Concrete Products

JUN 2019

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 39 of 55

38 • June 2019 INNOVATIONS REPORT BY DON MARSH Besser Co. has completed a decade-plus development of its next gen- eration Servopac block & paver machines, delivering the newest and largest model to Bellevue, Wash.-based Mutual Materials Co., a top independent in concrete or clay masonry and hardscapes production. The first big board machine designed, engineered and manu- factured in the U.S., the Servopac Premier succeeds a European workhorse at Mutual Materials' Lacey, Wash. paver plant. The new machine as configured for the Lacey line has a 1,400- x 1,050-mm board size; molds 45- to 200-mm (1- to 4.5-in.) high product; features standard servo table (impact) vibration, provid- ing independent frequency and amplitude control; and, attains hourly output up to 3,600 8-in. equivalent block or 4,650 sq. ft. of (10- x 20- x 6-cm) pavers, based on six cycles/minute opera- tion. Anchored by four impact bars, the servo table affords Mutual Materials production crews markedly greater quality control. Like sister Classic and Select models, the Servopac Premier is equipped for automated height or mold changes in under 15 minutes. Product changeover on the Premier begins with the push of a button, activating pallet moving bars for mold positioning. The Premier runs on Besser or competitor molds. Such versatility is a key consideration at the Lacey plant, where Mutual Materials has built an inventory of 50-plus molds for a hardscape program offered throughout its Pacific Northwest yards and showrooms. To keep the Servopac big board model producing quality, dense units at an accelerated clip, Besser engineers incorporated a) laser sensors to gauge material volume or levels in the clamshell gate- equipped hopper; b) a hydraulically driven feedbox with proportional control; and, c) a powered agitator to improve material feed to the mold. An intuitive touchscreen control reduces the amount of time required to train new plant employees to run the Premier. Mutual Materials President Kendall Anderegg underscores the strong support of a Besser team during the machine's installation over a late-2018 holiday window. Once it was dialed in and run- ning, she adds, the Premier has delivered on targeted productivity improvements. Concurrent with the paver machinery overhaul, Mutual Materials has opened a showroom in a transitioning neighborhood near downtown Portland, Ore., orienting the facility to an urban customer base. The pro- ducer has also scheduled a mid-2019 opening of a South Seattle branch in Tukwila, Wash. The showroom and branch join Mutual Materials' 17 other such facilities, plus Lacey and sister block and brick operations in Washington, Oregon, Idaho Montana and British Columbia. Mutual Materials inaugurates Besser's big board Servopac Premier The Servopac Premier is the industry's first completely U.S. engineered and manufactured machine. It features servo table vibration and can produce units of 1- to 20-in. (25- to 500-mm) height. At a cycle speed of up to six/minute, coupled with quick mold and height changes, the machine provides the speed and production versatility to satisfy market demand.

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