Oldcastle APG expands with new site in Ridgeway, USAMasa XL 9.1 is the centrepiece of the plant
Andernach 1 Feb 2023 - The North American company Oldcastle APG again relies on a very reliable plant concept for concrete block production at its latest site in Ridgeway, South Carolina. Centrepiece of the plant is the Masa block and paver making machine XL 9.1.
The concept was to build a hardscapes plant outfitted with modern technology that would provide capacity for its customers with face-mix capability, the latest in quality controls, and advanced automation. The desired outcome was to produce top quality and high-capacity throughput for a full range of hardscapes products and solutions to meet growing customer demand.
In its journey to completion, the project encountered challenges. While construction was planned and approved prior to the Covid-19 crisis, site conditions combined with disruptions from the global pandemic created paradigm shifts in services, supply chain processes, and much more.
The plant: A well-coordinated mix of different suppliers
- Dosing and Mixing Plant: Six coarse aggregate bins, combined with one split aggregate bin for face mix, all supplied by Standley Batch, begins the operation. Three cement silos feed the Haarup 3750L main mix and 500L VM face mix mixers. Color hoppers below the mixers provide for measured flow to the machine. "Egan Company's "IntelliBatch" controls were used for the aggregate batching, mixing, and feed systems.
- The Masa XL 9.1 – matched to a broad range of products: After the machine is fed with concrete mix, the Masa XL takes over the production of the high-quality concrete products. Masa engineers have equipped the machine with numerous features to produce the desired product range at the Ridgeway plant. Servo vibration allows for quick adjustment of vibration forces from the control panel, optimising production of everything from Belgard© pavers to a wide range of landscaping elements, including segmental retaining walls and (if required in the future) concrete masonry units; all made on this one machine with precision and high efficiency.
- Curing Plant: The Masa finger car with turning device (14 floors, double lift, bolted fingers) ensures efficient storage and retrieval of the fresh or hardened concrete blocks in a large-chamber curing plant. The H&S curing plant is equipped with an active curing system from CDS. Together with a circulating air system, the temperature and humidity can be controlled as necessary.
- Ring Plant: The transport system on the dry side, designed by Masa as a V-belt conveyor, helps to realise a fast cycle time on the dry side to ensure maximum daily output. The Masa centring device as well as the layer doubling device and a horizontal strapping machine are further components of the dry side before cubing.
- Buffer Rack for production boards: The large production board buffer rack fed by the Masa transport car between the rack and wet/dry side lines ensures flexibility when speeds between wet and dry sides vary due to different product speeds or short stoppages during production hours.
- Cubing and Packaging line, additional Equipment: Automated shipping pallet insertion by utilizing the Masa pallet grab system provides rotational options for the pallet placement. A stretch wrapper finishes out the cubing line. In addition, the plant is equipped with an automatic stand-alone tumbler system from Slab Innovations.
Quality Is Priority
Delivering superior products for its customers is a top priority at Oldcastle APG, which drove the decision to develop the new plant. Consequently, to assist in the operation, systems for automatic measurement and real-time metrics reporting were included.
A weighing system for determining the fresh raw density in combination with a laser system for height measurement provides immediate feedback and are components for meeting this quality requirement. A production board dumping device on the wet side allows for other quality checks.
Experience pays off
Experienced leadership and pre-launch training has yielded great dividends, according to Gary Ewell, Regional Vice President of Operations at Oldcastle APG. “From the get-go, this plant has made high-quality product very efficiently and has already proven itself as an asset to production,” said Ewell. “We look forward to many long years of continued output and service to our customers.”