Concrete Products

SEP 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 35 of 59

34 • September 2017 COVER STORY PRECAST/PRESTRESSED Northeast Prestressed Products (NPP) is laser focused on delivering the highest quality precast and prestressed products for transportation infrastructure in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states. Coupled with investment of $8 million over the past two years in a new batch plant, steerable trailers, 70-ton gantry crane, forms for concrete deck panels and box beams, and battery molds for precast bridge abutments, NPP's dedication is paying deep dividends. In early 2014, the Cressona, Pa.-based producer was named one of three primary precasters to supply structural components to the $1.5 billion Goethals Bridge Replacement Project, a public-private partnership (P3) between the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and NYNJ Link Developer LLC. NPP prepared to fabricate nearly 400 prestressed concrete bulb-T beams measuring up to 178 ft. long and 8-ft. deep, and weighing up 110 tons, along with 6,000-plus partial-depth deck panels. Later in 2014, it was named the primary precast supplier for another P3 endeavor, the Pennsylvania Rapid Bridge Replacement Project, between the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation and Plenary Walsh Keystone Partners. The program will replace 558 aging bridges throughout the Keystone State. NPP is supplying an array of modular precast bridge components, including footers, abutments, wing walls, columns, pier caps, deck panels and parapets. TIME TO CAPITALIZE By 2015, NPP was producing around the clock and hired more than 60 new employees to help meet demands posed by the two huge P3 contracts. Yet, the producer needed even more capacity and more capabilities. One of the key targets for improvement was to update a 15-year-old concrete batching system, which occupied 3,000 square feet of valuable production space under the main bridge crane. The aging equipment took up to 10 minutes for each mix bucket load, and was not able to reliably produce self-consolidating concrete. Each of the largest Goethals Bridge girders, for instance, required approximately 50 yd. of high performance concrete. The old batching system took nearly two hours to output sufficient mix for one beam. "We knew what we needed to do, but getting it done was a logistical challenge," notes NPP Vice President Dennis Fink. "We had to find a way to locate the new batching system in its own enclosure outside the plant to free up our critical production space. We could not afford any significant interruption in production while converting to the new system." Adding to the challenge was the fact that NPP's new batching system would have to be certified by all of the DOT and allied agencies the producer works with before it could go into service. WISH LIST In early 2015, Fink and NPP President Thomas Koons narrowed down a search for a new batching system. After considering several pro- posals, they chose the modular MobilMat Mo4500-5-WCS batch plant from Advanced Concrete Technologies (ACT), of Greenland, N.H. NPP's wish list for new equipment and companion overhaul work included: • Move the batch plant outside to free up space under the production building's main overhead crane; • Protect the new batch plant from the weather, including heated aggregate storage for all-season production; • Provide significantly more aggregate, cementitious material and admixture storage capacity; • Incorporate a high shear mixer capable of producing high perfor- mance concrete, including SCC, as well as consistent 4-yd. output, even when faced with variability in aggregate specific gravity and angularity; • Reduce batching cycle time and provide flexibility and increased mix distribution; • Provide a higher level of system automation; and, • Reduce or eliminate overtime required for batch system cleanup. ACT worked with NPP's local contractor, Kinsley Construction Inc. of York, Pa., on the details of site preparation for the new batch plant, including an insulated enclosure to house the new batching system and aggregate storage bins. Mechanical contractor James Craft & Son Inc. of Manchester, Pa., created the aggregate storage heating system using miles of radiant heat tubing over a bed of 6-in.-square reinforcement wire mesh to provide a precast heated floor for the 600-ton aggregate system. NPP built its new batch plant and aggregate storage system directly outside of the main production building from its old batch plant. "It was a logistics nightmare to ensure that we could still produce with the old batching system while we were building the new plant just outside," observes Tom Koons. "We managed to get it done within a five-day window over a long weekend. Not only did we have to start up the new system while we were simultaneously removing the old batch plant, but we also had to certify the new batch plant with our DOT and P3 partners. Everything had to be verified and certified, including scales, mixer, admixtures and water metering." Continued on page 36 Long View Northeast Prestressed meets surge with $8 million plant investment The new batch plant and enclosure (back- ground, left) front NPP's girder produc- tion building. Vice President Dennis Fink (right) oversaw upgrades to equip the Cressona, Pa., operation for Pennsylvania DOT-rooted public-private partnership ac- tivity, along with major bridge contracts in Mid-Atlantic and Northeast markets. PHOTOS: Advanced Concrete Technologies

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