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"Plans and Digital Solutions for Managing the Quality of Concrete" Featured in Concrete inFocus Magazine

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quality control t a ready mixed concrete plant, there are considerable amounts of time and money invested in systems and training to ensure mixes are formulated prop- erly. This effort can be for naught if there is no visibility into these specific requirements during the order entry and dispatching pro- cesses. Using the wrong mix design can lead to increased costs down the road, such as concrete replacement and lost business due to customer dissatisfaction. Often producers will overdesign their con- crete mixes to ensure the quality of their final delivered product. But why? Because wasting money and materials used in overde- signs is better than delivering concrete that gets rejected because it is the wrong slump – or worse. Placed, and then removed. Money spent on the cost of overdesign can significantly hurt the producers' bottom line. Industry averages on the overdesign of concrete is about 30% with 20% being necessary to ensure test results meet speci- fied amounts. For an annual production of 500,000 cubic yards and an estimate of 5% overdesign, your current costs on overdesign equal $620,000 annually. If producers had visibility into the concrete properties while a load is in transit, they could ensure the proper quality of the concrete. Often producers will spend time in the yard or at the jobsite making adjustments to the slump. The average cost estimate of one min- ute of delivery time is $0.94, with the average time to adjust the slump equating to 5-15 min- utes in every delivery cycle. A single truck delivers about 600 loads per year, so the cost to adjust the load, based on five-minute delays, equates to around $2,500 per truck annually. If you have 100 trucks, that's $250,000 spent per year for a f leet to make load adjustments at the jobsite. Solutions exist that provide real-time information on the concrete properties of a load by measuring and managing slump, temperature, volume, drum rotation and other information that details the work- ability of the concrete. This information is available to the mixer truck driver so he or she doesn't have to stop the truck and get out to take measurements. Project managers can be notified when the load of concrete is ready to leave the yard, when it is ready to be discharged at the jobsite, when water needs to be added and how much material remains in the drum after discharge. The data collected provides historical reference for improvement of the next delivery cycle. By reviewing the load data producers can evaluate and optimize mix designs, reducing the need for overdesign of mixes. The data can help with disputes to prove quality of the mix. You know that the concrete you delivered was at the opti- mal quality for the job. The risk of having to replace the concrete already poured can be reduced using the historical information and quality data. With visibility into fresh concrete throughout the entire delivery cycle, the less you will have to overdesign your mix, saving much money, and time, within your operations. Visibility into Materials Ensures Good Quality Supply chain visibility is a combination of transparency and traceability, allowing teams to see orders and material movements from source to destination. Having clear visibility into material f lows and traceability of mate- rial properties ensures that quality is made a priority. With accurate and real-time visibil- ity, businesses can proactively manage their projects and gain confidence in the schedule, costs and assurance of outcomes. Since each transaction is recorded in sequence, trading partners have a permanent audit trail that can verify a product's quality and trace it through its chain of custody. By Lori Allen Solutions Marketing Manager, Command Alkon PLANS AND DIGITAL SOLUTIONS FOR MANAGING THE QUALITY A 42 ı WINTER 2019

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