Launch Slideshow

After cutting open the plants roof and bracing it with a steel platform, BMH Systems used a 350-ton crane to remove USIs old aggregate bin.

Special Delivery: USI’s new aggregate bin

Special Delivery: USI’s new aggregate bin

  • When Utility Structures Inc. hired BMH Systems to replace a 25-year-old aggregate bin, the custom batch plant designers worked during the Christmas holidays to minimize plant downtime.

    http://www.theconcreteproducer.com/Images/tmp4897%2Etmp_tcm77-1925580.jpg

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    When Utility Structures Inc. hired BMH Systems to replace a 25-year-old aggregate bin, the custom batch plant designers worked during the Christmas holidays to minimize plant downtime.

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    BMH Systems

    When Utility Structures Inc. hired BMH Systems to replace a 25-year-old aggregate bin, the custom batch plant designers worked during the Christmas holidays to minimize plant downtime.

  • After cutting open the plants roof and bracing it with a steel platform, BMH Systems used a 350-ton crane to remove USIs old aggregate bin.

    http://www.theconcreteproducer.com/Images/tmp3097%2Etmp_tcm77-1925576.jpg

    true

    After cutting open the plants roof and bracing it with a steel platform, BMH Systems used a 350-ton crane to remove USIs old aggregate bin.

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    BMH Systems

    After cutting open the plant’s roof and bracing it with a steel platform, BMH Systems used a 350-ton crane to remove USI’s old aggregate bin.

  • Due to rust corrosion, the 55,000-pound bin had to be removed in two large pieces rather than several smaller sections as originally planned.

    http://www.theconcreteproducer.com/Images/tmp4114%2Etmp_tcm77-1925578.jpg

    true

    Due to rust corrosion, the 55,000-pound bin had to be removed in two large pieces rather than several smaller sections as originally planned.

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    BMH Systems

    Due to rust corrosion, the 55,000-pound bin had to be removed in two large pieces rather than several smaller sections as originally planned.

  • Workers lifted the new aggregate bin to the roof of USI's plant and used a steel platform to maneuver safely, 75 feet above the ground.

    http://www.theconcreteproducer.com/Images/tmp5923%2Etmp_tcm77-1925590.jpg

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    Workers lifted the new aggregate bin to the roof of USI's plant and used a steel platform to maneuver safely, 75 feet above the ground.

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    BMH Systems

    Workers lifted the new aggregate bin to the roof of USI's plant and used a steel platform to maneuver safely, 75 feet above the ground.

  • BMH delivered the new aggregate bin to USI's plant in three pieces and assembled it on site.

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    BMH delivered the new aggregate bin to USI's plant in three pieces and assembled it on site.

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    BMH Systems

    BMH delivered the new aggregate bin to USI's plant in three pieces and assembled it on site.

  • BMH systems designed the new aggregate bin according to the needs of precast concrete producer Utility Structures Inc., including several sizes of compartments with lids that prevent aggregates from mixing.

    http://www.theconcreteproducer.com/Images/tmp982%2Etmp_tcm77-1925571.jpg

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    BMH systems designed the new aggregate bin according to the needs of precast concrete producer Utility Structures Inc., including several sizes of compartments with lids that prevent aggregates from mixing.

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    BMH Systems

    BMH systems designed the new aggregate bin according to the needs of precast concrete producer Utility Structures Inc., including several sizes of compartments with lids that prevent aggregates from mixing.

  • As dusk falls, the crew from BMH Systems prepares to install USI's new aggregate bin. "They said once the roof was opened up, they would work nonstop until it was closed - and they did," says Claudio Mion, general manager for USI.

    http://www.theconcreteproducer.com/Images/tmp1AE9%2Etmp_tcm77-1925573.jpg

    true

    As dusk falls, the crew from BMH Systems prepares to install USI's new aggregate bin. "They said once the roof was opened up, they would work nonstop until it was closed - and they did," says Claudio Mion, general manager for USI.

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    BMH Systems

    As dusk falls, the crew from BMH Systems prepares to install USI's new aggregate bin. "They said once the roof was opened up, they would work nonstop until it was closed - and they did," says Claudio Mion, general manager for USI.

  • The crew lifted the new equipment, totaling 750,000 pounds, and installed it through the plant roof.

    http://www.theconcreteproducer.com/Images/tmp224D%2Etmp_tcm77-1925574.jpg

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    The crew lifted the new equipment, totaling 750,000 pounds, and installed it through the plant roof.

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    BMH Systems

    The crew lifted the new equipment, totaling 750,000 pounds, and installed it through the plant roof.

  • "Other companies shied away from the challenge," says Mion, "but BMH inspected our space and devised an impressive plan."

    http://www.theconcreteproducer.com/Images/tmp7161%2Etmp_tcm77-1925606.jpg

    true

    "Other companies shied away from the challenge," says Mion, "but BMH inspected our space and devised an impressive plan."

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    BMH Systems

    "Other companies shied away from the challenge," says Mion, "but BMH inspected our space and devised an impressive plan."

  • After the new bin was in place and the roof was closed, the workers took a week off for the Christmas holiday. They finished just in time: when they returned, a foot of snow had fallen at the plant.

    http://www.theconcreteproducer.com/Images/tmp7EF0%2Etmp_tcm77-1925614.jpg

    true

    After the new bin was in place and the roof was closed, the workers took a week off for the Christmas holiday. They finished just in time: when they returned, a foot of snow had fallen at the plant.

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    BMH Systems

    After the new bin was in place and the roof was closed, the workers took a week off for the Christmas holiday. They finished just in time: when they returned, a foot of snow had fallen at the plant.

Launch Slideshow

The systems manual control panel gives an overview of USIs bin and conveyor configuration, and allows the precaster to manage the system at the touch of a button.

Custom design by BMH Systems

Custom design by BMH Systems

  • Faced with product quality issues, Utility Structures Inc. decided to replace its corroded 25-year-old aggregate bin. The precaster hired BMH Systems to design a new, 350-ton capacity bin with 12 compartments.

    http://www.theconcreteproducer.com/Images/tmp11C1%2Etmp_tcm77-1925572.jpg

    true

    Faced with product quality issues, Utility Structures Inc. decided to replace its corroded 25-year-old aggregate bin. The precaster hired BMH Systems to design a new, 350-ton capacity bin with 12 compartments.

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    BMH Systems

    Faced with product quality issues, Utility Structures Inc. decided to replace its corroded 25-year-old aggregate bin. The precaster hired BMH Systems to design a new, 350-ton capacity bin with 12 compartments.

  • The new bin has a service walkway on two sides that includes a handrail with an opening and safety guards to facilitate maintenance.

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    The new bin has a service walkway on two sides that includes a handrail with an opening and safety guards to facilitate maintenance.

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    BMH Systems

    The new bin has a service walkway on two sides that includes a handrail with an opening and safety guards to facilitate maintenance.

  • A 15-foot belt conveyor delivers aggregates via two reversing shuttle conveyors that feed aggregates through the bins deflection chute.

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    A 15-foot belt conveyor delivers aggregates via two reversing shuttle conveyors that feed aggregates through the bins deflection chute.

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    BMH Systems

    A 15-foot belt conveyor delivers aggregates via two reversing shuttle conveyors that feed aggregates through the bin’s deflection chute.

  • BMH Systems assembled the new bin and installed electrical wiring for USIs material handling system that also includes a bucket elevator, belt conveyors, and an aggregate weigh hopper.

    http://www.theconcreteproducer.com/Images/tmp69D0%2Etmp_tcm77-1925601.jpg

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    BMH Systems assembled the new bin and installed electrical wiring for USIs material handling system that also includes a bucket elevator, belt conveyors, and an aggregate weigh hopper.

    600

    BMH Systems

    BMH Systems assembled the new bin and installed electrical wiring for USI’s material handling system that also includes a bucket elevator, belt conveyors, and an aggregate weigh hopper.

  • The systems manual control panel gives an overview of USIs bin and conveyor configuration, and allows the precaster to manage the system at the touch of a button.

    http://www.theconcreteproducer.com/Images/tmp8BB4%2Etmp_tcm77-1925625.jpg

    true

    The systems manual control panel gives an overview of USIs bin and conveyor configuration, and allows the precaster to manage the system at the touch of a button.

    600

    BMH Systems

    The system’s manual control panel gives an overview of USI’s bin and conveyor configuration, and allows the precaster to manage the system at the touch of a button.

When Claudio Mion, general manager at Utility Structures Inc. (USI), says his latest plant upgrade went through the roof, he really means it. The Ottawa, Ontario-based precaster started the year with a new, custom designed 7,700-cubic-foot capacity aggregate storage bin that was installed in a rather unconventional way.

The producer stores aggregates 75 feet high in a tower — the best location at the 70,000 square-foot plant, considering its limited yard space and the need to keep materials dry and warm through harsh Canadian winters. This meant the 55,000-pound bin would have to be disassembled and removed, and a new 75,000-pound unit installed, at roughly the height of a seven-story building.

Custom batch plant designer and manufacturer, BMH Systems, proposed a unique approach: Go in through the roof.

Before cutting into the plant’s roof, BMH engineers designed a bracing system. They built a rigid steel platform around the edge of the hole that served as reinforcement, as well as a work platform.

“The plan was to remove the old bin in several sections because of its weight,” says Matteo Falcucci, operations manager for USI. “But after they took off the top section, they couldn’t take the rest apart because it was too corroded. It would have fallen apart.”

Instead, the bin was removed in only two pieces — the heavier section weighing 35,000 pounds — with a 385-ton crane. USI was responsible for preparing the site, including relocating the chemical bins and adding a new foundation for extra support beams to accommodate the new bin’s weight.

The installation was scheduled to take six weeks but was completed in four. USI has been at full capacity ever since. “After two months up and running with the new bin, we are still doing our best to keep up with customers’ orders,” says Mion.

But before taking these seemingly drastic measures, Mion and Falcucci went through a painstaking planning process. They offer words of advice for producers considering a similar project.

Weigh the options

Mion and Falcucci began planning to upgrade the 25-year-old aggregate bin when rust and corrosion threatened to affect the quality of USI’s products: mainly precast concrete light poles and utility and traffic-related products. Although they had done patchwork repairs on rusted areas, contamination from the bin was causing aggregate colors to come out improperly.

They considered a full repair to fix and recoat the entire bin. However, they were unable to find a contractor to accept the logistical challenge of emptying and refilling each bin compartment, and completing extensive repairs without disrupting operations.

Relocating the bin outside was not an option. Due to limited yard space, the aggregates would have to be stored far from the plant, which would mean installing a cumbersome and costly conveyor system.

Ultimately, they decided a new bin was the best solution.