OPEN FOR BUSINESS – Retrofit Helps Plant Operate More Efficiently
Meier Company turned to a retrofit from Ammann when it wanted to get more out of its existing plant. The result was tonnes of improvement – literally.
“Before we had four load-out silos with an overall capacity of 280 tonnes,” said Michael Stemplinger, Technical Manager at Meier Company, an asphalt producer located in Rotthalmünster, Germany. “Now we have eight different silos with a total capacity of 640 tonnes.”
The additional silos provided more than storage. They also greatly improved the flexibility of the business.
“In the last 20 years, requirements from governments have changed and there is a need to produce more varied hot mixes with different materials and additional types of bitumen,” Stemplinger said. “We mix a lot of small batches. We rarely have large orders, but often many orders for small amounts. Every day we mix 10 to 15 different types of asphalt, and that is why we need high flexibility.”
Working within the existing site’s footprint posed some challenges. They were deftly handled by the highly regarded Ammann retrofit team, which was on-site to help. The decision was made to put a new, separate silo in the mixing tower. This required some engineering but Meier Company and Ammann found solutions together.
“The biggest challenge was that we decided to retrofit the plant while continuing the operation of the business,” Stemplinger said. “The installation of the new silos was done while still mixing asphalt. During this time we used a shift operation. We produced asphalt from 6 a.m. until 2 p.m. After 2 p.m., we started the retrofit work.”
The retrofit has made the plant more profitable. Mix can be produced days in advance because of the improved storage capacity, which leads to fewer interruptions and more efficiency during daily operation. Bulk mix can be prepared and stored. There no longer is a need to shut down the plant when there is a smaller customer in between larger orders.
“We are very satisfied with the retrofit,” Stemplinger said. “The plant is running without any problems. The operators have adjusted and are working with the new plant. We achieved what we wanted.”