Apr 24, 2023
Productivity from CONEXPO-CON/AGG
This being the first issue of AsphaltPro Magazine since CONEXPO-CON/AGG 2023 compels me to highlight the industry’s largest tradeshow and conference in some fashion. We provided a quick summary of what stood out from March 14-18 on theasphaltpro.com blog, but we’ll continue coverage by including new products and services seen around the tradeshow floor in the upcoming product gallery departments this summer.
I’m aware that what you want to know is how you can apply any of the information from the show to your operation. While I saw an ungodly amount of battery-operated equipment with promises of robust charging systems to accompany it, I also visited with contractors and original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) who are working in the real world right now with equipment that directly supports the bottom line.
Take Kenco Engineering Inc. of Roseville, California, for example. You probably know Kenco offers wear solutions for equipment and plant components. My visit to their booth gave me a chance to touch different sizes of the tungsten carbide impregnated (TCI) strips used to protect loader buckets, augers, drag floors, impact rotors and a host of wear points around the asphalt plant. By shoring up his wheel loader bucket with TCI wear parts, a contractor not only wear-proofed a component that outlasted the tractor, but he also created a component that required no additional maintenance during the life of the tractor. He removed travel time, downtime and safety issues associated with repairing the loader bucket for years. When the tractor was ready for retirement, the contractor moved the bucket to the next machine.
Take Process Heating Co. of Seattle as another example. While this company has manufactured lo-density, drywell style electric heating for decades to facilitate emissions-free tank heating that discourages coking of material against elements, the industry has begun partnering with them to distribute this technology across a range of products. Readers may remember us reporting on the use of PHCo’s heating tubes in distributor trucks in recent years. The team at Leeboy has seen the wisdom of this and added the PHCo technology to its Maximizer distributor truck. PHCo’s Dan Simpson pointed out this gives the contractor more room for material in the tank. The drywell tubes can be placed lower down in the tank than the flue where a flame used to reside. With the heaters lower in the belly of the tank, the contractor can draw material lower down as well.
Along with efficiencies like these in the field, OEMs talked about subtle efficiencies built into products and designs. One example of that is the Gencor Ultralogiks™ plant controls. Looking at the display screens in the control house set up in the Gencor booth showcased the simplicity of the design. Mousing through screens made sense. Graphics matched components. Information was clear and concise. It was the kind of system either a novice or veteran plant operator could follow efficiently for a day’s production.
And that’s the bottom line.
These are just a handful of examples, but the show was filled with conversations and demonstrations of how to apply some new technology or some new idea to make business more efficient, safer and more productive to enhance the bottom line. We’ll keep sharing as we build upon the tips and ideas we gathered for you.