Efficient production through modernized aerated concrete plants

April 15, 2020

In the last few years the demand for autoclaved aerated concrete has been increasing. The many advantages of this material are becoming more and more known and popular, not only in Europe but also worldwide. Due to extensive operational as well as technological development over –recent decades, many production facilities for AAC now find themselves to be outdated. These facilities lack the efficiency of their modern counterparts and consequently struggle to compete on quality, output, and costs. At this point the plant managers are now faced with a difficult decision in order to meet the growing demand for autoclaved aerated concrete products: Do we invest in new plants, or can we continue to use our existing ones? HESS AAC SYSTEMS offers a wide range of options to modernize and improve existing plants precisely for this case.

The history of autoclaved aerated concrete is more established than one might think given the surge in worldwide demand over the last few years. Many companies have a long history of producing in this industry sector for many decades, but they now find their plants struggling to keep up with the increasing demand. Equipment fatigue creates higher operational cost in production, and the innovative technical equipment developments render older methods inefficient compared to competitive plants with newer the latest versions of production equipment technology. Energy efficiency, maintenance costs, product quality, and the number of workers required for newer equipment put further stress on older versions to keep pace. It is little wonder that many companies first are considering the idea of investing in new plants with modern equipment systems as the quickest way to catch up. Although this is an obvious and optimal solution at first glance, it is often wiser to consider other options as well.

Integration of modern technologies into existing production lines
HESS AAC SYSTEMS, as the leading company in the field of autoclaved aerated concrete, offers both production machines and complete plants for new production facilities; as well as, smart retrofits and upgrades for existing plants. Some plants are already designed for an almost perpetual service life, which is why it may only require certain components to be replaced there in the event of wear and tear. This may include the development of optimal financial and technical solutions for existing lever cutting machines. With others, the conversion is worthwhile in order to specifically increase product quality and production efficiency. 

At the same time, the upgrade does not require any fundamental changes to the existing logistics and production processes. For the modernization, current manufacturing conditions are analyzed, and the retrofit is planned and prepared precisely. Here, the planning benefits from more than 40 years of experience of HESS AAC SYSTEMS, and this know-how enables specific practical solutions to be identified that are compatible with the existing plant logistics. After the detailed analysis, machine drawings are created in a second step and coordinated with the technical department of the manufacturer. Subsequently, the mechanical equipment is connected to a PLC-based control system to perform a test of all conversion components in idle mode before the modernization is finally implemented.

From the new cutting table to vertical wire tensioning units
To improve the product quality and reliability of the equipment, cutting machines can be converted in various ways. These include, for example: A new cutting table with movable bridges; a new needle set with rectangular arrangement; replacement of the cutting shafts; a new vertical wire tensioning unit; an improved control system; or, an optimized hydraulic system.

Modifications from old to new production systems are sometimes accompanied by a generational leap in technology, such as when changing from a previous relay control system to a Siemens S7 TIA portal PLC system with fail-safe operating functions. But such developments are worthwhile in order to increase one's own competitiveness. Only in this way can an autoclaved aerated concrete manufacturer remain a strong competitor and meet the rapidly increasing demand.
The complete article can be found in the

AAC Worldwide 02/2020



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