With the Government’s plans to construct 60,000 kms of road stretches in the next five years, manufacturers of asphalt batch mix plants are gearing up to strengthen the product mix with a wider range of higher capacity plants packed with features to drive operational efficiencies. To meet the construction requirements of the highly time-bound road projects, the plants must be built to ensure maximum levels of heat generation for optimum burning of the mixed aggregates, have advanced burner systems, combustion stability, and the ability to use varied fuels with safety. They must also keep the cost of production per ton as low as possible.
Vibrant Construction Equipments Pvt Ltd has been making vital changes in its plants to cater to the requirement for quick set up time during construction of long stretches of roads. Its range of asphalt batch mix plants ranges from 100 TPH to 260 TPH, informs Kranthi Kumar - MD, Vibrant Construction Equipments.
“Our asphalt batch mix plants are modular in design for ease of transportation in conventional 40-ft containers. Our skid mounted plants facilitate ease of installation with only PCC foundation; this does away with the need for any heavy civil work. He adds, “To cater to our customers’ requirements, we can provide additional features like RAP, modified bitumen, fiber dosing etc.
In the RAP system, we have cold feeding, which means directly feeding into the mixer, through which we can achieve around 25-30% recycled asphalt. Alternatively, hot RAP, which is feeding through dryer drum can achieve upto 35-40% recycled asphalt. By combining cold and hot RAP we can achieve higher recycled asphalt which is around 50-60%. Also we are doing extensive R&D to increase our plants’ efficiency and lower the cost per ton of asphalt production. We have also improved the performance of our burners with the updation in drum flight design.”
Kaushik Engineering Works: Adding High Tech Features
The company is manufacturing both portable and stationary asphalt batch mix plants and asphalt drum mix plants. According to Shah, their products have been getting an encouraging feedback from the users. He informs that high quality asphalt mix is achieved with a correctly proportioned, smooth, and trouble-free aggregate feed. The cold feeder allows both automatic and manual regulation by the operator, and it is possible to regulate the output of each hopper belt separately, as well as to control all belts simultaneously.
As regards the burners, Shah says, “Our asphalt batch mix plants have AIR Automized Burners, which ensure prompt combustion stability, improved combustion efficiency, and reduced air pollution. An added feature is the diffuse disc which ensures that no carbon deposits are formed. The burners can be used with oil, gas, and solid organic fuels. For continuous use,we offer LNG burners, and for cold climates we provide LPG fueled burners. With our burners, liquefied petroleum gas can be used in the same way as diesel.”
He adds, “One of the main features of our burners is their modular design, which enables them to be modified as per the requirements of our customers. For example, we can easily modify a gas burner to an oil burner. In addition, the design allows fast assembly and delivery.”
Kaushik’s asphalt batch mix plants’ counter flow drum features an innovative V-flight design, which, according to the company, ensures greater uniformity of the aggregates during drying. There is better heat transfer, reduced fuel consumption, and increased throughput. The plants are equipped with a hydraulically driven swingout drag and batcher system, which can be set up and made ready for use within 10 minutes or so.
The technology can be seen in Kaushik’s new asphalt plant, which is equipped with a counter flow drum, and can handle a high percentage of RAP to produce high-quality mix. A sophisticated computer control package allows use of different grades of plastics and other waste materials and quantities of RAP; it can also adjust the position of the flights inside the plant to control the gas flow and optimize operating temperatures.
The company is organizing workshops and seminars for its service team to understand the new technologies and provide the required maintenance and after-sales services to the customers.
ALLTECH Group: Producing Hot Mix to Pave India’s Way Towards Growth
Family-owned Indian company ALLTECH has been serving the market for road construction for 15 years, backed by innovations and a strong spirit of entrepreneurship. “Productivity Partnership for a Lifetime is our unshakeable motto,” says Paresh Patel, MD, ALLTECH Group.
“We are the only Indian road construction equipment manufacturer that offers all the technologies in our innovative products. Our company has all the hot mix at rated capacities. This is because of our intensive Research & Development, and the expertise of our engineering team,” he avers.
ALLTECH Group has grown to become a leader in the asphalt batch mixing market by providing Euro standard fabrication. Its UNIBLACK model of asphalt batch mix plants is specially designed for small and medium scale asphalt production, with capacities ranging between 80-240 TPH.
“The popularity of UNIBLACK lies in the fact that the plant guarantees top quality and maximum flexibility,” says Patel. He informs that due to the high flexibility, the plant can be retrofitted as per the site requirements. “We provide facilities in our plants which can help customers to add technologies like Reclaimed Asphalt Addition, Fibre Dosing System, and Warm Mix System, any time. We have also made some design changes in our plants, which now use close to 25% RAC aggregates.”
The company offers comprehensive product support to customers across India with timely maintenance. Says Patel, “We always strive to add new technologies and innovations to achieve sustainability and productivity with an environmentally friendly system, and thereby help India become a technologically strong country. Our plants give ease of maintenance due to the internal liners, and our strong fabrication capabilities give them high structural rigidity and durability.”
These features can be seen in our newly introduced UNIBLACK 3000 of 240 TPH, which has been set up to pave Package 17 of the Delhi-Mumbai Expressway. The plant has integrated new technologies like Fibre Dosing System to produce SMA; and Coal Fire Burner to save fuel cost up to 50%. The plant has been running continuously in two shifts (i.e. 24 hours) and is successfully producing hot mix at its rated capacity.
Ashitech Equipments: Increasing Plant Capacities
Ashitech’s range of asphalt batch mix plants range comprise 80-100-120-160-180-200 TPH plants; the 220 and 240 TPH plants will be the upcoming additions. Says Patel, “70-85% of our orders are from repeat customers, many of whom are graduating towards higher capacity units. So, we are confident that our new plants will meet their requirements. In fact, we have retained many of the features of our 160-200 TPH plants, including the basic design, so that our customers can work comfortably with them.”
He informs that the new higher capacity plants will be supported by advanced technologies; they will be able to utilize close to 25% of the RAP materials, and their completely new mixture design will give a much better-quality mix while reducing mixing time and giving uniform mixing. For ease of installation, the plants’ standard modular design with skid mounted arrangement, will require a simple PCC set up.
“Another competitive feature in the plants will be the advanced burners with a patented design from Pab India, with which we have formed an alliance recently. The burners can generate the maximum level of heat with high pressure flames, while ensuring almost 100% burning of the unused fuels. Our plants will therefore deliver the lowest cost per ton of production.”
Along with introducing new products, the company is also expanding its production facilities. “The rising steel price is a challenge but we do not want to compromise on the quality of our products. So, to remain competitive, we have no choice but to absorb part of the price increase,” says Patel.
Atlas Technologies: Developing New Systems & Solutions
Atlas Technologies has been a frontrunner in innovative solutions and top-of-the-line asphalt batch plants, which range from the smallest capacity 60 TPH to the biggest 260 TPH.
He informs that use of reclaimed asphalt pavement (RAP) in the construction industry is gaining an advantage over conventional materials in terms of sustainable credits. However, the amount of production of RAP and its utilization has no comparison. The general practice is to replace a small fraction of virgin aggregates with RAP, usually restricted to a maximum of 30% in base layers to promote RAP usage in the pavement industry.
Enumerating the benefits of RAP, Bhavesh Patel says, “There is a saving in the cost of aggregate and in the cost of available bitumen in milled RAP. Natural resources are also saved since RAP reduces the requirement of fresh aggregate from mines. Its usage also provides techno-commercial benefits to the users.
Atlas Technologies is providing solutions in both Cold Recycling Systems (RAC) and Warm Recycling Systems (RAH).
In RAC, Cold RA addition via Hot Elevator up to maximum 15% and is a simple and cost-efficient installation.
Cold RA addition via Mixer up-to 25% - 30% Max. RA and aggregates are mixed separately into pug mill. Screen wire-meshes are not affected. It is a simple and cost-effective solution.
In the Warm Recycling Systems (RAH), recycled material feed into RAH Dryer through middle ring (RAP Ring) at a maximum 40-50%. Virgin and RA material are mixed in the dryer before entering the batching / mixing tower. The premixed virgin and RA material have to be by-passed the screen to avoid clogging of the wire-meshes due to the presence of bitumen content in the milled RA material.
Stone Matrix Asphalt (SMA) is a rut resistant mix with stone-to-stone contact. There is no displacement of aggregate structure on the load. The binder content is high; hence it is fatigue resistant and the thick binder film on the aggregate increases its lifetime and better ageing properties.
Advantages of SMA include highly rut resistant for heavy traffic load, longer service life, high wear resistance, resistance to deformation, good for site drainage and frequent failures, increased fatigue life, and noise reduction properties.
Atlas Technologies has also come up with an Automatic Fibrous Granulate Dosing System in the Asphalt Batch Plant. As per IRC guidelines, only palletized cellular fibres shall be utilized as stabilizer additive. The dosage rate for cellulose fibre is 0.3% minimum by weight of the total mix.
As regards burners, the company offers standard burners which are compatible with Diesel and LDO, and also supplies burners that can use fuel like FO, and even gas burners. “The newly developed multi fuel burners work with different fuel options like Diesel, LDO, FO, LSHS, gas and coal. This is first of its kind burner. Normally trolley system burner is available for coal and it is time consuming. Our burners have eliminated this system and saves valuable time. Our burner can also use efficient coal and combine it with any other fuel to achieve higher efficiency,” informs Nilesh Patel.
He further adds, “Speco-Atlas JV first plant of 180 tph capacity is installed and working in India. The screen and mixer is manufactured by Speco Korea. All other components are manufactured by Atlas Technologies Pvt. Ltd. in India. We are able to achieve 100% output from this plant.”
Burner India: Offering New-Generation, Efficient and Environment friendly Advanced Combustion Solutions
Generation of efficient levels of combustion for optimum burning of the wide variety of fuel like FO / LDO / HSD / Bio-Diesel / LPG / PNG / Bio-Gas for aggregates, stable, efficient and clean combustion with safety while keeping low cost of production per ton, are the new requirements of asphalt batch mix plant manufacturers through the burners.
“The demand is for higher levels of heat and higher performance of the plants with better fuel efficiency, reduced emissions, and reduced carbon footprint. To cater to this demand, we are providing a new range of burners with ‘Step Less Modulation Systems’ with the technology from Siemens/Honeywell/Lamtec/Autoflame. These fine tuned PLC’s provided can sense and regulate the levels of O2,CO, CO2, NoX, Sox in the systems; it auto tunes the level of oxygen to administer the desired level of heating of the aggregates.”
The company’s new-generation burners feature a step-less modulation system through electronic controllers with reset for variety of fuels. Says Bhatia, “We are marketing our new step-less solutions to asphalt batch mix plant manufacturers who are making bigger capacity units of 220 -240 TPH or more, and which will be operating continuously for 24 hours.”
The modulation system can be offered between 450 KW to 32 megawatts. According to Bhatia, though the initial cost of plants fitted with the modulation burner systems is higher, but the payback time is very less.
Burner India is also in the conversion system from LDO to gas. “Gas is having more than 96% of burning efficiency. Plus, the advanced design of the conversion system ensures that there is no leakage of fuel in the system and therefore no chance of an explosion. The beauty of the system is that gas can be used in the bottled form or in piped form,” informs Bhatia.
Another new offering is the Thermic Fluid Heating System, which is essentially a heat exchanger for heating of the bitumen. It can be used for plants ranging between 80-480 TPH with one lakh kilo calorie to 25 kcal/hr. “This system functions with a very high level of precision and ensures gradual transfer of heat. What makes the system unique is that the difference between the high and rising temperature is kept constant. This consistent level of heating of the bitumen ensures appropriate bonding of the bitumen with the aggregates. Our customized Thermic Fluid Heating System can be used with coal, wood and other combustible materials,” informs Bhatia.
The company provides end-to-end technical support to the OEMs through over 80 service engineers, who provide complete maintenance to both the domestic and export markets. “To ensure timely availability of parts we even airlift the parts to our customers in case of an emergency situation,” avers Bhatia.
The in-depth sense of how a better combustion system effects on the viability of the project in terms of the cost and quality of mix generated and the most important, its effect on the environment and the combustion system being the heart of the plant, are the thing, no one understands better than us.