How to boost a hollow core plant
With software, automation, and independent machinery a production plant can be boosted to be an intelligent plant with many benefits. After the challenging year 2020, we from Echo Precast Engineering wants to give some insights on about how to boost hollow core plants to make life a little easier for our clients in the industry.
But why is boosting a hollow core plant a good investment? In a nutshell:
To increase efficiency, safety, and profit as well as save time, raise productivity, and have full control of the production.
An intelligent production plant is a highly precise and accurate production site that has digitised the planning, production, and storage processes. These benefits allow an organized, controlled, and efficient production from start to finish. This is possible through integrating technology of the “industry 4.0” concept as internet of things, system integration, connectivity, automation, big data, and cloud computing. To achieve this, you do not have to start from scratch. If you already have a working plant, you can gradually upgrade technology.
How to boost a hollow core plant?
Adding these solutions to your production process:
Independent battery driven machinery
An independent machine is a battery driven machine.
With higher automated machinery you don’t need an operator for each machine
Software Automation at its best
Software connects the machines to each other.
An independent machine is a battery driven machine. Battery driven machines have many benefits with social distancing being the most current, as well as of course, no cable which is benefiting the safety and no fumes which is healthier. Additionally, the reduction of downtime and staff is saving time and money.
The special FCS saw to cut bars in the fresh concrete for example is additionally saving drastically on saw blades, as it does not need that much changes. The machines are more accurate, wireless, and independent.
With a multi-functional trolley, you can clean the production beds, spray oil on the production beds (release agent) and pull the strands/wires within approximately 45 minutes.
The transport wagon brings the finished prestressed element to storage. It has the capacity of 30 to 60 tons.
Automation at its best
With higher automated machinery you don’t need an operator for each machine, so the automation saves space and resources with less handling and less people in the plant. All this with a higher output as well as efficiency and with less errors.
That of course means that if you want to succeed in the usage of automatic machinery, your team will need to learn new skills to control planning and the machines. Don’t worry, Echo Precast Engineering will train your team to use all the advantage of the machinery.
The details are making the difference. A good example is the SmartJet plotter, which has safety and anti-collision sensors for additional security measurements. The SmartJet can also plot with regular ink or special UV ink and the automation helps to avoid many mistakes happening during the making of slabs. Also the state-of-the-art sawing machines (RAS & MAS) are fully automated. They detect the lines made for the plotter and can run completely independent. Those machines as well include anti-collision sensors ensuring a maximum for security of the people working in the plant.
Software as the glue of the intelligent plant
No automation without functioning software. Software connects the machines to each other. For example, it is possible to synchronise the work of the extruder X-Liner, the plotter SmartJet and the multi-angle saw machine to work autonomously on a production line.
With the "Industry 4.0" concept, all sub-areas can be linked, and consistent transparency is guaranteed. In the precast concrete industry, the concept includes bidirectional linking of production machines with production planning and with the BIM model.
Intelligent systems enable a smart production that supports the employee in the best possible way. The employee can access the software from everywhere to control and edit data if it is necessary.
Progress Software Development a company dedicated to creating software solutions for the precast concrete industry, is also a member of the Progress Group. One of their creations is ebos®, a comprehensive solution for work preparation, production, and process analysis. It addresses all aspects of the manufacturing process, from start to finish.
We can recommend to also use stabos, which is well known and can maintain and connect all data and information regarding the machines and result in predictive maintenance and outcome, accessible from everywhere.