Big Data Analytics Delivers Insights in to Material Science
The quality of concrete plays a vital role in the strength and durability of a structure, hence it is important to ensure that the concrete is of the best quality using sound quality control measures. Once water is added to the mix, the chemical reaction starts the clock ticking on how much time is available to transport and deliver the concrete to the right job location.
There are five critical parameters for quality control testing of ready mix concrete, which include taking a sample of the fresh mix to test:
· Slump, ensuring batch consistency is correct
· Yield – calculating total weight of the batch by the unit weight or bulk density
Visibility is needed into the properties of the fresh concrete from the time of loading through transport to placement at the job site in order to ensure top quality of the mixture. However, real-time visibility into the properties of the materials while in transport is often lacking. Often throughout the delivery route, slump is adjusted visually, which can be a risky process.
Real-time data on a load’s properties reduces time spent in the yard making load adjustments, testing the load, and washing out and dumping drum contents. Trucks can get back on the road faster for optimized utilization. Having a load with the right properties assures quality and job specifications are met.
Command Alkon’s COMMANDassurance solution helps ready mix producers and other members of the construction ecosystem gain visibility in real-time into the fresh concrete while in transit. A stainless steel probe goes into the drum of the truck and integrates the data collected into other Command Alkon systems from Batch to Dispatch to Quality Assurance.
Truck cabs with tablets can display the slump value transmitted from the COMMANDassurance probe, giving drivers the visual information they need to make sure the slump is correct, without having to get out of the truck. Not only does this save time, but improves safety as the drivers don’t have to climb the ladder to look into the truck. Adjustments can be made, readings can be taken and extra water can be added if needed. Upon arrival, orders can be proven that what was ordered is what has been delivered with appropriate documentation.
A key differentiator of COMMANDassurance is its end-to-end integration with software and related technology for ready-mix production, dispatch, quality control, and fleet management. Typical properties of the concrete mix can be analyzed and communicated for future orders so producers will get orders right quicker. Visibility also allows for continuous improvement where the collected data brings meaningful information to the enterprise as a whole.