The same concrete saw technology that transformed the concrete paving industry now impacts production in the hollowcore concrete industry.
In many locations, producers are finding sawing an integral function of production.
Designers have taken the power of the contractor's large walk-behind pavement cutting saw and added the flexibility of the carpenter's radial arm saw to transform hollowcore manufacturing plants. Engineers have built a portable gantry unit made of two side frames to support an I-beam cross girder that carries the saw's turntable. The gantry steel wheels travel on steel rails mounted on either side of the casting bed.
The gantry, electrically powered by chain drive, travels along its rail to the cut line area. A separate hydraulic system that powers gantry and sawing movements gives operators fluidity of movement. Using a variable speed joystick control, operators parallel the I-beam cross member over the desired cut line. While most cut angles will be parallel, or 0 degrees, to the casting bed's true width, the cross member can be positioned at cut line angles up to 45 degrees either direction from center are possible. Once aligned, the saw automatically locks the side frame wheels to eliminate gantry movement.
The saw allows cuts of up to 12 inches. On thick slabs, the operator performs two cutting passes to prevent the blade from binding in the center of the slab due to any camber from prestressing forces.
Along with the greater plant utilization comes labor reduction. Fewer setup men are required for stranding crews. While sawing activity has been increased, cull quantities are reduced because the casting bed provides a level surface. As the plank is completely prepared prior to its removal from the casting bed, lifting moves are minimized.
keywords: saws, precast production