The Simple Value of Ultra-High-Performance Concrete UHPC mixes can significantly reduce costs and carbon footprints.

Albert Einstein famously mused “If you can’t explain it to a 6-year-old, you don’t understand it yourself.” This can be applied to how many in the construction industry view ultra-high-performance concrete, or UHPC. While this type of concrete has been around for a long time, it is often dismissed as a complicated and expensive option. “It’s complicated” may not be…

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What’s in a Name?

A ready mixed concrete truck is more than a “truck.” It’s a mobile manufacturing environment. William Shakespeare might be tempted to say a truck by any other name is still a truck, but in the ready mixed concrete industry, a mixer truck is really a mobile manufacturing environment, or MME. Let’s take a few moments to “smell the roses.” One…

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The Future of Batching

Producers must decide between sticking with batching systems that do a good enough job and upgrading to one that runs masterfully with improved accuracies and uptime. Many of us grew up with the idioms “use it up, wear it out” and “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” These words of wisdom are essential for survival in a world of…

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Newsflash: The digital enterprise is not complicated

Ready-mix concrete is a “now” industry. Real time. No delay. It’s time for us to catch up with what our kids already have: Instant access to information and collaboration with everyone all the time. The phrase “digital enterprise” makes a ton of money for lots of advisors from big-name consultancies. They use it as a noun, verb and adverb. They…

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A Case for Industry 4.0 in Ready-Mix Production

New technology has sparked a revolution in concrete batch accuracy. The Fourth Industrial Revolution, commonly known as Industry 4.0, is the ongoing automation of manufacturing using Internet of Things (IoT), widespread machine-to-machine (M2M) communication, and artificial intelligence (AI). When we cut through the buzzword bingo, it’s clear that Industry 4.0 matters when it comes to batching ready-mix concrete. Batch accuracy…

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Major operators affirm strong deliveries in peak season

Fall 2013 saw the release of one set of positive quarterly financials after another from New York Stock Exchange-traded companies with integrated U.S. concrete, aggregate, cement and asphalt businesses. Uniformly upbeat sales, EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) and net earnings reports encompass the peak 2013 construction season; MDU Resources Group summing up conditions likely shared with peers: “The [Knife River] construction materials group had its best quarter since 2007.”

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