3 Steps to Increase Concrete Plant Hourly Production Rate

A popular misconception is that an older concrete plant can’t produce as much as a new concrete plant. The reality is that age makes minimal difference on the speed of a concrete plant. Yes, in many cases older plants have smaller batchers and conveyors making them slower, but the lower production is because of the smaller components not the age of the plant.

It is not uncommon for a concrete plant to slow and loose production over time but in most cases this slowing is caused by a mechanical failure somewhere on the plant, settings on an automatic not being optimized for plant performance, or a combination of the a control system being programmed to slow one or more parts of the plant in an attempt to solve one or more other problems with the concrete plant.

It won’t be possible in all cases to improve the speed of your concrete plant, but may plants get an extra load an hour just be improving the plant function. Other concrete plants may get extra production by modifying the slowest system to improve production.

The actual process of increasing our concrete plants speed is in reality a series timing and measurements to determine how fast your plant is currently operating as well as its maximum potential as configured.

1. Evaluate the timing of each major system. Over the course of several batches, using a stop watch time the how long it takes each of your major process from start to completion. If there are pauses in the process identify the length and reason of the pause.

Major systems include the storage, weighing and discharging of Cement, Aggregate, Water and Admixtures. Each of these major systems should be detailed and timed. Best practice is to time each system three or more times looking for consistency and an average rate.

2. Determine the maximum speed for each of your systems. This is definitely the most difficult step. It is also important to identify the common specifications that determine a plants speed. Specifically the width and speed (feet per second) of the transfer conveyor, the diameter of cement augers and gates, and the diameter of the water line. Armed with this information you will be able to identify a reasonable maximum speed of each system.

When formally evaluating a concrete plant best practice is to have an engineer take all of the specifications and calculate the maximum rates. If your company employs an engineer, they will in most cases be able to complete these reasonably simple calculations. For most companies without a staff engineer you may be able to get answers for an internet search, or many material handling equipment firms and manufacturers will calculate these rates for you at low or no cost.

It is important to understand your maximum production can only be as fast as your slowest system. These steps however will let you identify your slowest system and you may be able to selectively upgrade, replace or modify the plant to improve production.

3. Armed with the maximum rates and the actual operating speeds of your equipment you can now determine if your plant is operating at its maximum speed. If you are able to increase the speed of your slowest system you will be increasing the overall production of your plant.

5 Tools Everyone In The Window Industry Should Be Using

The window installation profession is a combination of two different industries that merged together. It is the result of the synergetic relationship between building construction and glass making. Although the glass industry began to take shape in the 19th century, large industrial strength, storm proof windows only became available in the late 20th century.

During this time, the window industry was revolutionized because of the growing spotlight of urbanization and the increased demand for higher quality windows. In light of this revolution, new equipment, and modern technology was also introduced.

Nonetheless, the reason for failure for most window industry driven entrepreneurs is the lack of modern technology. In this article, we take a look at some of this modern technology – a must for brick and mortar window manufacturing titans and a necessary start for entrepreneurs looking to enter into this lucrative industry.

1. Single Profile Lamination Machine:

This machine introduced by FUX makes it possible to laminate one single profile in the first run. Single profile lamination machines craft the window in any color desired. This machine is easy to set up, can be run for long periods of time and can also be used by a single worker.

2. Karcher WV2 Vacuum:

One of the best and the quietest vacuums in the market today is the Karcher WV2 Vacuum. This vacuum cleaner helps in cleaning windows, removing all the dust and dirt particles, without putting any scratches on the windows. The Karcher WV2 Vacuum’s customized features also make this vacuum cleaner one of the best options for window cleaning businesses.

3. Window Trigger Spray Mop:

One of the most important things a window cleaning industry expert needs is a ladder to clean high windows. However, if you have an alternative, which can help you clean out-of-reach windows, easily and efficiently, would it not be more suitable? The Window Trigger Spray Mop helps in reaching higher windows, and cleaning them efficiently, without having to set up a ladder every time.

4. H2O HD Steam Cleaner:

If you are running a steam cleaning business, one of the most important things you’ll need is a steam cleaner. The H2O HD Steam Cleaner is a versatile steam cleaner which has a removable and smaller handheld shoulder attachments. This device can be used to clean upholstery and windows, without any chemical aftereffects.

5. Makita Deltagon Drill Bits:

The latest Makita Deltagon drill bit has three cutting edges, rather than the traditional two-edged bits. These help in making more accurate holes in any type of material, including wood and glass, making it perfect for frames and windows. Moreover, this drill bit helps in providing more stability to the professional, who is using this for holes in windows, without damaging the surrounding area.

The above-mentioned list of tools are important for every small-scale business, entrepreneurs that are just starting and even multinational corporations looking to pivot into a new space. When it comes to running a window driven business in this competitive market make sure you have these tools, or similar versions available in your inventory.

5 Tools Everyone In The Window Industry Should Be Using

The window installation profession is a combination of two different industries that merged together. It is the result of the synergetic relationship between building construction and glass making. Although the glass industry began to take shape in the 19th century, large industrial strength, storm proof windows only became available in the late 20th century.

During this time, the window industry was revolutionized because of the growing spotlight of urbanization and the increased demand for higher quality windows. In light of this revolution, new equipment, and modern technology was also introduced.

Nonetheless, the reason for failure for most window industry driven entrepreneurs is the lack of modern technology. In this article, we take a look at some of this modern technology – a must for brick and mortar window manufacturing titans and a necessary start for entrepreneurs looking to enter into this lucrative industry.

1. Single Profile Lamination Machine:

This machine introduced by FUX makes it possible to laminate one single profile in the first run. Single profile lamination machines craft the window in any color desired. This machine is easy to set up, can be run for long periods of time and can also be used by a single worker.

2. Karcher WV2 Vacuum:

One of the best and the quietest vacuums in the market today is the Karcher WV2 Vacuum. This vacuum cleaner helps in cleaning windows, removing all the dust and dirt particles, without putting any scratches on the windows. The Karcher WV2 Vacuum’s customized features also make this vacuum cleaner one of the best options for window cleaning businesses.

3. Window Trigger Spray Mop:

One of the most important things a window cleaning industry expert needs is a ladder to clean high windows. However, if you have an alternative, which can help you clean out-of-reach windows, easily and efficiently, would it not be more suitable? The Window Trigger Spray Mop helps in reaching higher windows, and cleaning them efficiently, without having to set up a ladder every time.

4. H2O HD Steam Cleaner:

If you are running a steam cleaning business, one of the most important things you’ll need is a steam cleaner. The H2O HD Steam Cleaner is a versatile steam cleaner which has a removable and smaller handheld shoulder attachments. This device can be used to clean upholstery and windows, without any chemical aftereffects.

5. Makita Deltagon Drill Bits:

The latest Makita Deltagon drill bit has three cutting edges, rather than the traditional two-edged bits. These help in making more accurate holes in any type of material, including wood and glass, making it perfect for frames and windows. Moreover, this drill bit helps in providing more stability to the professional, who is using this for holes in windows, without damaging the surrounding area.

The above-mentioned list of tools are important for every small-scale business, entrepreneurs that are just starting and even multinational corporations looking to pivot into a new space. When it comes to running a window driven business in this competitive market make sure you have these tools, or similar versions available in your inventory.

5 Benefits of Using Steel in Building Structures

From beautiful contemporary houses to grand bridges and skyscrapers, steel is a popular type of building material for a wide range of structures. It is favored in the construction industry for a variety of reasons. Steel has distinctive qualities like ductility, durability, cost-effective and beauty. Plus, there are several types of steel products for the architects and engineers to use, such as heavy angles, flat bars, tread plates, pipes and structural beams.

Here are a few of the most appealing qualities of using steel in building structures:

Versatile

Steel is a material that is very adaptable and easily changed or adjusted to match the needs of a particular structure. For instance, the steel wall frames can be altered or repositioned to create the different interior layout or simply to widen the existing space. By adjusting the shape or dimensions, it is possible to make a structure easier to expand and makes its usable lifespan that much longer.

Beauty

Structures that rely on steel can be built with a large, open-space interior that is mostly free of columns inside the building. Plus, steel is a malleable material which makes it easier to create the more unique shapes and styles of structures. This gives the structural designers a lot of freedom to be creative compared to other less flexible build materials.

Durable

The structure built with a steel frame has the ability to stand up to the harsh or extreme weather forces, such as heavy snow, hurricanes, earthquakes and high winds. Plus, it is a material that is not susceptible to rust, fungi, mold, mildew or termites. Wood framed structures easily weaken by bugs or mildew. Also, steel has useful fire-resistant properties.

Cost-effective

Steel is a relatively lightweight material compared to other alternatives like timber. The lightweight nature of the material means it is a lot easier to transport to a job site and speeds up the build schedule to significantly save on costs. Plus, this is an energy-efficient material that is easy to recycle and means less raw waste after its usable life has expired.

Ductile

Steel is a ductile material that will not splinter, warp, clink, rotate, distort, or buckle. However, this material is still quite easy to turn or cut to shape or even rolled to create the more unique and interesting designs. Even when turned into a unique shape, it is still able to maintain its original physical strength.

Construction File Sharing – Tips on What to Avoid

The evolution of technology has brought many changes in the construction industry. Construction file sharing is now done electronically. Using cloud-based solutions for document storage, email, or digital collaboration tools.

These technology tools make document sharing easier and faster. But they also introduce issues that can translate in added cost and risk to a construction project. This article discusses some of the mistakes in construction file sharing that can be avoided.

1. The use of multiple file-sharing tools on one project

This issue itself can create a chain reaction that results in cost overruns, errors, re-work, and loss of profits.

Oftentimes the mechanical engineer uses DropBox to store and share files. The architect uses Newforma. The structural engineer uses Google Drive. The electrical engineer emails his files to the project manager. And the plumber saves everything on his personal computer. It’s clear where this is going and the list can go on and on.

What we end up with are many silos of data, little to no file control, and gaps in the history of the project.

How do we solve this? Get everyone working from the same system. Make project files and documentation available in a single, accessible, and controlled environment.

2. Lack of designated file gatekeeper

In the era of paper drawings, the document manager had the responsibility to manage all drawings, permits, change orders, and other documents. This person had a process for managing changes and making sure the master set at the construction trailer was always up to date.

Even with everyone working from the same file-sharing system, the document control manager is still needed in the digital era. This person acts as gatekeeper to keep documents up-to-date and takes control of the file-sharing process.

3. Unclear file-sharing process

We now have everyone working from the same system and a document control manager. But we still need a clear file-sharing process. The lack of guidelines around file-sharing creates an unnecessary gap between participants.

  • Compile a distribution list of project leads, contractors, and project status keepers.
  • Provide a description of the project structure you set up in your file-sharing or collaboration platform.
  • Explain where each contractor will upload their drawings.
  • Explain where the general information and project documentation is stored.
  • Set a file naming convention. Version control is critical to good file management. By enforcing a consistent file naming convention, you establish a clear history of project changes.

4. Unsuitable file controls in your file-sharing solutionWhen sharing construction files we have to make sure the right files reach the right people at the right time.

When selecting a file-sharing tool, look for one that allows you to control who views specific buckets or folders. A solution with different levels of control: administrators, collaborators, and viewers. One that shows the creator of documents and when they were uploaded or modified.

File controls are important in the file-sharing process to ensure that project participants have access to the right files, no documents are deleted or misplaced, and the history of the project remains intact.

5. Lack of notifications for file modifications, additions or changes in process

It is imperative that notifications are delivered to project participants appropriately. Notifications should be delivered in multiple formats – shown on the collaboration platform but sent by email too. There should be no option for a participant to choose not to receive notifications of project changes.

Why is it so important for notifications to be delivered? Because a change in the structure of the building should be communicated to all as soon as it happens, so all contractors adjust their work appropriately. Because a wall that was moved two feet to the south of the building at the owner’s request may impact the plumbing, electrical, fire protection designs, and more.

In conclusion, sharing construction documents has never been easier or faster, and more complex at the same time. To ensure the success of construction file sharing we need:

  • a single, accessible, and controlled environment
  • robust file controls and notifications
  • a well-defined sharing process