With the new facility in Urmitz near Koblenz, Rhineland-Palatinate, KANN is now operating the 21st production site in Germany after a construction period of 14 months including commissioning of the plants. The facility extends across a paved area totaling approx.50,000 m² and comprises a production building with mixing plant, staff rooms and workshops and a storage area of approx. 26,000 m² in size. An additional storage tent is available for products of extra-high quality. Construction began in mid-2016; 6,000 m³ of concrete were used during the construction phase, and production started in the second half of 2017. Since the beginning of 2018,production has taken place in three shifts by a staff totaling 45; the product portfolio includes terrace slabs ranging from 40 x 40 cm to large formats of up to 100 x 100 cm in size.
Dr. Matthias Liersch, Managing Director, Technology at KANN, says: “The facility is operating smoothly – this is my central message in a nutshell. Cooperation between the different teams – whether from SR Schindler, Ocem, Ubo, Pemat, Teka, Bürkle or Curetec – and our people was very good. The constructive cooperation enabled us to get the new complex production technology up and running successfully.”
Finishing line is the core component of production
Two state-of-the-art finishing lines of identical design with vacuum stacker, grinding line and shot-blasting plant for concrete block slabs, supplied and installed by SR Schindler, a member company of the Topwerk Group, form the core component of the production plant. Over a total length of 170 m, the blanks are transported from the chamber, via the transfer table and flat stacking system, to the two finishing lines. The calibrating machine ensures a smooth bottom side of the slab and therefore constant blank height. The grinding machine consisting of industrial-diamond grinding discs (diameter 140 cm) is operated with recycling water from the water purification system and has a throughput of 4.5 m/min. The chamfering machine comprises four diamond-milling tools; the shot-blasting machine is used to blast the block surfaces with steel shot.
Two 1,400-t hermetic presses for slab dimensions of up to 100 x 100 cm and slab thicknesses ranging from 3.5 cm to 10 cm were supplied by Ocem, including vacuum turner, trays and transport to the climate chamber with independent humidity and temperature control. Each of the 20 chambers includes 750 trays, the aim being to cure the slabs at low humidity and in a hydraulic setting process according to the “first in-first out” principle.
CureControl handles control of the entire plant. Manfred Stadtsholte, Sales Director and shareholder at Curetec, says: “All parameters such as the actual values (temperature and humidity) and set values are displayed and can be adjusted and checked on the unit. The unit additionally displays relevant trend curves in order to visualize the curing process. These data can also be forwarded to an external PC via a suitable interface. Error messages are also displayed.”
A coating and pendulum spray plant from Bürkle is available for creating a more refined surface. The slabs are preheated by means of infrared radiators for a more uniform application of the coating. The 100% UV coating is applied by application rollers prior to hardening by means of UV lamps.
In the final work step, packaging of the ready-to-ship slabs is carried out by a modern packaging machine using industrial robots. For products of up to 60 x 60 cm in size, packaging is exclusively vertical, for larger products and second-grade products, packaging is exclusively horizontal.
The aggregates for the face mix are removed from 22 covered aggregate bins and 12 day bins which are filled in accordance with production requirements. Six enclosed aggregate bins are available for the core concrete components.
Face concrete mixer from Pemat
The mixing and batching plant was designed by Dutch company Ubo Engineering BV. Pemat supplied two PMPM 500 planetary mixers with additional, independently controlled agitator, two PAK 500 skip hoists and two high-pressure cleaning systems for the mixers including high-pressure unit. The patented Pemat PMPM 500 planetary mixer is used for the production of face mix. Independently controlled and continuously adjustable rotor and agitator speeds guarantee a virtually perfect mixing result and are blazing the trail for the mixing technology of the future.
The PMPM 500 ensures excellent disintegration of the mixture including the ultra-fines, ultra-fast homogenization, highest repeatability and highest energy efficiency while at the same time permitting the mixing of ultra-small batch sizes. The PAK skip hoist with tipping bucket scores top marks in terms of flexibility. The skip track was not straight in this application, as an obstacle, or an edge, needed to be overcome and the hoist needed to be operated at variable inclines. This fact played a major role in the plant design. Yet another argument in favor of the skip hoist is effective fall protection provided by a double winch drive system and electronic wire-rope monitoring.
Core concrete mixer from Teka
The Teka THT J-2-VI (2250) high-performance turbine mixer supplied to KANN has a maximum concrete output of 1.5 m³ per cycle and features innovative mixing technology as well as a patented, counter-rotating mixing turbine. The mixing turbine rotates in opposite direction and on a second effective radius relative to the mixing star, thus ensuring thorough mixing of the composition and achieving a high degree of homogenization in an extremely short period of time, while at the same time preventing grain destruction and the resulting change in the grading curve. The mixing star and the rotating discharge and side scrapers continuously feed material to the patented mixing turbine. One of the major advantages compared to other types of mixers is the possibility to produce low-volume and ultra-small batch sizes for special products. The thorough mixing process also results in optimum admixing of the mixing water and nearly linear progression of the measuring curve during moisture measurement.
Markus Gartner, Managing Director at Teka, says: “Our turbine mixer hasproven its worth with numerous renowned manufacturers of concrete products and in a wide variety of different and extremely difficult concretes, such as those with a very high fines content in the aggregates, and with producers requiring low-volume or ultra-small batch sizes. In practical use, special products can be mixed in low-volume batch sizes of less than 10% of the mixer’s maximum filling capacity.” Teka also supplied the tried-and-tested skip hoist, which is capable of discharging unmixed aggregates weighed prior to the mixing process via an additional discharging position.
Contribution to environmental protection
The following companies are also part of the project: Donaldson (with a Torit DCE dust collection system), Scholz (concrete colors), Teleplast (surface coatings) and RheinChemo (admixtures).
The production plants were designed with efficient manufacturing processes, minimized energy expenditure and closed water cycles including water purification system in mind. The production building is heated by means of a floor heating system fed by waste heat recovered from the air compressors. The production facility in Urmitz thus not only meets state-of-the-art requirements in terms of concrete technology and processengineering but also makes a contribution to environmental protection.
Last but not least, its convenient location permits the production facility to obtain the required primary resources from the company’s own nearby gravel plant; in addition, it has a 24-hour permit for three-shift operation.
Die KANN Gruppe zählt zu den führenden Herstellern von Betonprodukten in Deutschland. Ihre Angebotspalette erstreckt sich von Produkten für den Straßen-, Garten- und Landschaftsbau über Rohstoffe und Transportbeton bis hin zu Logistikdienstleistungen. Bundesweit betreibt die KANN Gruppe mit ihren Tochtergesellschaften heute mehr als 60 Produktionsstandorte, an denen ca. 1.200 Mitarbeiter beschäftigt sind.