Concrete Products

APR 2012

Concrete Products covers the issues that attract producers of ready mixed and manufactured concrete focusing on equipment and material technology, market development and management topics.

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Page 28 of 51

FEATURE QUEBEC CONCRETE PIPE The new pipe plant rose on a Lecuyer- owned industrial park site adjacent to its Saint-Remi flagship production facility, the enclosure designed to house a HawkeyePed- ershaab PipePro XT RCP manufacturing sys- tem and ACT MobilMat Mo80/4-PCS concrete batching plant. The PipePro XT's unique turntable design allows three different products to be pro- duced at the same time. "In the small market [where] we operate, it's important that we have a flexible manufacturing system that al- lows us to fill multiple small orders for dif- ferent types of products," says Tavares. "With the PipePro, we can produce, for instance, 10-in., 30-in. and 72-in. pipes in the same production run. Or, if necessary, just 72-in. pipe to meet a larger order." Machine flexibility enables Quebec Con- crete Pipe to fill a variety of orders without stockpiling a large inventory. The system enables just-in-time production and deliv- ery, and is completely automated, requiring just a handful of workers to operate: one each for monitoring the pipe machine and robotic handling systems, two to run the CageFlex reinforcement cage system, and two to move finished pipe to yard storage and conduct maintenance. "Most manually operated pipe plants would require at least two to three times as many workers," notes HawkeyePedershaab's Ron Schmidgall. "By building plants with robotic systems and computer control, we reduce labor demands and optimize output and quality." In addition the three-station, rotary turntable, the PipePro XT features: • Demolding by an automatic crane (off bearer) that transfers the mold unit, bearing one to four pipes, to a moving floor system. The mold jacket is then loaded with a new reinforcement cage and returned to the production system. • Moving floor transfer of green pipe to twin curing tunnels for approximately eight hours. As pipe exits, robotic de- vices remove from each end the joint rings, which are automatically cleaned and returned to the production system. • Post-production processing, where pipe is automatically tipped and conveyed downline for deburring, vacuum testing and marking. Sorting lines send differ- ent size pipes to appropriate staging points to be picked by a forklift truck and moved to the storage yard. WWW.CONCRETEPRODUCTS.COM "We vacuum test every pipe, randomly test pipes hydraulically, [and] check the measurements of the tongue and groove or bell and spigot to ensure total accuracy," notes Tavares. "We record every detail of production on our computer systems, in- cluding concrete batching, [PipePro XT] system characteristics, and other factors and we can associate it with each pipe by [stamped] serial number." Beyond the advanced pipe and concrete mix production and handling systems, he adds, the new plant has such sustainability features as high efficiency electric motors to reduce power consumption and extend plant life; gray water recovery system to re- cycle mixer wash water; and, dust collec- tion system for a clean work environment. The MobilMat Mo80/4-PCS batch plant Advanced Concrete Technologies delivered Quebec Concrete Pipe includes a Wiggert HPGM 2250 high shear counter-current planetary mixer with 48 yd./hour output, Hydromat microwave moisture probe for water/cement ratio calculation and batch water ad- justment, and automated high-pressure cleanout system. The PC-based PCS Control System provides color-coded, real-time display of batching progress, while integrating process supervision, production reporting, inventory tracking, and recipe management with plant maintenance and costing functions. Fed by an exterior, ground-level bunker, the four-compartment aggregate storage system accom- modates a full day's production. Aggregate is automatically directed to the correct bin by a four-po- sition shuttle belt. Hydrotester moisture probes in sand/aggregate bins automatically compensate batch weights. Two outside cement silos are each equipped with radar probes for continuous level indication and user-definable, "low" and "high" inventory alerts. APRIL 2012 | 27

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