Parameters to Consider Before Selecting Concrete Batching and Mixing Plant
1. Capacity of Plant
In order to meet the requirement of project specific parameters as mentioned above, a concrete plant of right capacity should be installed. It should take into account various ingredients proposed for use in the mix like, fly ash, admixtures like plasticizer, retarder, air entraining agent etc.
2. Multiple Mix Design Options
A batching plant needs to be shifted from site to site on completion of projects and different mix designs are required to be followed at different sites, as per strength and workability requirements of concrete and the quality of locally available aggregates.
3. Mobility of Concrete Plant
Depending upon the location of work site the plant’s mobility is considered.
4. Automatic Controls
Most of the activities in the running of the batching plant should be under automatic controls. Once the directions are fed, the plant should be able to read and operate automatically. However, manual switchover options should also be available.
5. Type of Mixer
Suggested criteria for the selection of mixer are as under:
- Size of aggregate
- Easy to clean
- Difficulty of replacing the blades or parts
- Sensitivity of the blades to wear and tear
- Mixer Capacity (Size of drum)
- Mixing energy required
- Efficiency of a mixer
- Mixing time
- Mixing method
- Location of the construction site (distance from the batching plant)
- Amount of concrete needed
6. Accurate Weigh Batching of Concrete Ingredients
The batching plant must have accurate weigh batching systems in it, with electronic controls and calibrated gauges for measurements.
7. Feeding and Storage Mechanisms
There should be adequate number of bins to feed aggregate of various sizes including sand. Before commencing work, the Contractor has to prepare a plan as to determine how he will produce and transport mix within the specified time limit. Adequate storage facility for cement for carrying out 2-3 days work, feeding facilities for coarse and fine aggregates, cement and other cementitious material like fly ash, admixtures should be taken care of.
8. Safe Operation of Plant
Safety features of the plant should be studied. Easy access, easy escape, protection against dust and smoke, proper insulation against shocks should be some essential features. The plant should be equipped with automatic emergency stoppage arrangements in case of emergencies to avoid accidents on site.
9. Easy Availability of Spares
Sales are combined with service in today’s scenario. It should be ensured that spares are easily available for replacements as and when required. In addition, service and repairs should be prompt. The company’s track record in this matter should be considered.
10. Minimum Wear and Tear
The components of the batching plant should undergo minimum wear and tear despite constant use. The warranty period and clauses should be carefully scrutinized.
11. Minimum Energy Consumption
It is another important factor to look into to minimize running expenses of the batching plant.
12. Minimum Maintenance Requirements
The batching plant should be able to withstand rough handling and demand minimum maintenance.
13. Low Consumption of Consumables
In addition to low power consumption, the plant should have low consumption of consumables such as oils to minimize running expenses.
14. Noise Pollution:
The plant should make minimum noise during its operation.
15. Miscellaneous Requirements
- Delivery schedule of the supplier
- Erection and commissioning of equipment at site
- Training to certain operation and maintenance personnel of the buyer
- Transportation of equipment from the works to the site, or bearing its costs should be sorted out
- Transit insurance
- Availability of tool kit
- Cost of consumables and unskilled labour
- Foundation drawing details
- Plumbing and water supply provisions. (Installation of a pump may be necessary)
- Electric supply connection and cabling network for various equipment at desired ratings
16. Plant Installation:
Whenever orders are placed with a firm for supply and installation of a concrete batching and mixing plant, certain issues over site facilities should be sorted out at the time of placing the order so that no problems arise during the installation period.
IRC: SP – 96 – 2012