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SRW Installer – Advanced

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Concrete Masonry Designs Magazine

2013 Hardscape Issue

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Would You Drink it?

The rule of thumb when you’re looking at an aggregate for use in your mix designs is to pay attention not only to its dispersion across the screens, but more importantly the percentage of material retained on the pan. The retention on the pan passing the #100 sieve being usually around 6 percent or less. The reason for this is that the particle size passing the 100 screen is small enough that it can actually inhibit the crystalline growth that is a byproduct of cement hydration. The finer the mix, the more cement is needed to cover the aggregate particles. Another potential culprit for adding excessive fines, is your mix water. Ideally, your mix water should be potable as a result of it being either city water or has gone through a filter and softening process. Pulling water directly from a well could be as detrimental as having high fines content in your aggregates. If you’d like to do an in-house check, take a small amount of your mixer water and place it in a clear glass cup. Place a coffee filter over the top of the glass and let the water evaporate. When totally evaporated see what’s left, if it’s clear that’s great.  If it’s hazy or you can see deposits, you may want to address your filtration methods. For more information contact Production Specialist Mike Maroney.

Single Minute Exchange of Die

Changing a product mold in our industry is never a matter of “if,” it’s strictly a matter of “when.” As such, that change out time is critical to the production flow. We’ve seen operations that approach a mold change like a race-car pit crew during production and other operations that do it at the end of the shift while clean-up is occurring. The assumption is that it is a constant work in progress to transition from one product to the next in an efficient and timely manner.  Lean Manufacturing has a term for it; SMED, or Single Minute Exchange of Die. SMED is a process driven method of reducing changeover times through observation and evaluation of the steps involved. It’s a method discerning what can be done while the equipment is running or can only be done while the equipment is stopped. This will result in external and internal procedures that can ultimately cut down the time needed for a mold change without compromising unit quality. For more information contact Mike Maroney.