Improving Production Speed of Cast Concrete

Jack Steinbuch

In designing and manufacturing custom vibratory equipment, I see customer inquiries for a myriad of potential applications to solve production challenges or improve production rates.  Recently, a producer of decorative stones presented us with a challenge.  The stones are produced from wet cast concrete mix molds.  These molds need to be vibrated to de-aerate (remove air bubbles) and consolidate the concrete in the molds.  This was being done manually on a vibrating table, typically one mold at a time.  They wanted to automate their production to reduce their labor time.  They had invested in production equipment that would quickly fill the molds, but had yet to come up with a method to take advantage of that automation by vibrating each mold at the same rate.

We concluded that our model BT Belt Table would provide the best solution. This product was originally designed to gently flatten (settle) bagged materials (like pet food) or pack raw or finished materials in cartons as it was being conveyed to reduce packaging and handling costs.  We felt this design concept could also be utilized to continue their current automation process by simultaneously vibrating and conveying their molds after they were filled.  The filled molds would be conveyed onto our belt table, which has a 24” wide belt that extends to 12’ in length, to allow four molds to be handled at a time.  A vibrating table with 26” wide by 96” long deck is housed beneath the belt to transmit vibration through the belt to the molds riding on the belt.  The customer was able to adjust the belt speed, which in turn controlled the amount of vibration time they desired.  Additionally, a frequency controller was provided to allow for quick adjustments of the force output of the vibrators mounted beneath the deck.  As one new mold was conveyed on to the belt table, one completed mold was conveyed off.

The addition of our belt table considerably improved their production time as well as the consistency of their finished product.  A labor-intensive job, which routinely ate up their production time and lacked uniformity, had been elevated to an automated production line that produced a superior product in a far more timely fashion.

The customer was also pleased that this equipment was not only a robust design that could withstand their production environment; it was maintenance friendly and easy to operate.  We were able to solve their challenge by customizing our existing equipment design for their unique application.

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