In 1996 Doug Jatcko started a company to design, build and market a new generation of precast technology. Jatcko's challenge was to create a manufacturing system that eliminates the yardman's back-straining work yet maintains production of high-quality products. Jatcko's creation combines the lifting capacity of a straddle-crane with the best elements of wet-cast form technology.
The result is an automated system that practically doubles production capacity while eliminating about half of a standard work crew. One operator can perform most of the work.
The system also enhances finished product quality. Since switching to the system, Front Range employees at Front Range Precast Concrete, Boulder, Colo., have noticed smoother product surfaces, even with stiff mixes. The system's product-handling capability has practically eliminated product damage during stockpiling or truck loading.
Jatcko sees great potential for his system. "In the near future, the majority of concrete tanks will be produced with this technology due to its labor efficiency," says Jatcko. The company's future plans include a remote-controlled version of the prototype and designs for a larger unit that could easily handle prison cell and residential housing forms.
Keywords: Halo, formbuster, Front Range, straddle, crane