“Continuous measuring while the concrete is mixed ensures the right quality and minimises waste and disagreement. The idea has become a sales success”, says Niels Høll Nielsen from Convi Aps which has involved FORCE Technology as a product developer.

Mixing good concrete has always been a question of having the proper ingredients, wide experience and technical ingenuity and flair among the professionals. However, it has never been quite enough to guarantee a uniform quality.

Niels Høll Nielsen from Convi Aps had mulled over this fact for a number of years, and gradually an idea started to take shape. If wireless measurements of selected parameters were made continuously during the mixing process, it would be possible to adjust the concrete mixture on an ongoing basis which would result in a uniform concrete quality.

The advantages were obvious: Minimising waste and a better and nicer looking product. In addition, the measurements could be used as documentation and in this way put and end to the never-ending discussions between mixers and users in the event that the concrete delivered did not live up to expectations.

Entrepreneurship

”It was basically a question of process management in environments hard to gain access to – i.e. in the concrete mixer. Via consistency measuring of the concrete the data are to be transferred by wireless communication so that the mixing process can be monitored and corrections can be implemented if required. I knew FORCE Technology and contacted them to discuss how the idea may be realised. FORCE Technology also believed in the idea and actually to such an extent that they invested both development time and financial resources in the project”, says Niels Høll Nielsen.

FORCE Technology accepted the challenge. On the one hand because the project entailed many interesting professional challenges, and on the other hand because the knowledge which FORCE Technology would accumulate in the process could be used in other projects.

The mixing process is monitored by FORCE Technology.

”We found that there was development potential in Niels Høll Nielsen’s idea, and as we possessed expertise from other online process management systems, we succeeded in establishing a test model very quickly. The leading principle is the consistency of the concrete being measured continuously by a probe mounted in the cement mixer. This is made by measuring the resistance impacting the probe when it rotates in the cement mixer. Together with Niels Høll Nielsen we developed the model to the finished product”, says FORCE Technology specialist Jens Denborg.

Sales success guaranteed

In Funen, where Convi Aps is located, there is satisfaction with the idea being realised in collaboration with FORCE Technology. Visco Probe 1, which is the name under which the product is marketed, is patented and is a sales success in Scandinavia and Northern Europe. "But there is potential for more”, assesses Niels Høll Nielsen.