Silo aeration equals production gains for Jackson Concrete

John Meyer strives for efficiency at his West Bend, Wis., ready mixed plant. He knows about concrete production after managing the open-air operation for nine years before purchasing Jackson Concrete in 2003. Four years later, he realized an ideal condition for ready mixed production in the frozen north by moving plant iron into a full enclosure.

John

John Meyer

But a nagging problem made optimum output elusive. “Our cement silo would back up when the airpads that supplied aeration backed up,” Meyer explains. “We would have to stop production at our busiest times and send someone up to pound on the sides of the silo to free the cement.” In the worst cases, he adds, Jackson team members would have to empty the silo and replace the airpads—halting production at critical times.

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Solimar EZ-IN fluidizer kits helped Jackson Concrete make quick work of aerator installation along silo wall and cone.
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After paying his plant manager dues for nearly a decade, John Meyer acquired Jackson Concrete in 2003 and grew the business to support construction of an Upper Midwest-grade plant enclosure.

“We were in one of those maddening times when I complained to our bulk tanker driver about the problem,” Meyer recalls. “He gestured to the aerators on the trailer and said he never had a problem emptying his load.” The aerators were a disk-type design used by OEM trailer builders for decades. Through a little research, Meyer discovered the manufacturer was Solimar Pneumatics, based in neighboring Minnesota.

NIGHTMARE TO NON-ISSUE

Jackson Concrete used Solimar EZ-IN fluidizer kits to install new aerators in existing airpad openings. “Here was a solution right under our noses, or actually under our bulk trailer, that transformed cement flow for our operation,” Meyer affirms. “We placed 16 of the new aerators in the cement silo, all from the outside.”

He and his team now experience no cement flow problems. “The aeration is so efficient we only have to run four of the Solimar units,” Meyer notes. “In the rare case of a repair to one of the aerators, we simply move the air line to the next one in a matter of minutes and cement keeps flowing.” Loading time for the plant’s twin-shaft mixer is faster than ever, he adds, as trucks charge in four minutes.

“I would say we made our money back on the purchase and installation of the Solimar units in three weeks. We went from a nightmare to a non-issue as far as cement flow,” Meyer concludes. “This plant was built for Wisconsin conditions and there is no doubt in my mind we have the most modern plant in the area, and cement flow is critical to the operation.” — Solimar Pneumatics, Minneapolis, 763/574-1820; www.solimarpneumatics.com