In modern ready-mix concrete batching plants, automated controls and technology allow for fast and precise measurement of input materials or ingredients.
Because precise measurements are essential to concrete quality, today’s systems use digital scales for weighing cementitious materials and aggregates, along with moisture probes to measure water content as it enters the aggregate batcher in order to automatically compensate for the mix design’s target water-to-cement (w/c) ratio. The highest standards of control and the latest breakthroughs in ready-mix batching technology ensure unsurpassed quality.
• concrete is of improved quality and performance
• the speed of construction increases with fewer errors
• material waste is reduced to save on overall costs
• reduction of waste/pollution to be more environmentally friendly
It is important to do your homework when it comes to specialized software such as concrete batch control systems. One essential thing to look out for is the product’s technical road map. Technology is constantly evolving and needs to function at an optimal level for numerous years to show a strong return on investment. Be sure to ask about a batching system’s hardware and software roadmap to help ensure that the provider is investing in research and development.
To get a valid understanding of a software provider’s quality of support and service, it is recommended you speak directly with existing clients to ask relevant questions such as turnaround times in answering support calls. When dealing with technical support, do they have online support tools to mirror your screen and assist or organize training sessions directly on your screen? Quality tech support teams consist of knowledgeable staff using the right tools to make sure customers are taking full advantage of the system features that can make your production process more profitable.
The most valuable asset any business has, including Concrete producers, is its data. Linking up with external programs is proving to be a critical part of building business intelligence so operators, plant owners, and executives can gather production data from multiple disparate platforms to make better decisions. The information generated from dispatch, billing, truck tracking, and batching provide the KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) necessary to adjust operations for maximum profits. Make sure to ask your potential batch control system vendor how open their system architecture is; is it cloud-native? Can data be extracted without incurring additional costs?
Batch control systems will vary in price. As a CapEx, or Capital Expenditure, it’s a significant investment. As an OpEx, or Operational Expenditure, it can be set as a fixed monthly payment using a SaaS (Software as a Service) model.
This pricing model eliminates the large upfront costs typically associated with the purchase of a batching system and allows producers to take advantage of some tax breaks in the process. With the realization that buying and owning software held little value, most industries have already adopted SaaS models to better control costs and expenditures. The hardware should come with specific warranties to ensure if something needed to be changed, they could do so under a warranty plan or at a low cost using parts found locally.
Installing concrete batch systems is an exciting and demanding process. Vetting the different vendors while armed with the right questions will ensure you make the best choice for your business that meets your needs for both the short and long-term. Ask for the technical roadmap of the products – if they don’t have one, that is a red flag 🚩🚩🚩.
Ensure you are getting the highest standards in data accessibility, reliability and performance – Is the batching software built using the latest cloud technologies? Inquire about the tools they use to offer proper support service, and confirm the findings by visiting or speaking with an existing customer. Is the batching hardware and software an open platform, can you easily get data out to leverage the rich business intelligence hidden inside? If the answer is ‘No’ or ‘too expensive’, move along 🚩🚩🚩.
Last but not least, what are your pricing models? Can you turn this into an OpEx instead of CapEx to avoid the huge upfront costs and get in on tax benefits?