Concrete Products

FEB 2017

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 57 of 95

56 • February 2017 Basalite Concrete Products' recently upgraded, dealer-driven Tracy, Calif., block and paver operation is the first mover in the NCMA/ICPI Plant Certi- fication Program. Initially good for one year, plant certification indicates that a National Concrete Masonry Association or Interlocking Concrete Pavement Institute producer has implemented a quality control system whose sampling, testing and recordkeeping measures equal or exceed program baselines and clear a third party auditor. The latter would observe a main Tracy production line with advanced cement and aggregate weighing and transfer systems plus three colored-mix belts—all serving one of the largest paver and slab machines in North America, with 1,380- x 1,400-mm board size. "We are land locked and needed to fit the new machine into an existing building," says Tracy Plant Manager Bryan Langland. "We moved the centerline of the machine, so all foundation and slab concrete had to be removed. The feed system changed, where base mixes are conveyed on one end, face mixes the other." Basalite's material handling and machinery investments align per- fectly with NCMA/ICPI Plant Certification, guidelines for which hold that an operation's quality plan will ensure quality masonry units are produced and errors minimized, and should prove to be "a cost effective business investment … An effective quality control program requires a commitment from all employees involved in production. [It] starts with the support of management in providing the neces- sary tools, personnel and guidance." A designated quality manager, certification documents stipulate, shall have "defined authority for ensuring that the management sys- tem related to quality is implemented and followed at all times" and "direct access to the highest level of management at which decisions are made regarding plant policy or resources." NCMA and ICPI developed the program to provide Basalite Con- crete Products and fellow members the ability to a) independently control their production process; and, b) deliver on a timely basis block, brick, paver, slab and segmental retaining wall units con- sistently produced at an acceptable quality level. The program is oriented to units complying with 11 ASTM International and five CSA standards. Among standards to which Tracy equipment and staff are espe- cially suited is ASTM C15 Committee on Manufactured Masonry Units' new C1782, Specification for Utility Segmental Concrete Paving Slabs. It determines the minimum flexural strength, dimensional toleranc- es, and freeze-thaw durability requirements for 12- to 48-in. square products of dry cast, wet cast or hydraulic press methods. The new Tracy machine, a Tiger PS-1400 HD, is earmarked for offerings that fall into the C1782 size range. Requirements in the new standard reflect familiar terms and references for larger paving slabs that do not fall under the existing ASTM C936, Standard Specification for Solid Con- crete Interlocking Paving Units. Continued on page 58 COVER STORY BY DON MARSH QUALITY INDEX Basalite Concrete Products earns premier NCMA/ICPI plant certification The NCMA/ICPI Plant Certification reflects such standard Tracy plant operating procedures as advanced height measurement for the Tiger PS-1400 HD (1,380- x 1,400-mm board size) machine.

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