When the National Precast Concrete Association (NPCA) recently announced that MBO Precast, Inc., had been awarded one of the highest Certified Plant ratings
When the National Precast Concrete Association (NPCA) recently announced that MBO Precast, Inc., had been awarded one of the highest Certified Plant ratings to date, Advanced Concrete Technologies (ACT) shared the credit, having customized a new batch plant for the Carver, Mass., producer. MBO enlisted ACT for a precision, turnkey mixing and batching system: a MobilMat Mo2250-1125 twin mixer plant with HPGM 2250 planetary mixer for self-consolidating concrete (SCC) and HPGM 1125 planetary mixer for dry-cast production.
MBO Precast’s plant score of 97.28 Û one of the highest ever in NPCA’s history of member plant certification Û was awarded in recognition of the facility’s operation to highest standards of production and quality control. Established just south of Boston in 1986, the precaster supplies a growing roster of contractors, builders, municipalities and homeowners with a product mix that includes retaining walls, catch basins, manholes, septic tanks, leaching basins, and wing walls.
Notes Plant Manager Steve Opachinski, We built a new, larger building and needed a mixing and batching plant that would help keep us productive and efficient for the next 20-year phase of our business. Already, the new plant has paid for itself in productivity, fewer production hours with greater capacity and efficiency, and, not least, significantly greater product quality.
Working closely with the Opachinskis, ACT Sales Manager and Project Engineer Tom Krueger designed a turnkey mixing and batching plant to fit MBO’s expanded production footprint. Since the equipment was delivered to the site completely turnkey, including wiring and conduits ready to connect to power and plumbing, the mixing and batching plant was up and running at capacity within weeks, rather than months. MBO’s proximity to ACT’s Greenland, N.H., headquarters enabled Krueger to ensure that operations met contract commitments. Working on this project gave me the opportunity to see first-hand how our turnkey plant and highly intuitive PCS [process control system] helped Steve and his crew optimize concrete mix designs and produce quality batches, he affirms.
At the heart of the ACT system, a MobilMat Mo2250-1125 twin-mixer plant includes a HPGM 2250 planetary mixer providing wet-cast SCC capacity of up to 60 yd./hr. and a HPGM 1125 planetary mixer for dry-cast production feeding a manhole machine at up to 30-yd./hr. capacity. Additionally, an automatic mixer cleaning system works even better than advertised, asserts Steve Opachinski. Even on a dry-cast mixer, after a whole shift of operation and just one seven-and-a-half minute cycle of the washout system, he explains, it’s amazing how clean it gets.
For more efficient SCC placement, MBO uses a 4-yd.-capacity bucket to reduce the number of trips required by an overhead crane moving between mixer and forms. Accordingly, the wet-cast call station is programmed via PCS to automatically queue up two consecutive 2-yd. batches each time the operator pushes the button. Our SCC product looks better than ever, says Opachinski. The breaks are higher, and the product visually is fantastic.
On the dry cast side, a laser level indicator in the manhole machine hopper precisely measures the concrete level; and, the operator can program multiple trigger points to reorder concrete for continuous production, depending upon consumption rate. Either call station can be placed in high priority mode for maximum, uninterrupted, continuous output capacity.
Driving the new ACT plant is an automated process control system providing total management of mixing and batching functions. Besides allowing complete unattended operation, the PCS simplifies operator training. The system also provides MBO a constant link to ACT’s service engineers, who can monitor any single component of the plant as needed through their computers. When we first commissioned the plant, an instance arose when our ACT service engineer pulled over at a rest stop, fired up his laptop, went on line, and was able to get right into our plant control system to help us out, Opachinski recalls. Û www.concretebiz.com