To meet changing consumer preferences and to remain competitive, most block producers today market more than just concrete block. In today's market, block machines need to be efficient and versatile. Most block machines available today are capable of producing rectangular and interlocking pavers, patio slabs, edging units, decorative screen blocks, retaining wall units, and much more.
Most block machines are stationary, but some are traveling machines. Traveling machines require less material-handling equipment than stationary machines, but use more floor space. Because traveling machines are not as common or productive, this article focuses only on stationary blockmaking machines.
Most stationary machines can produce concrete units down to 2 inches high. Maximum heights range to about 17 inches for most machines, and around 48 inches for machines designed to produce items such as fence posts. Machine capacity ranges from one to six blocks per cycle. Cycle times range from about 6 seconds up to 20 seconds.
Some features to consider when choosing a block machine include automated lubricating systems and electronic programmability.