The heart of any concrete batch plant is the automatic batch controller. Increasing the concrete batch controller production rating should be a simple task. However a common mistake is setting a new controller based on another plants settings. Each concrete batch plant is unique to the mix designs it will be producing . Thus a readymix plant in a commercial concrete market with higher sack mix designs will have different CONTROLLER settings then a plant in a residential market with lower sack designs.
Eight batch controller recommendations:
1. Sand should always be weighed up first; just about all mix designs need sand. In order to keep a consistent free-fall weight, sand should be your first weigh.
2. Begin the automatic moisture calculation early in the batch. With sand being weighed first, the target water can be started early.
3. Besides sand, try to keep your remaining aggregate weigh up sequence the same. Most automatic controllers today, have a “learning mode” and controllers will teach themselves when to close the feed gates. By keeping the materials in order, the controller can keep a tighter tolerance.
4. “Shoot for the stars and hit the moon”. Try to hit your batch targets with zero jog bites. Today’s Controller Pre-acts or Fast Feed Cutoffs can anticipate how much material is in flight before the scale registers the weight.
5. Discharge sequencing – Target 2,000 lbs of rock to be left in the aggregate weigh batcher when the cement scale shows zero. This will help clean out the truck hopper before the final rinse water.
6. 50/50 aggregate discharge blend into the mixer truck. Some concrete batch plants have weigh batchers designed to allow the material in the front and back of the aggregate scale to discharge at the same time. This reduces truck hopper plugging and increases plant production.
7. Setup multiple discharge sequences. A slurry mix is different from a 50/50 aggregate mix, which is different from a high sack pump mix. Like a mixer truck driver, you are only as fast as your slowest mix design. Group your mix designs by similarities and create applicable sequence and flow rates.
8. Adjust your feed and discharge rates for the season. Hot summers will have a different impact then a cold winter. In addition to the outside climate change, steam from hot water can increase the amount of cement build up in the head box.