Strong Local Presence Essential for Company
Thomas Beton numbers among the leading producers of high-quality ready-mix concrete in northern Germany. Every day, the company’s fleet delivers concrete for residential, commercial and industrial building projects, and also for infrastructure and agricultural construction. Customers are equally welcome to collect their own concrete.
Thomas Beton is following a strategy based on strengthening its local presence, underpinned by continuing good economic conditions in the construction sector. Physical proximity to customers and construction sites ensures a key competitive edge in the concrete market, and shorter transportation distances are also a significant environmental factor. That’s why Thomas Beton now produces concrete at 26 facilities across the German states of Schleswig-Holstein, Hamburg, Bremen and Lower Saxony.
When the firm was prepared to build a new facility in Elmshorn, its CEO, B. Rainer Brings, approached Ammann – which had already supplied plants for eight Thomas facilities. These two companies can look back on several decades of positive collaboration.
The Swiss construction machinery manufacturer’s portfolio includes the Ammann CBS Elba series of stationary concrete-mixing plants featuring highly flexible modular technology. Here was the ideal solution to meet Thomas Beton’s needs: the Ammann CBS 120 SL Elba Concrete-Mixing Plant featuring a frequency-controlled skip hoist. It offers theoretical output of up to 121 m³ per hour yet has minimal space requirements – fully in line with the customer’s expectations. Most of the components are galvanised to ensure maximum protection against corrosion.
For the mixing system, the customer opted for the Ammann CEM 2660 S Elba Single-Shaft Compulsory Mixer. Thanks to the proven advantages of the double helix, mixers in this series have operated successfully across the globe for decades. High mixing intensity and fast homogenisation are their hallmarks. An additional cleaning system makes maintenance work considerably easier, contributing to a very comfortable overall user experience for plant operators. As Brings confirms: “Simple operation and good access for maintenance were key factors in our decision to purchase this plant. We’ve had many decades of good experience with Ammann products. Their service and supplies of spare parts are also excellent.”
Due to on-site conditions at Elmshorn, the Ammann CEL 210/6 Elba Linear Storage Bin was lowered by three metres to allow grade-level filling. This eliminated the need for an approach ramp, and additives such as steel fibres are now discharged directly onto the weighing belt at grade level. The opposite filling opening was increased to optimise filling and utilisation of the chamber volume. The segment dosing seals are operated pneumatically, and their opening width can be adjusted freely. Thomas Beton is fully aware of the customer benefits of so much flexibility: “The flexible plant design – as seen in features such as additive storage – was definitely a criterion for our decision to purchase. Now, we are also able to handle the production of special concrete varieties and other difficult assignments with the accustomed quality,” Brings notes.
Project processing and assembly went well for the customer, as is usually the case. Thomas Beton already has positive experience with the Ammann CBS Elba plant, so the specifications were defined quickly and construction of the customised plant got off to a prompt start. In its basic version, the Ammann CBS Elba plant is installed on concrete foundations, but mounting on a steel frame without foundations is equally possible. Chamber walls and partitions are keyed for assembly of the linear batcher. Pre-installation of components such as the skip hoist track and the segment dosing seals saves time on-site – and reduced transportation costs improve what is already an excellent price/performance ratio.
Although high summer temperatures prevailed when the plant was commissioned in July 2018, it is designed to withstand winter conditions. Even at midwinter temperatures, smooth mixing operation is ensured by the insulated housing together with a hot air/hot water system to heat the aggregates in the linear batcher and the feed water needed for the concrete.
Brings is satisfied with the new plant – already the ninth Ammann-Elba solution to take its place in a Thomas Beton concrete facility. And, in collaboration with Ammann customer advisors, he is already working on plans for another new facility.