ABA UniBatch Helps Construction Firm Rebuild Chinese Roadways
Asphalt manufacturers around the world are required to utilise more recycled asphalt (RAP). The challenge: the high RAP-content mix must meet high quality standards, too.
Shandong Binzhou Road Construction Corp. (SBRCC) in China has faced such demands on a variety of high-profile national highway projects, including the recent rebuild of 50 km of China National Highway 220 (G220), which runs from Binzhou to Zhengzhou.
SBRCC utilised 25 per cent recycled asphalt RAP for base mix as required on the G220 project. The company also met standards for quality, which were frequently monitored.
With the help of the Ammann ABA UniBatch Asphalt-Mixing Plant, the company achieved another objective that would please any business: reduced operating costs. “The fuel savings is significant,” said Lu Shaoli, Site Manager.
Quality RAP-Based Mix
SBRCC is a large company with more than 300 employees, and it tackles high-profile projects. Among those in 2018: road repair of G220 and G205 national highways, revitalisation of a section of the Qinbin Expressway and overhaul of the Qingzi Provincial Road.
National and provincial projects in China have an increased environmental emphasis. For example, the G220 rebuild mandated 150 000 tonnes of asphalt mix with a base layer comprised of 25 per cent recycled materials. The ABA UniBatch, which is capable of utilising up to 60 per cent RAP, was more than qualified for the task.
The plant produced the mix, with both SBRCC officials and governmental authorities closely checking RAP utilisation and quality.
“Our company attaches great importance to recycling,” said Wei Kehong, Deputy Director of SBRCC. “Since the beginning of last year, all recycling mix has been tested in detail. All the test data is in full compliance with national and other regulations. The performance of the Ammann plant is consistent and the quality of the mix is guaranteed.”
The Plant Site
SBRCC operates an impressive facility, which covers an area of 107 000 square metres and includes more than the ABA UniBatch.
“The production site is equipped with an asphalt plant, a stabilised base course mixing plant and a concrete plant,” Shaoli said. “It is a high-standard, modernised, integrated and environmentally friendly comprehensive site. It provides various road materials, recycling materials, prefabrication structural materials and technology research.”
SBRCC closely monitors all phases of the manufacturing process and protects RAP and aggregates. Cold materials are covered and the overflow silo and recycling material buffer are separated.
“Our site has passed the Energy Information Administration, which is the benchmark for environmental protection in Binzhou,” Shaoli said.
Providing quality mix also comes down to consistency – a feature closely scrutinised by SBRCC officials. “The Ammann plant is the most reliable asphalt plant I have ever used,” Shaoli said. “It is very accurate and has a low maintenance rate. It does not delay our production plan, and the project owners are very satisfied.”
Operator Yuan Yongbo believes consistency is essential to success. “I think the most important thing for an asphalt plant is stability,” Yongbo said. “The zero downtime and continuous production are more important than the capacity. For this plant, the maintenance rate is very low, which guarantees our continuous production.”
Still, the plant’s output is impressive. “The productivity can even exceed 330 tonnes for coarse materials per hour, and the capacity of the mixer can reach up to 4.3 tonnes,” Yongbo said.
That production is provided in a cost-effective manner. “The plant is energy efficient,” Kehong said. “Including the RAP system, the total installed power is only 800 kW, which is lower than other comparable plants.”
While a great fit on the G220 project, the ABA UniBatch is built to handle requirements that could surface on other projects. “This plant can meet my various requirements for mix materials, including asphalt, stone mastic asphalt (SMA), large black crushed material, hot recycling materials, and so on,” said Shaoli.
as1 Control System
Ammann’s proprietary as1 Control System is key to effortless operation of the plant, according to Yongbo. “The system is great,” he said. “The interface is very intuitive and easy to understand. It has manual, semi-automatic and fully automatic settings. It is very easy to use and also can be fine-tuned manually.”
Monitoring the various manufacturing phases is easy, too. “The plant is designed for a continuous level sensor,” Yongbo said. “I can easily see the material level in the silo. I can also see trends for each material and then send feedback to the loading area. They can adjust the loading of certain aggregates to keep the flow consistent.”
Ammann After Sales support has been impressive as well. “You can reach it 24 hours a day,” Kehong said.
For Yongbo, much has been gained – but there is still much to learn. “The as1 has many powerful tools, and I am still learning,” he said. “We will actively participate in the winter training organised by Ammann to continuously improve ourselves.”