Concrete Equipment: Maintaining Concrete Mixers

Concrete Mixing and Hauling Equipment

Concrete equipment is a large investment for a company. This is why it is so important for business owners to properly maintain their investment. One of the most commonly used pieces of equipment in the concrete industry is the concrete mixer. When properly maintained, concrete mixers will operate efficiently for many years.

Proper maintenance begins with the operator’s knowledge of machine operation and capability of troubleshooting potential problems. However, the most important aspect of ensuring that any concrete equipment has a long life is routine maintenance.

Concrete Equipment Maintenance Essentials

Concrete mixers are fairly simple by design, but do have several moving parts that require attention; the first of which is the drum. Dried concrete left inside the drum of the mixer can be detrimental to the machine itself. Over time, dried concrete will coat the inside of the drum and reduce its capacity.

While this sounds like a simple issue to fix, it is very difficult to remove dried on concrete residue from the inside of the drum. In fact, the drum can be damaged if attempts are made to remove dried material using hammers or chisels. The best idea is to take measures to prevent this build up in the first place.

Concrete can be removed from the inside of the mixers drum by using a pressure washer or simple garden hose with a sprayer attachment. Simply spraying out the inside of the drum while it is rotating will do the job. Obviously, this is not going to work well if the concrete is allowed to dry, so it is important to do this before the concrete begins to dry after every time the concrete mixer is used.

Concrete Machinery Monitoring Systems

No matter how well you maintain your concrete equipment, problems are bound to occur. Even the most experienced operators may not recognize the potential issue until it is too late. Modern technology allows machinery owners to see what’s going on inside.

Condition monitoring dashboards are becoming increasingly popular in the concrete industry as well as other industries that routinely use industrial machinery. These systems use innovative software which can provide information such as machine condition, life, potential issues and even location.

This is extremely useful for companies who have a large fleet of machines as the system will alert a central office of the specific machine affected and specifics as to the potential problem.

Recover Concrete Equipment That Was Not Properly Maintained

It is always a better idea to routinely practice preventative maintenance measures, but when concrete machinery has not been maintained properly, what can an equipment owner do?

Sure, you could get the jackhammer out and begin chipping away at the dried on concrete. This is likely to damage the equipment. However, options are limited at this stage in the game.

A better option could be to look into a company offering chemical concrete removal and pressure washing services. This method can be pretty expensive which is why preventative maintenance and proper cleaning of concrete equipment is so important.

There are even companies that offer concrete chipping services used to remove dried concrete build up. They use smaller cutting tools to chip away at the hardened concrete until it is all removed. Although effective, this is also a much more expensive alternative to preventative maintenance.

Proper Maintenance For Welders and Welding Equipment

Welder
Welder

Welders and Welding Equipment

Welding equipment is often used in construction, automotive, fabrication, farming and other industries where dirt and oils are present and equipment usage can be tough. Routine maintenance on welders is often overlooked, but is extremely important to ensure the longevity of the equipment.

Not only is operation efficiency compromised without proper maintenance, but operator safety is also at risk if routine maintenance is ignored. For this reason, some proper welder maintenance and safety concerns will be covered in the following paragraphs.

Operating Welders Safely

The most important thing to do with any piece of equipment is to get to know your machinery by reading the operator’s manual included with it. Safety precautions will always be in a section of its own.
When in doubt, contact the manufacturer.

Basics For Efficient Welding Equipment Maintenance

Grounding the welder is important for both operator and the welding equipment safety. If the machinery is not properly grounded, there is great risk of electrical shock to the operator. The first thing to remember is to avoid water and wet working conditions because water is an excellent conductor of electricity; even using welders when sweating excessively can be dangerous for the same reason. Standing on a rubber mat or wooden surface is the best possible scenario. When working outdoors, standing on dirt or concrete can also work well as long as the surface is dry.

Loose connections and bare spots on cables are a hazard and should be inspected daily.

Grounding the equipment itself can be accomplished by connecting one end of the grounding cable to a metal stud on the machinery. The other end should be connected to a metal stake, driven into the earth.

Inspection of welder components is important to ensure proper operation and avoidance of a number of potential safety issues.

Cables should be inspected daily for leaks or signs of excessive ware. Worn or leaking cables should be replaced immediately.

Wire feeders should be inspected to ensure the electrode drive rolls are clean and free from dirt or debris. They should be inspected, cleaned, adjusted or changed only when the equipment is off. Inlet and outlet guides should also be inspected, cleaned and replaced in the same manner.

Torch and gun assembly should be inspected routinely by a trained professional. This is to ensure the proper mixing of gasses and pressure. The condition of the gun should always be inspected by the operator, before each use. Any issues should be reported to maintenance right away.

Welder power sources should be disconnected from the power source and either blown or vacuumed out approximately every six months under moderate usage conditions.
Electrode holders should be fully insulated and should not have protruding screws.
Fully insulated lock type connectors should always be used when connecting welding cables.

Electrodes used in MIG welders, arc welders and TIG welders can get hot when the power source is switched on. The electrode wire should never be touched when the power is on – or for a period of time after powered off.

Electrical safety devices such as circuit breakers and interlocks should be connected and inspected routinely only when power is off.?Terminals and electrical parts should all have insulated covers.

Gas Cylinders and regulators should be inspected daily for damage and leakage. Any faulty components found, should be replaced immediately by trained professionals.

Proper maintenance of all machinery utilized in industrial applications is the job of the operator, supervisors and the maintenance department. Welders and welding equipment are not exempt.