One of the most important technology developments for the Ready Mix industry has been the In-transit concrete management systems. It permits the producer to monitor, measure and manage ready mix specs while in route to job site. This system saves time from measuring and testing concrete on site and insures a more accurate slump and monitors water content as it travels from plant to job site. The system uses data to manage mixing in the drum, pre-programmed with W/C settings and will add water and admixture when slump goes below a certain target. These systems use internet connected sensors which provide concrete producers real time monitoring data across their entire truck fleet. The data can be accessed from laptops, tablets, phones, etc. anywhere there is an internet connection. The producer will always know the vitals about the concrete and when it’s arriving ready to pour at the appropriate temperature, water content and slump. The systems alerts producers to bad loads prior to pouring which avoids the future risk of repair and replacing the bad concrete which adds to the ROI number and shortens payback time. The in-transit concrete management system generates a more consistent product at the correct quality spec resulting in these benefits/ROI factors:
- Fewer rejected loads at job site
- Increased fleet efficiency by delivering more loads per day with fewer trucks
- Less admixture needed – economic $$$ savings
- Reduced waste and disposal of unused and/or bad concrete
- Less cement used – $$ savings on raw materials
Contractors benefit by working more and waiting less. The time savings comes from less to no on-site mixing, concrete will arrive at desired performance specs (Slump, water content, etc.) which should lead to fewer rejections and a more consistent workflow due to consistent set times. This potentially reduces overtime and enables contractor to save on labor $$$.
The in-transit concrete management system generates the following overall producer benefits :
- They adhere to advanced performance based specifications
- Producers can avoid costly over-design when working within max W/C.
- Producers deliver consistent concrete quality no matter how many trucks deliver to the job site.
- Producers optimize mix designs while in transit. This will generate historic trending data over time to determine the best mix design for a specific performance requirement.
- All of the above reduces truck time on site, therefore; enabling fleet to increase turnover/cycle time with a specific time frame which means more work for the same fleet size which should generate more revenue and margin for the business.
As all the current trending statistics communicate, the ready mix concrete industry will continue it’s growth patterns over the next 7-10 years not only in North America but globally as well. This means the ready-mix producers need to continue to explore systems/technology like these to create efficiencies within their businesses to maintain margins.
Posted by Joe Kost TrueDTI