Milwaukee-based Elematic Inc. is promoting Masters series production models and components offering prestressed hollow core operators a range of new functions,
Milwaukee-based Elematic Inc. is promoting Masters series production models and components offering prestressed hollow core operators a range of new functions, from automated drilling to mid-bed slab thickness changes. The manufacturer’s newest technology changes the slab sawing process with an eye toward higher productivity and improved plant environment. Product engineers describe the CutMaster as an innovative concept for reducing noise and dust, while improving quality within an automated, streamlined hollow core fabrication process.
With traditional production systems, the slab is cut into a large number of pieces directly on the bed, imparting dust and concrete residue on the beds and plant floor. The resultant cutting and cleaning cycle typically consumes up to two hours, Elematic engineers estimate.
By contrast, the CutMaster creates a few large pieces from hollow-core slabs on the bed and then forwards these to a fixed sawing station for further cutting operations. Because the slab is cut into only two or three long pieces, the bed is ready for the next slab in less than 30 minutes.
The CutMaster concept brings what the engineers note are significant working environment improvements, chief among them a reduction in dust and noise exposure. Work safety also is improved by the reduced number of lifts due to fewer slab pieces. Says Elematic Technical Director Lassi Jârvinen, Since we find it vital to be able to serve our old customers as well as new ones, CutMaster has been designed to fit just as well into existing production systems, where it significantly improves the air quality and working environment. [Precast plants] can seldom be entirely rebuilt; therefore, it is important to improve production technologies for modernization purposes and increased productivity.
With a fully automated CutMaster system, he adds, users can take advantage of data saved from design through storage. Cutting accuracy thereby is greatly improved, fault tolerance drops to within a few millimeters, and human errors lessen significantly. CutMaster also enables special sawing, e.g., angles to the ends of slabs, via a special robotic unit. Further, the system reduces handling of slabs at the end of the line. Taking loads straight from the line onto the truck, ready for transport to the construction site, eliminates piling slabs up in the yard or moving them to storage.
Research and development on the CutMaster system continue through cooperation with university staff, whereby an automatic quality-verification system is being advanced. Allowing new levels of quality control, data measured by the system can be fed into Elematic’s ELiPLAN software for analysis; and, with this information, end-products as well as production can be further improved. Quality data also can be read into an RFID-tag or a bar code, which is automatically labelled onto the slab and can be retrieved even 50 years later. Thus, a quality history is available.
Since all products are passing the same station in the plant, we soon will be able to install a special camera right behind the fixed sawing station and a laser system to carry out the quality control on all slabs. By this means, customers will be able to take all measurements of the hollow core slab automatically Û even the slippage of the prestressing strands, says Jârvinen.
The CutMaster saw joins three other series devices:
Enables quick and easy production of hollow-core slabs of varying sizes. Slab thickness changes can be effected along a casting bed with the push of a button.
Marks cut-off points to make recesses, openings, and similar features in hollow-core slabs. Device improves safety, while saving time and labor, and leaving less room for error. Product engineers have attached a shovel to the machine to lift cut-out concrete into a container. Since no water is used for drilling, the concrete mass can be put back into circulation.
Automatically cleans and oils the beds and pulls prestressing strands from containers to the passive end, with free travelling speed of 1 meter/second. Û www.elematic.com; 262-798 9777