Robotic technology company FBR Limited (ASX: FBR) has provided its activities report for the period ended 31 December 2020.
FBR completes first two storey structure
On 26 October 2020 FBR announced that it had completed construction of its first two storey structure using the Hadrian X®.
The structure was built on FBR’s premises in a building style commonly found around the world in developing markets, including in key FBR markets such as Mexico, the MENA and GCC region and throughout Asia. This was the first time FBR had demonstrated the Hadrian X®’s ability to build two storey structures, as well as working with design elements like steel reinforced concrete columns, suspended concrete slabs and rebar.
Starter bars were inserted into the concrete slab, with couplers used to install rebar through the aligned cores of the blocks and concrete manually poured into the cores. Steel cages were inserted into the block columns built by the Hadrian X®, with a concrete pump used to fill the columns.
FBR crane-lifted a precast concrete slab onto the structure the day after the first storey was completed, with the Hadrian X® commencing building of the second storey immediately after the crane left FBR’s premises. In large greenfield developments it is likely the Hadrian X® would continue building the first levels of the adjacent buildings in the development while the second storey slabs are formed and poured, before returning to build the second storey of each structure once the slabs have cured.
Pilot Programs with international block manufacturers
Subsequent to the end of the period, FBR announced the execution of a Pilot Program agreement with Xella, a multi-billion dollar international business that specialises in the manufacture and supply of innovative building products, including Ytong autoclaved aerated concrete blocks (AAC blocks) and Silka calcium silicate blocks (CSUs).
Ytong AACs are large format concrete blocks constructed to a high dimensional accuracy which are potentially very well suited to be laid by the Hadrian X®. Silka CSUs are a sustainable, low energy, sound absorbent, low compression, non-combustible, weatherproof building block that are in common use throughout the world.
The purpose of the Australian Pilot Program is to enable FBR and Xella to develop a practical understanding of the capabilities of each other’s products, within the limitations of the economic conditions and travel restrictions resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Xella will deliver a number of AAC and CSU blocks to FBR, which FBR will use to construct at least two buildings at FBR’s premises using the Hadrian X®. After completion of the Pilot Program, FBR and Xella will consult with one another on any changes to the AAC or CSU blocks, adhesives or the Hadrian X® that may be beneficial to progress the commercialisation of the Hadrian X® with Xella blocks in Europe, as well as a European pilot building program.
FBR is also anticipating the delivery of a large shipment of Wienerberger blocks in the coming weeks. The Wienerberger blocks are in transit currently and, upon delivery, will be used to complete a Pilot Program with Wienerberger at FBR’s premises.
FBR has commenced the ordering of long lead items for the next iteration of the Hadrian X®, as well as capital equipment to accelerate the R&D work and production of the next Hadrian X® robots. Additionally, improvements have been made to the current Hadrian X® in the adhesive application system and the range of motion of the boom to allow the Hadrian X® to build in a broader range of situations and site layouts.
FBR is also working with a number of builders to plan various projects for the Hadrian X®, and has ordered and received a batch of products from a local supplier for testing purposes and to identify opportunities to optimise the blocks for use with the Hadrian X®. Additionally, an order for 25,000 blocks will be placed shortly with a local manufacturer to ensure sufficient supply for upcoming building projects.
Consolidation and conversion of Class C Performance Shares
On 15 December 2020 FBR advised that the expiry date of the Milestone Class C Performance Shares (‘Performance Shares’), issued as part of the deferred consideration for the acquisition of Fastbrick Robotics under FBR’s November 2015 Prospectus, had passed without the Milestone condition having been met, and as a result, 166,666,666 Performance Shares were consolidated to one Performance Share for each of the 21 Shareholders who held the Performance Shares, and then converted into ordinary shares on a one for one basis in accordance with the terms of the Performance Shares as provided in the Prospectus.
Issue of Short Term and Long Term Loan Funded Shares
On 26 November 2020 FBR held its Annual General Meeting. Shareholder approval was received at the Annual General Meeting in accordance with Listing Rule 10.11 for the purpose of the Company’s Managing Director and CEO Mr Michael Pivac, and Executive Director and CTO Mr Mark Pivac, subscribing for up to 25,000,000 Short Term Loan Funded Shares and 25,000,000 Long Term Loan Funded Shares, respectively, pursuant to the terms and conditions set out in the Company’s Notice of Meeting. Accordingly, FBR issued 100,000,000 shares on 24 December 2020.
In forming the decision to implement the loan to the Managing Director and CEO and the CTO, FBR’s Remuneration Committee reviewed similar sized listed companies operating in similar industries to benchmark Executive remuneration levels and sought and received advice regarding the most appropriate structure of incentive. This advice recommended the non-cash share loan as the most appropriate incentive structure. The Board of FBR takes the view that a cash-based incentive structure is inappropriate at the current stage of FBR’s development, and that the non-cash loan structure provides a suitable incentive whilst avoiding the payment of a cash bonus.
The terms and conditions of the incentive structure can be found in the Company’s Notice of Meeting, released to the ASX on 30 October 2020.
Corporate and Finance
Note to item 6 in Appendix 4C: Payments to related parties and their associates were made in the quarter. Approximately $275,000 was paid to related parties as Executive and Non-Executive Director fees, salary and superannuation.