Interstate Industrial Technology (Industec) has been a leader in concrete pigment batching equipment since 1986, supplying customers in North America, Europe, Asia and Australia. The company’s systems and controls have also been deployed in printing, agricultural and chemical industries.
But concrete producers remain the primary focus, underscored by the branded E-Z Blend granular pigment dispensing system, according to Industec Production Manager Scott Dawson. “Our systems are used to make a large variety of concrete products containing color pigments, from landscaping paving blocks and other architectural materials that use colored or stained concrete,” he says, adding that equipment models are designed to handle anywhere from 50,000 to 1.5 million-plus lb. annually.
The E-Z Blend granular pigment dispensing system (GDS) became a mainstay soon after the company’s founding. It can be designed to meter pigment from up to eight feeding stations to accurately batch hundreds of unique blended granule formulas. Moving pigment material efficiently out of the feeding stations and onto the weigh vessels requires the use of VMSAC, VMS and SA-EP air piston vibrators from Cleveland Vibrator Co.
According to Dawson, Industec has purchased more than 500 vibrators over the last 10 years from Cleveland Vibrator distributor Flori Equipment Co., as well as sourced various CVC products from the St. Louis company since 1990. The custom-designed E-Z Blend systems incorporate CVC models 1200, 1300 and 1350 VMSAC, 1125 VMS, and 1/2 SA-EP. The vibrators range from ¼-in. to 4-in. air-piston diameter depending upon how each system is configured per customer specifications.
Industec pioneered the use of batching by weight in the North American pigment industry nearly 30 years ago. Today, both its granular and liquid dispensing systems are tailored for each plant and shipped fully assembled—designed to be easily installed and commissioned by the customer. The Dupo, Ill.-based manufacturer offers field support help for final hookup and commissioning as needed.
Versatile vibrators speed material flow
“The E-Z Blend system combines fast fill times with accurate results,” notes Dawson. “The bulk of the material is added in fast fill. As the fill target is approached, the fill rate is reduced so that the last small amount of pigment is added very precisely The operator can load up to four blend formulas for each mixer served by the GDS.”
This “three-speed fill” approach means the CVC vibrators work continuously to “shake the feeders back and forth” and help move the pigment material into the weigh vessel, explains Dawson. “Each feeding tray has a vibrator and depending upon the color load, the vibrators average three minutes of intermittent run time within a 10-minute batch cycle,” he says. “So there is some downtime when the vibrators are not running, but it’s essential that the pigment material is conveyed precisely and the CVC vibrators help regulate that material flow.”
Industec technicians determine which CVC vibrators are installed on the custom-designed E-Z Blend systems for optimum material flow. In a typical four-bag system, the interior two feeders will use a 2-in. air-piston vibrator while the outer two feeders will employ a 3-in. model. If a fifth feeder station is designed, then a 3.5- or 4-in. air-piston vibrator is recommended.
Different models, different uses
Customers also have their choice of CVC vibrator models, again depending upon the nature of the job, plant conditions and volume of pigmented material being processed. The VMSAC Vibra-Might unit features air cushioning of the piston to prevent metal-to-metal contact and reduce noise. The VMS Vibra-Might model employs air metal-to-metal piston impact for maximum force output. Finally, the SA-EP Spring Activated unit features high frequencies of vibration and adaptable mounting heads.
“The advantage of using the Cleveland Vibrator models is they are made to start in any position, while other vibrators that we tried need to lean in one direction to start,” observes Dawson. “We looked at some electromagnetic vibrators from other companies but ultimately chose the air-piston models from CVC. We thought it was an effective, economical way of doing it.”
Another benefit of the CVC vibrators, he finds, is the inclusion of threaded and tapped exhaust ports. This allows for the installation of the port protector/muffler, which helps prevent impurities from entering the vibrator through the exhaust port. It also helps reduce some vibrator noise.
Other features make the E-Z Blend GDS well suited for concrete producers. The dispenser control system incorporates an industrial-rated PLC and touch screen display. The pre-mounted, pre-wired control panel is designed to stand up to harsh plant environments. Pressurized discharge enables the batching chamber to be rapidly emptied to mixers at distances of up to 150 linear feet and at a height of 30 feet. The E-Z Blend also has a very low profile: below 14 feet, including pigment supersack racks.
Dawson says there is an upward trend in the home remodeling market, which is indirectly tied to the upswing in new building construction in both the residential and commercial markets. That, in turn, is creating more opportunities to market the Industec E-Z Blend granular dispensing systems, all equipped with Cleveland Vibrator models.
Benefits of the VMSAC Air Cushioned Piston Vibrator and VMS Impact Piston Vibrator include a) one-piece, ductile iron housing, hand-finished bore and spring-less design to ensure long effective life; b) VMSAC’s air cushion prevents metal-to-metal impact and exhaust muffler reduces noise levels while pneumatic power allows for operation in hazardous area; c) VMS models’ use of exhaust muffler reduces noise levels while compressed air power allows for operation in hazardous areas; d) dual diameter piston allows for mounting at any angle on bins, chutes, pipes and hoppers handling material loads from 200 lb. to 100-plus tons; and, e) standard mounting fasteners and gasket for quick set-up.
Benefits of the SA-EP Spring Activated Piston Air Vibrator include a) steel housing and exhaust port protection to ensure a long life of continuous duty; b) muffler lowers noise levels and pneumatic power allows for operation in hazardous areas; and, c) spring activation of the piston allows for mounting at any angle on a variety of mediums.
Cleveland Vibrator Co. has been driving innovations in materials handling since 1923; based in Cleveland, it serves customers in array of industries around the globe, in partnership with HK Technologies of Salem, Ohio; 800/221-3298; www.clevelandvibrator.com.