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Batch Control Software

We have a tendency to focus on the mechanical aspects of our products as they go through the manufacturing process. From when they strip out of the block machine, transferring into the kilns, processing through splitters or antique finishing machines, and ultimately being palletized and rolling out of the plant. It’s all visual and sensory based with mechanical steps and audible cues. What we don’t think about though is really the heartbeat of the system, this being the batching control software that maintains the cadence of the operation. You can’t see or hear the calculations made on a batch-by-batch basis, but it’s critical to an operation’s success that the functions and steps are fully understood by personnel. Take the time to get to know your Batch Control Software, for more information contact NCMA Production Specialist Mike Maroney.

Hustle and Flow

The old adage is that the block machine only runs as fast as the batched mix allows. There are several aspects to this, but we are going to focus on one — water demand. All of us are aware of the water-to-cement ratios that govern cement hydration and workability. As an example, I run a fine textured architectural mix with a water-to-cement ratio of 0.59. The cement only requires a .22 to .24 water to cement ratio to begin hydration, everything past that is water of convenience. Along with or without admixture, the water of convenience allows the batch mechanically move from sub-hopper to feed drawer to mold in relatively fluid motion. There is no standard water cement ratio. There are ranges which are utilized based on the mix gradation. Rule of thumb: the finer the mix, the higher the water cement ratio. Whereas, my Architectural Fine Texture mix requires a .59 water to cement ratio, my standard sand and gravel blend may only require a .51 water-to-cement ratio. For more information, Ask Mike.