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PRECAST CONCRETE ELEMENTS
Pumping Concrete in a new pallet circulation plant at C.F.Structures Ltd. in Summerhill, Ireland
b. Importing precast elements from abroad was the only solution.a. The transversal movement is done by pairs of cross transport wagons. In the future another position can eventually be changed into a second vibration station because the concrete placing boom has a 10m radius.4m and they have 80mm high fixed tapered side forms on both the 12. in Summerhill. engineers conceived a carrousel plant with a maximum output of 590m2 slabs per shift. The size of the 20 steel pallets is 12. Tim McNulty the owner of C.v. 3600 Genk. Belgium Pumping Concrete in a new pallet circulation plant at C.PRECAST CONCRETE ELEMENTS Construx b. placing the side forms. and Construx b.F.. insisted on a quick and above all profitable concept.Structures Ltd.a. small existing premises. At a later stage the two storage racks can be equipped as curing chambers allow working in a double shift system.com Assembly of the carrousel plant in an existing building 2 CPI – Concrete Plant International – 6|2007 .v. The Summerhill pallet circuit system stands out because of the use of a concrete pump with placing boom (both remote controlled) and a digitally controlled hydraulic pallet lifting system with an accuracy of 0. : a strong partnership C. Construx b. The pallets are transported by means of rollers and driving wheels in longitudinal direction. Ireland In order to meet specific requirements such as minimal labour attendance. lifting the slabs.v.b. Confronted with increasing difficulties to get precast slabs on site on time.v. being a building contractor without any precast production background. the operator has 4 buffer positions to go to when needed. The hydraulic lift is situated in between two storage racks with 9 levels each. cleaning and oiling the pallets. In total the circulating plant consists of no more than 9 positions. Although it still remains a very flexible system: both the lift and the vibrating station can be reached from 3 positions. Due to the economical boom in Ireland. Construx b.F. only requiring a staff of 4 to 5 people. C.Structures Ltd. Their core business is on-site concrete works as a subcontractor for some of the major Irish building companies. is a medium-sized construction company located in Dublin and has been erecting residential and industrial buildings for over 25 years.b. The customer. foolproof setup and guaranteed daily output.a. including the lift and the two storage racks.cpi-worldwide. For the last couple of years the nationwide capacity was not able to catch up with the demand. installed a very compact precast production facility for filligree slabs. there has been an enormous requirement for precast con- crete elements in the last decade.5m x 2.4m long side shutters 2 filigree slabs with a total length of 12.5m long sides.. The Construx b. a Belgian based manufacturer of shuttering and precast machinery helped him out.b.a.a.Structures Ltd.1mm.v. C. decided to start making them in his own premises. One position in the circulating system has vibrating wheelyokes instead of rollers. Extremely compact but very profitable circulation plant The complete carrousel system runs in an area of 84m x 12m which is an extremely tight setup. an extra buffer position is situated underneath each rack.F.Structures Ltd.3m can be poured. the boxouts and the steel reinforcement takes place in only 3 positions.Structures Ltd. Seen that demoulding.b.F. On a pallet with 3 magnetic 2.F. www.
The initial idea of a shuttle system to bring the concrete from the ready-mix truck to a bucket spreader was quickly abandoned because of the complexity to build this type of installation in such a small area. already tried to convince some customers to go for the option of using a stationary concrete pump in combination with a placing boom to pour concrete in a quick and cost-effective way. using a concrete pump almost seemed as the only way to guarantee a daily output of 20 pallets.v. but being the guinea pig never seemed to be an attractive idea for the clients.cpi-worldwide. Another very important reason for him to choose for the pump was the fact that he controlled the complete procedure: www. In previous installations Construx b. Pumping concrete in a pallet circulation plant For Tim McNulty.b. on the contrary.a.com CPI – Concrete Plant International – 6|2007 .PRECAST CONCRETE ELEMENTS Overall view of the carrousel plant in production Pumping concrete in the plant by means of a stationary pump and a placing boom At the moment there is no batching plant on the premises so all concrete is brought in by means of truck mixers.
Reginald Maes the Managing Director of M.v. This system ensures a perfect positioning in height without the use of supports on every single level of each storage rack. engineering staff. The pump sits in a shed right outside the building at a distance of only 1m from the placing boom inside the building. The concrete can be pumped around in the system in order to avoid intermediate cleaning.com 4 CPI – Concrete Plant International – 6|2007 . The lack of working space in the premises resulted in a semiautomated carrousel controlled by a PLC which was programmed by the Construx b.a. A system with completely automated movements would simply be too dangerous to operate..a. in Belgium installed the American originated pump with a sound proofing and an automatic greaser.1mm accuracy Another critical element in the pallet circulation plant is the lift. Remote controlled concreting with the placing boom making precast slabs.v. To avoid such a risk Construx b.v.b.cpi-worldwide.b.a.a.b.v. There was a real chance on creating a bottleneck situation on the lift.b. designed in collaboration with Vapo Hydraulics n.PRECAST CONCRETE ELEMENTS In case of any delay in the concreting while there is still concrete inside the pump or the placing boom.1mm. so the concrete can be pumped back into the hopper outside. in Belgium a digitally controlled hydraulic pallet lifting system with an accuracy of 0. Thus there was no real need for differences in thickness. It also means that when the lift goes up. As a subcontractor for Construx b. Digitally controlled hydraulic pallet lifting system with a 0.C. An electrical frequency controlled motor is mounted on the first articulation of the ACME placing boom in order to rotate the first leg of the boom. Betontechniek b.R. installing those slabs on his own sites and pouring the top layer on site himself. Filligree slabs after vibrating Placing boom connected back to the hopper www. so every single change of position of a pallet has to be initiated by an operator. On the lift safety and accuracy go together with speed. By means of two remote controls (one on the pump and the other on the electrical motor) one person can take care of the whole pouring process whilst moving by hand the end of the second leg of the placing boom. the end of the second leg of the boom can be connected to a tube. it can go straight to the exact position without the need to go a bit too high and to come back down afterwards to sit on the supports.v. 80mm would be perfect for all the slabs whatever the overall thickness of each individual slab finally would be. On the outside the truck driver controls the feeding of the concrete into the hopper on the pump which has a capacity of 220L. The pump used is an OLIN 1545 S-valve type which has an output of approximately 25m? per hour.
The height from one level to another is 550mm.1mm. the difference in level between all 4 cylinders should not exceed 2mm. The position of the magnet is determined with high precision by measuring the elapsed time between the application of the interrogation pulse and the arrival of the resulting strain pulse. Automatic positioning on 0. the other field comes from a current pulse or interrogation pulse applied along the waveguide. including the buffer position at the ground level.PRECAST CONCRETE ELEMENTS Easy to clean stationary concrete pump outside the building Digitally controlled hydraulic pallet lifting system As already mentioned above. In such a sensor a sonic strain pulse is induced in a specially designed magnetostrictive waveguide by the momentary interaction of two magnetic fields. By using a double chain on a pulley (as used on forklifts) all 10 positions can be reached with 3m long cylinders. Seen that all pallets coming from the vibrating station are filled to the top of the side forms.01mm which results in an actual accuracy on the lift of 0.cpi-worldwide. accurate non-contact position is achieved with absolutely no wear to the sensing components. One field comes from a movable permanent magnet which passes along the outside of the sensor tube. The interaction of the two magnetic fields produces a strain pulse. which travels at sonic speed along the waveguide until the pulse is detected at the head of the sensor. The cylinders have a built-in magnetostrictive linear position sensor. The accuracy of the sensors applied is 0.com CPI – Concrete Plant International – 6|2007 5 . The lift is moved with 4 of these cylinders. each storage rack has 10 positions.1mm precise without the use of supports www. Consequently.
v. investment) way. Tim McNulty. more adequate control engineering techniques had to be used. service engineers have direct online access to the PLC of the circulation plant as well as to the controller of the hydraulic pallet lifting system. The controller continuously evaluates the situation and can constantly adjust the flow to each cylinder.b.Structures Ltd. Managing Director Construx b. was chosen as platform to control the system. Therefore the use of a normal PLC was not an option. the position and the speed of all four cylinders. Further information: Construx bvba Slingerweg 1 · 3600 Genk · BELGIUM T +32 89 328855 · F +32 89 328866 firstname.lastname@example.org.). quickest (on time) and cheapest (cost of labour. Costly and unnecessary investments.v.com . are to be avoided under all circumstances.v. The system parameters have to be constantly adjusted in order to achieve a linear movement of the hydraulic cylinders..b.be 6 CPI – Concrete Plant International – 6|2007 www. thus meeting the customers requirements. CompactRIO from National Instruments Corp.construx. engineering staff and the Vapo Hydraulics n. This backup procedure ensures a high reliability. The measuring method was developed in LabVIEW (also from National Instruments Corp. Proven here is that sometimes it is better to focus on the most essential bottlenecks of a carrousel plant rather than trying to automate every single detail of the process. The operator will not have to worry about any complex algorithm. Managing Director Construx b. The digital sensor signals reporting the positions of the cylinders are converted by a Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) to figures which can be used in the LabVIEW Real-Time programme which is the controller software.v. These figures feed the Full State Feedback (FSF) system which controls the working pressure.. Ward Demyttenaere. Because of its reliability. The operator interface was programmed (with LabVIEW) on a WinCC based touch panel module.be · www. he only has to indicate a position in one of the two storage racks where the pallet has to go to and the hydraulic lift will do the rest. Satisfied with the result (from left to right): Anthony Jannes.F. only in order to make the production process look more sophisticated. Owner C. A producer. Conclusion: reliability and profitability To minimise any type of delay in production both the Construx b.a. the stroke length of 3m results in a difference in behaviour of the hydraulic oil when the pistons are in their lowest or in their highest position.PRECAST CONCRETE ELEMENTS Some more difficulties had to be overcome: irregular loads on the pallets give irregular loads on the cylinders so normal hydraulic flow dividers could not be used.a. should always be determined to get the job done in the easiest (foolproof). A satisfied customer is the best reference a company can get. whether it is a precast company or a machinery manufacturer.cpi-worldwide.
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