The Bristol Group, known for their industrial and commercial design-build services, established their first precast manufacturing of concrete wall panels in 2003. Bristol’s precast elements have been used in dam rehabilitation projects, highway sound barriers, warehouses, manufacturing facilities, commercial offices, parking garages and multi-story residential and commercial projects. Today, more than 60 % of Bristol’s production is delivered to time sensitive projects where Bristol provides engineering, architecture and active management of the construction project.
During his investigation for the project, Todd Ball met with worldwide precast specialist, the MCT Italy, and discussed his needs. MCT team, using the customer’s ideas and requirements, engineered a thorough design of the concrete production and distribution systems integrated with the factory layout envisaged by the Bristol Group. The design allowed for several stages of site development, in order to meet the current and future client needs and budgets.
Great example of excellent collaboration
In cooperation with the customer, the plant development started with the integration of MCT’s equipment and control system into the total the precast building structure, minimizing the structural needs and contained costs and materials. Together, MCT and Bristol’s engineering departments worked out the specifications for the final site development. Once this was achieved it enabled MCT to then work backwards and split the project into phases, creating several layouts to develop each of the planned stages for the production site.
The first phase was developed with the design of the aggregates storage unit made out of four compartments with an approximate capacity of 25 cu.yd (20 m3) for the feeding with a wheeled loader and already designed for the future expansion in terms of capacity and by the installation of aggregates loading system and plant enclosure by cladding. Also the future installation of pigments dosing units and special aggregates stations was foreseen in the design of the aggregates weighbatching conveyor system.
The dosed aggregates are then transferred to the mixing section by an incline conveyor belt already predisposed for the feeding of 2 mixers.
The mixing section was engineered to fit and be integrated in the precast building section. The design of this plant section allows for the installation of a 4.5 cu.yd (3.3 m3) output twin shaft mixer for the production of structural concrete and installed in phase #1, and a 2.5 cu.yd (2.0 m3) planetary mixer for special and colored concrete, which will be installed in phase #2.
“The design of the mixing section of this plant is a great example of the excellent collaboration created between MCT and Bristol Groups engineering departments” comments Eng. Alessandro DiCesare, Area Manager for MCT in North America, “the flow of information and constructive specifications - worked out through different design platforms - was very smooth and efficient. The result of this synergy proved to be very efficient during the installation phase, with a very quick erection and commissioning of all the components”.
High quality of the equipment
The batch plant also features a future stage for the installation of an automatic concrete distribution system with flying buckets and casting machines, with both the mixing section and the production building already prepared for the bullet rail tracks, also allowing future expansions of the production halls. The current layout was developed for concrete delivery by ready mix trucks, featuring a concrete holding hopper designed to be removable for the future passage of flying buckets, leaving the plant with the highest flexibility in all its development stages.
This new plant design and automation currently allows the Bristol Group to increase its production capacity to 3 million square feet (280.000 m2) of precast components annually. The initial phase has 35,000 square feet (3.200 m2) with future expansion plans which will double that footprint within 3-5 years.
“We interviewed five vendors for the design and installation of our concrete production equipment. Three US based manufacturers and two European. We found MCT had a competitive quote, but more importantly they worked with our in-house engineers and architects to deliver the most comprehensive proposal based on the design-build approach that we find so valuable to our customers. Another key was the U.S. based member of the MCT team with years of plant construction experience that gave us even more confidence.And after 18 months of operations, we have been very pleased with the quality of the equipment.” says Todd Ball, Bristol Group President.
More durable, efficient and attractive buildings
At this new plant, precast components can be produced while grading and foundations are in progress at various customer project sites. These components are cast indoors without delay and erected year-round, almost independent of weather conditions.
The new Bristol-MCT Plant, certified by the Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute, allowing Bristol to produce the highest quality precast wall panels available in their market area. They can now produce more durable, more efficient and more attractive buildings. With their MCT state of the art, technology driven manufacturing facility they: Reduce risks with indoor production, Reduce costs and Yield the High Quality concrete with consistency.
“The alliance and friendship built between our dynamic companies throughout the project development was outstanding” continues Eng. Alessandro DiCesare, “and we are truly proud to support the Bristol Group. Our visions and business approach are very similar, being that we are both design-build companies placing great attention on project details and the relationship with our business partners”.