet.

The very good static properties, which were tested in the precast plant, and the special variability of the MST make this formwork system a real all-rounder. With its low weight, the modular formwork beam is optimised for manual handling and remains below the BG standard with a weight of less than 21 kg per 3 m length. Two special features characterise the MST: it is stackable, so that precast concrete manufacturers can realise almost all required element thicknesses with just one height of the base beam. And the MST can also be coupled for use on both sides, which saves space on the pallet and reduces effort. With smart accessories such as an extension arm or window corners, the MST can also be used for recesses or for upstands.

Practical tip

For individual lengths, the MST base profile with standard length of 2,980 mm can be cut to lengths of 532, 940, 1,348, 2,164 and 2,573 mm. Ratec can provide a corresponding pattern if required.

In summary, the MST is:

  • Stackable for wall thicknesses from 100-500 mm
  • Flexible in length as the base beam can be cut to desired lengths or “extended” with connecting plates for the longitudinal butt joint of two MST base beams
  • Expandable with an extension arm for the production of upstands
  • Couplable for double-sided use
  • Easy to handle due to fast (re)setup time and low weight

MST can also be used flexibly for recesses

Special feature: MST can be coupled for double-sided use

MST extension for the production of upstands

The Flexible – Easy Form

The smart Easy Form system was specially developed for use with difficult formwork geometries and complex connecting reinforcement. A special feature in contrast to PSV and MST: Easy Form can already be used for shuttering heights from 45 mm. The system can be used as a longitudinal or trans-verse shuttering for all flat precast concrete parts with wall thicknesses of 45 - 400 mm and for recesses. Easy Form is designed according to the modular system and consists of standard components that can be easily combined. If you like model kits, you will love Easy Form. The modular principle enables fast and efficient assembly and ensures maximum combinations with just a few accessories. Also, Easy Form is suitable for continuous reinforcement and offers standardized components for this purpose, such as closure parts for reinforcing bars with diameters of 16 - 32 mm. With the flat base, continuous reinforcement from 25 mm height can be realised.


Easy Form is:

  • Height flexible through exchange of the ribs
  • Flexible in length due to different standard lengths of base profile and connecting plates for connecting two base profiles
  • Can be extended with accessories for mounting vertical supports, which can also be used to form special elements up to 1 metre high
  • For handling, crane and robot fixtures can be flexibly attached



With the Easy Form vertical supports, elements such as columns or stairs up to 1 m in height/thickness can be produced

Easy Form with protruding reinforcement

In summary, Ratec’s flexible formwork solutions are a very cost-effective way to build up a versatile set of formwork components that can be extended over time and therefore do not require a very high initial investment. The magnet technology of the SPB Standard Pro magnet box with a reliable holding force of up to 2,100 kg is the basis for a wide range of applications. The formwork specialist’s team is happy to pass on practical advice for efficient use as well as maintenance and care instructions to its customers.