Best Practice

LOCATION: Readymix or mortar plant ARTICLE YEAR 2008
ACTIVITY: Production and Processing COMPANY: Lafarge Readymix
SUB ACTIVITY: Aggregate processing COMPANY LOCATION: M1 Mobile Plant, Hemel Hempsted
Self cleaning panmixer – a batcher’s dream come true
The Readymix sector has always been aware of the dangers that are presented from panmixer cleaning. This is because it can involve operatives climbing inside the unit which has caused a number of injuries such as slips, trips and falls, contact with fresh concrete, manual handling injuries and
being struck by the objects contained in the unit.

Automatic washout systems have helped improve the situation but there is still a need for an operative to manually clean them.

The plant supplier McCrory Engineering suggested a system to overcome this problem. The system incorporates three retractable cleaning heads that withdraw from the panmixer to prevent any clogging. The heads are driven into position and held in place within the mixer using the water pressure from the washer pumps. Training was given to the operatives when the new plant was installed that covered how to use the equipment and the level of cleanliness expected. The cleaning process was nearly resolved, but a final process was added – a release agent, which is applied daily to help stop concrete sticking to the inside of mixers.

The panmixer is now almost fully cleaned. Operatives only have to apply the washout system, lift the lid of the pan and clean around the door seals with the high pressure lance. They then reapply the release agent ready for the next day’s operation. This successful trial has resulted in the panmixer only needing to be serviced weekly and it has reduced the cleaning time from 40 to 10 minutes.
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