What if concrete producers were able to record all batching activities as they occur, and benefit from the possibility to review live a “replay” of their production process, as you would replay a touchdown at the Super Bowl?
The batch playback feature Marcotte Systems Ltd. is unveiling this month at the Precast Show in Orlando provides for such replay. The general idea is that the system records in the background all events and interventions in the batching sequences in an optimized computer-condensed format. The result is a lean event stream that can be viewed locally or over Internet access, since it does not necessitate large storage space, nor important streaming bandwidth.
In a fast-paced and ever-changing batching environment, concrete plant operators have to quickly diagnose and constantly optimize equipment performance. This process is performed every day and it can bring numerous benefits, if achieved with complete information. Static results, such as batch records and anomaly reports, can be reviewed in most batching control systems, but this process includes several assumptions and precise diagnosis of évent sequence can thus be hard to obtain.
Now, with a “batch playback” feature, batch operators and quality control personnel can visually review a load’s sequence in detail, and react to events such as equipment or mechanical failures. This system also permits operators and maintenance personnel to review batch sequences to pinpoint and optimize a defective or inaccurate feeder.
As an example, a batching plant was experiencing an out of tolerance situation when adding hot water to the concrete mix. With the playback screen, it was simple to view that cold water was counting on a regular flow, but hot water flow was not regular. Valve diagnosis revealed an inconsistent hot water valve pressure.
Another situation happened where cement was late once in a while in reaching the mixer and being added to the mix. The batch operator verified all settings, such as the delays, and everything was fine. Batch playback indicated that the gate had an intermittent problem: When asked to discharge cement on the scale, the open gate signal would be sent…but the gate, being a little bit rusted, stuck to the frame and opened completely some 50 seconds later.
A visual “batch playback” alleviates all assumptions and is quite straightforward. It is now quick and easy to get the right answers and to solve mechanical situations. Financial benefits will be obtained through faster problem recognition and solutions, which will decrease the amount of defective or discarded batches, and improve overall plant productivity.
— Prepared by Marcotte Systems Industry Expert, Syed Mohamed, Eng.; (toll free) 855/652-6520 ext.229; www.marcottesystems.com