Construction Today - June 2017 - 7
Once a ready-mix driver arrives at the jobsite, the job changes from that of a driver to
that of a worker on a construction site, where
he or she is responsible first for the quality
and then for pouring out the load of concrete.
Ready-mix concrete materials were once fairly straightforward, requiring standard water
add protocols. Ready-mix operators would
make manual water adjustments to concrete
mixtures by guessing, which is certainly not
the most accurate way of measuring.
Now, we see a wide range of uses for
ready-mix concrete, from architectural
decorative concrete to insulated concrete
and everything in between. To add additional complexity to the situation, different
concrete products require specific water add
ratios, making management of large fleets
challenging and nearly impossible for readymix operators to estimate water adjustments.
Water add meters allow ready-mix
operations to set predetermined water add
requirements based on the different concrete materials. The meters are designed to
accurately measure and control the amount
of water added to specific concrete mixes.
Having real-time water add information for
each delivery gives ready-mix operations
peace of mind that material quality is maintained and customers will be satisfied with
the final product.
As with most industries, human error
presents the greatest number of challenges
and inaccuracies. Construction jobsites are
no exception. Errors on jobsites are inevitable, but one of the driving forces behind
increased technology within the ready-mix
industry is to enhance monitoring and automation to minimize human error.
Drum rotation sensors provide another
layer of automation to increase ready-mix
quality control during transit. From the time
the materials leave the batching plant to the
point of pour and beyond, concrete products
must meet specifications for strength, temperature, slump, air content and unit weight.
While ready-mix fleets are in transit to jobsites, continuous
clockwise drum rotation is necessary to eliminate material segmentation and hardening, and to keep materials in the drum until
operators are ready to reverse the rotation and pour materials into
a desired cast.
Drum rotation sensors are designed to measure speed, direction
and rotation count of the mixer drum to determine when "begin
load" and "begin pour" status occurs. Speed and drum direction are
important to the quality of the final concrete product.
Large ready-mix concrete projects require multiple fleets to deliver product consecutively and on time to complete large concrete
projects. Drum rotation sensors allow dispatchers at the plant to
monitor when the pour begins to queue up the next fleet of readymix vehicles for timely delivery. Drum rotation sensors improve
product quality and project management.
Not only do these tools provide visibility into how concrete
producers do business, they are also designed to be tough enough to
withstand the demanding conditions in which these fleets operate.
Ready-mix concrete companies that have implemented monitoring
technologies can expect to see reduced delivery cycle times and
increased efficiencies. The ready-mix concrete industry is competitive, and intelligent business decisions that decrease operational
costs and increase fleet efficiency will provide the competitive edge
necessary to sustain and grow operations.
management for Trimble
He is responsible for setting the product vision
for Trimble Construction
solutions that increase
efficiencies and safety
for fleets in the bulk
materials industry. He
has more than 25 years
of experience working in
or serving the construction materials industry.
He can be reached
that increase fleet efficiency
will provide a competitive edge.
JUNE 2017 CONSTRUCTION-TODAY.COM
but will also streamline equipment troubleshooting and maintenance.