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.

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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_tcm77-1925691.jpg

    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_tcm77-1925710.jpg

    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.

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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_tcm77-1925642.jpg

    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_tcm77-1925661.jpg

    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.

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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."

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    "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_tcm77-1925774.jpg

    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_tcm77-1925651.jpg

    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.

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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.

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    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_tcm77-1925790.jpg

    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.

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    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.

Plan ahead

Continuous operation was a priority. “We didn’t want to be stuck with a problem that would cause us to be shut down,” says Falcucci. Faced with an emergency situation, they might have been pressured to make a quick and potentially expensive decision for the sake of convenience.

Because they were prepared, Falcucci and Mion we were able to spend eight to 10 months planning for the new bin and soliciting multiple bids.

Understand your needs

With time to plan, the managers considered how the new aggregate bin could improve the plant’s efficiency. “We jotted down every idea, and asked as many questions as possible to improve on what we had and decide exactly what we wanted to build,” says Falcucci.

Capacity was an obvious place to start. They upgraded from an eight-compartment bin that held 330 tons to a bin with 12 compartments and a 385-ton capacity. A larger, faster bucket elevator delivers aggregates up to the bin at a rate of more than 75 tons per hour. Workers now spend a quarter of the time refilling aggregates compared to before; loading once a day rather than several times, without fear of running empty.

The new bin is configured with compartments ranging from 22 to 55 tons to optimize storage space for an average of 14 different kinds of aggregates and sand. It includes bins for small quantities of specialty aggregates that used to be stored in bags and added to the concrete by hand, in a tedious and expensive process.

The bin is also filled more accurately. Each compartment is covered and has a 30x30-inch opening for the conveyor. The design keeps aggregates separated, and eliminates waste caused by mixing and contamination of materials. If an aggregate is not frequently used, the opening can be completely covered.

USI also requested a design change to prevent corrosion. Inside the original bin, wet sand would settle on support channels and corrode them. They hope to avoid this with new sloped channels inside the new bin.

Other time-saving adjustments included adding plates to the bottom of each bin compartment to accommodate vibrators for individual aggregates. Each bin has a moisture probe opening, so probes can be moved as needed.

BMH also built a 38-ton capacity truck hopper with steam pipes to thaw and warm aggregates. Materials can sit in the hopper overnight to dry before being stored. USI worked with the equipment designer to design this system, instead of using heating pipes that release steam and unwanted moisture.