Concrete Products

SEP 2015

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 38 of 59 September 2015 • 37 FEATURE MOLIN CONCRETE Management estimates the new plant will operate with as little as one-third the labor required in traditional precast concrete plants. For building designers, contractors and own- ers, that means higher quality, more consis- tent products and faster product availability. "A typical precast production plant of this capacity," says Saccoman "would require 48 workers. Our new plant will need just 14 to 18 workers." The automated plant also requires far less space, the main floor measuring 80- x 350-ft., excluding batch plant and storage areas. Projected daily capacity will be 8,000 square feet of precast panels. To reach the same amount of product per day, a tradi- tional precast plant would require four 12- x 200-ft. beds. AUTOMATED CIRCULATION AND PRODUCTION Molin Concrete's new Ramsey line has the feel of one of the ultra-automated Mercedes Benz plants in Stuttgart, Germany. The car- ousel wall panel line used by Molin is, in fact, manufactured by Weckenman, also a German firm. Precast concrete wall panels are formed, given shape, poured, cured, and finished in a continuous production line nearly untouched by human hands. At the start of the line, carousel-style conveyors speed shuttering pallets (a concrete wall panel's base form) through a machine where brushes automatically clean the reusable form parts. Pallets con- sist of 12- x 40-ft. steel sheets framed by small steel beams. They roll down the line on pier-mounted rollers embedded in the plant floor. At certain stations, the pal- lets can be shuttled to the side on floor run traverse trolleys for special finishes, raised up on an elevator system to a trow- eling station, or slid into racks in the curing chamber. The 12-ft.-wide pallets are import- ed from Europe because sheets of that width are not available in the U.S. Cleaned and re-oiled after use, the pallets have a nearly indefinite life span. Next, the prepped base arrives at a "shut- tering" station where computer guided lasers zip around the form to indicate the location of desired panel openings, such as windows and doors, as well as the side edges that determine the dimensions. A handling crane sets magnetic metal profile pieces on guide lines. Shutters of 6-, 8-, 10- or 12-in. depth are available as needed. Molin Con- crete can produce 12-in. thick panels as large as 12- x 38-ft. Panels can be solid or insulated and insulated panels can be com- posite or non-composite. Continued on page 38 Overall view of the concrete placement stations. Two pouring buckets (one visible here) and a concrete spreader pour the concrete panels that will then move to the curing chamber by entering through the lower white doors. Directly above the chamber in the mezzanine is the troweling station where fnal fnishes are applied to all products. The batch station is ready to receive the pouring bucket (background) as two pallets are ready to enter the casting station (foreground).

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