Concrete Products

SEP 2018

Concrete Products covers the issues that attract producers of ready mixed and manufactured concrete focusing on equipment and material technology, market development and management topics.

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Page 33 of 56 September 2018 • 31 INVESTMENT CYCLE The new machine's output is part of an inventory that has grown to 1,500-plus utility and drainage products. CalPortland Concrete Products serves residential or commercial property developers and state or local agencies in Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino and San Diego Counties. It delivers about 40 percent of total production with a fleet of five boom trucks dispatched to inland and coastal sites, from San Diego to Santa Barbara. Upgraded Ontario plant machinery runs in lockstep with CalPortland corporate safety and energy efficiency goals. "The old equipment had dated mechanical functions, relays and switches," says CalPortland Pre- cast Division General Manager Gary Pollard. "This new machinery is much safer. The automatic base ring feeding aligns perfectly. We are also seeing savings in concrete mixes, as the machine casts to target wall thickness. The old machine was going up to ½-in. too thick in some spots. We are now casting manholes, risers and cones with the hoop reinforcements and seeing huge energy and material savings over our old cage fabrication." "Once you learn how to operate and use new plant equipment, you realize how much more efficient it can be and how much potential it holds," adds General Sales Manager Dave Ennis, who observed the original Prinzing machine throughout its Ontario tour of duty. During Concrete Products' mid-summer plant visit, he reflected on a host of improved Prinzing-Pfeiffer Mistral 150/250 safety, efficiency and steel-optimizing metrics compared to its predecessor. The quantity of sensors programmed to shutdown the equipment and disable moving parts has gone from three to 20, for example, while base pallet ring transfer time from staging to precise machine platform alignment has been cut from minutes to sec- onds. Energy and steel savings are especially apparent when measuring the weld points required on old cages versus the new hoops used to attain ASTM C474-grade reinforcement on a typical manhole. Concrete mix and reinforcing steel optimization are consistent with the lower production costs management could expect from an invest- ment on the order of the Mistral machinery. Finished dry cast products' reduced embodied energy levels likewise align with benchmarks CalPort- land Co. sets for Environmental Protection Agency Energy Star program participation. Lower energy factors throughout concrete, cement and aggregate operations positioned the producer in 2018 to earn the EPA Energy Star Award for a 14th consecutive year—by far the industry's strongest track record. The Mistral 150/250 delivery and Ontario plant upgrade are concur- rent with major investments (> $500 million) through which CalPortland is shoring up its stake in southern California cement, aggregate and concrete production and distribution. Leading the outlays is the Oro Grande cement plant, acquired from Martin Marietta Materials in 2015 and located less than an hour northeast of Ontario. A clinker grinding upgrade under way will bring annual finishing capacity to more than 2 million tons. Oro Grande succeeds CalPortland's flagship Colton cement plant, which has depleted limestone reserves but continues as a grind- ing and storage site to supply Type I/II cement to CalPortland Concrete Products and sister Catalina Pacific ready mixed plants. All are mobilizing amid a solid rebound of southern California building markets and ramp up for the Los Angeles-hosted 2026 Olympic Games. The new Prinzing-Pfeiffer Mistral machine is the centerpiece of the Cal- Portland Concrete Products operation, which also harbors a small dry cast ring machine and an array of formwork for standard or licensed prod- uct. The latter include Redi-Rock International's retaining walls (above and below) plus the newer Pole Base product, whose ease of delivery and placement is reflected in traction from developers and contractors unac- customed to a precast alternative to cast-in-place foundations and deco- rative enclosure of lower lighting structure sections. Like peer operators that started with a narrow range of small prod- ucts, CalPortland ® Concrete Products has built an inventory of pro- gressively larger underground or utility offerings representing better solutions to cast-in-place concrete, brick, block or plastic alternatives. COVER STORY CALPORTLAND CP

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