Besser Co. introduced the S140 Big Board Splitter in 2008; the first was installed by Brampton Brick in July. Nearly four years later, Brampton Vice President of Manufacturing George Housh reports that the S140 was a solid addition to the production line, noting especially the 52-in. splitter’s performance. “The S140 has increased the production rate around 50 percent,” he affirms.
Currently, Brampton runs 10 different products, including concrete masonry units, segmental retaining wall units, and coping, through the splitter. The S140’s simple blade changeover makes product changes fast. Quick change slide in blade sets, requiring only minutes to complete, make the splitter extremely versatile. Brampton utilizes three different blade configurations to split the variety of products. One configuration features an offset split and is mainly used for SRWs. Articulated blades are used for 90-mm (3 5/8-in.) splits. Adjusting for different height products is easy, as a simple air regulator controls the infinitely adjustable upper head float.
Expocrete installed an S140 in its Balzac, Alberta, plant in 2010. Plant Manager Ian Mills cites the quality and consistency of the splits on the company’s retaining wall products, which range from 100–200 mm tall. “The products look great,” he adds, attributing their quality to the hard stops on both upper and lower blades that provide consistent penetration and split quality.
Expocrete is taking full advantage of the S140’s capabilities and splitting multiple faces on some styles of units. The ability to split both sides of a block, without having to handle it twice, is delivering time and manpower savings to the company. Plant staff point to the equipment’s ease of operation and maintenance.
Newtonbrook’s product line expanded in 2011 when splitting was introduced to its Gormley, Ontario, plant. According to Vice President Art Doerner, “We’re thrilled with our S140. It has done everything that it was intended to do when we installed it and now it is splitting units that we’ve developed since it came online.” Newtonbrook currently utilizes the splitter to split 10 different product lines, each incorporating multiple sizes of units. Products range from 60–200 mm tall and include coping, units with the appearance of natural stone and 40-in. window sill units.
Four S140s are operating in the United States and Canada. The latest installation was completed in January 2012 at Mutual Materials’ Rekers-equipped plant in Langley, B.C. A fifth S140 is being installed in the U.S. in February. — Besser Co., 989/354-1000; www.besser.com