A quality assurance inspector’s pursuit of higher productivity in outdoor precast/prestressed casting bed operations, plus an expanded production window
A quality assurance inspector’s pursuit of higher productivity in outdoor precast/prestressed casting bed operations, plus an expanded production window for double tee and panel plants in cooler climate markets, has yielded a gantry crane-mounted, folding roof. Now in the prototype stage and set for delivery to an inaugural plant, the portable device stems from two years of design and testing by Dan Wilmot of J.W. Peters Inc., Burlington, Wis., and William Connor Technologies, Inc. (WCT), an aluminum specialty fabricator in association with Milwaukee-based sheet metal and misc. steel contractor H. Kubenik Mechanical Inc.
Precast/prestressed yards cannot afford time delays, says Wilmot, who in a long QA tenure at Peters has observed his share of weather dilemmas and accelerated scheduling where product no longer sits in the yard for a minimum 28 days. The payback for the roof will be in time saved on weather-related delays during form preparation, pouring and stripping. It is easy to run up tens of thousands in labor costs when crews are waiting for rain to stop. But the concept has potential beyond keeping rain off forms, he adds, since plants with multiple cranes can group the folding roof devices along a casting bed as dictated by weather forecasts, especially those calling for snow.
The prototype roof consists of two hinged aluminum frames, 22 ft. wide _ 62 ft. long, secured on both ends by spreader bar hooks. A hydraulic line to the roof’s hinge cylinders draws from the crane’s power takeoff. Upon lifting, the frames spread to form a gable-type shelter and lock into place at a net 40-ft. coverage width. The frames are all aluminum with galvanized or stainless steel hardware, and Teflon bushings for quiet operation, explains WCT CEO Don Kubenik, whose company is handling roof fabrication and engineering.
WCT is in discussions with OEMs and dealers to offer the portable roof as an accessory for gantry crane orders. A DVD showing the portable roof handling and hoisting can be obtained from the company, 414/385-9178, or by e-mail to [email protected] or [email protected]. Additional inquiries can be directed to Dan Wilmot, 262/496-3157.