Tag Archive for 'Demolition'

Bridging Safety and Productivity with Modern Solution

Using High-Tech Demolition Increases Productivity and Safety in Bridge Work

By  Lars Lindgren

Every day in the United States, 188 million vehicles pass over a structurally deficient bridge. Each year, hundreds of injuries and even deaths occur from decaying infrastructure. It’s a major problem – and one that’s been well documented by the American Society of Civil Engineers. 

Out of over 614,000 U.S. bridges, almost 40 percent are 50 years or older and 9.1 percent are structurally deficient. A recent estimate lists the U.S.’ backlog of bridge rehabilitation needs at $123 billion. 

When infrastructure funding comes through, contractors need to be ready with the fastest, most productive options to take on the heavy, urgent workload. 

In certain cases, a remote-controlled unit equipped with a breaker attachment and controlled by an operator and one spotter can break up 2 square feet of bridge deck concrete in 15 minutes. The same area in the same amount of time would require three workers with handheld tools.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

More and more are turning to remote-controlled demolition and hydrodemolition machines as solutions. After experiencing worker shortages, increasing workers’ compensation claims and growing insurance premiums, the higher cost of the equipment starts to take a backseat. Remote-controlled machines provide more safety, productivity and efficiency for removing concrete around rebar than handheld tools, mini excavators, and backhoes. That adds up to a fast ROI.

Improved Productivity

Traditional bridge deck work involves a lot of workers with handheld pneumatic tools breaking through concrete to expose the rebar below. A major limitation of handheld tools is the operators. A person can’t apply nearly as much force into the tool or do so as consistently as a remote-controlled demolition machine can. Although machines don’t fatigue, operators do – and they do so incredibly faster when powering a jackhammer as opposed to operating a control box fastened around their waist. 

Some hydrodemolition models can remove as much as 800 square feet of bridge deck at a depth of 4 inches per hour, a fraction of the time it would take a crew of workers with jackhammers to accomplish the same thing.

Remote-controlled demolition machines come in varying configurations and weights so that the most productive option can be matched to each job. In addition, contractors can choose between electric- and diesel-powered models.

Remote-controlled demolition robots cut the number of necessary laborers and speed up the concrete removal process. In certain cases, a remote-controlled unit equipped with a breaker attachment and controlled by an operator and one spotter can break up 2 square feet of bridge deck concrete in 15 minutes. The same area in the same amount of time would require three workers with handheld tools. Productivity is increased as a result, reducing labor costs by about 33 percent while accomplishing the task in less time. 

Some hydrodemolition robots use jets of water at pressures of about 20,000 psi to quickly remove layers of concrete.

Innovative remote-controlled hydrodemolition robots are an emerging method offering similar benefits to the more established remote-controlled demolition machines. Some hydrodemolition models can remove as much as 800 square feet of bridge deck at a depth of 4 inches per hour, a fraction of the time it would take a crew of workers with jackhammers to accomplish the same thing.

The result of either type of equipment is hours, if not days, of savings over the course of a job. That adds up to potential bonuses for early completion as well as improved chances at more contracts. 

Damage-Free Rebar

When it comes to bridge or road repair and rehabilitation the need for precision and minimal microfracturing are major considerations. Handheld tools combined with operator error simply don’t make the cut. Similarly, an excavator paired with demolition tools lacks the precision to effectively accomplish the task without damaging rebar. In this instance, hydrodemolition robots shine. 

Hydrodemolition is devastating to concrete but leaves rebar clean and unscathed

The technology virtually eliminates the possibility of unintended damage during bridge repair or rehabilitation. Typically, jets of water at pressures of about 20,000 psi are directed at the surface of the bridge deck, quickly removing layers of concrete but leaving rebar unscathed and clean. There’s no need to spend extra time carefully avoiding rebar because the high-pressure water­ – though devastating to concrete – doesn’t damage the metal bars. This maintains bridge safety and saves time and money replacing and repairing damaged rebar – a process that can delay a project by days and cost tens of thousands of dollars in repair. The method also doesn’t cause vibrations, eliminating the possibility of microfracturing that could threaten bridge stability.

Hydrodemolition is devastating to concrete but leaves rebar clean and unscathed

In some applications limited in scope, remote-controlled demolition machines’ offer the ability to perform precise “dental” work on bridge decks. Because the force of the breaker is matched to the robot and can be adjusted based on the conditions, the possibility of damaging the underlying rebar during concrete removal is drastically reduced. 

Less Manual Labor, More Safety

Even the most productive tool needs an operator. As the workforce ages, contractors are having difficulty recruiting younger workers pivotal to helping meet the infrastructure demands to come. Remote-controlled robots can help attract millennials by appealing to their fondness for technology and innovation. As a result, they are often fast-learners with the equipment. 

Improved safety from the high-tech equipment also helps recruit new workers and retain existing employees. Remote-controlled demolition and hydrodemolition robots allow laborers to monitor their work a safe distance from flying debris and edges that pose a falling risk. The elimination of the need to stand next to a ledge also means contractors can minimize setting up fall protection systems. In addition, where large equipment such as excavators require multiple lane closures, demolition robots typically only require one lane closure, minimizing traffic impact. 

Also consider worker strain from handheld pneumatic tools, such as rivet busters, that can result in more workers’ comp claims and cause insurance premiums to skyrocket. The equipment’s heavy vibrations can lead to injuries such as carpal tunnel syndrome, nerve damage and hand-arm vibration syndrome. Remote equipment eliminates that risk and prevents fatigue-related mistakes and injuries common after long periods of time operating handheld tools. The machines’ safety benefits mean some companies receive insurance discounts when adding such equipment to their fleets because the provider sees how safety on the jobsite has improved.

Remote-controlled demolition machines’ offer the ability to perform precise “dental” work on bridge decks. Because the force of the breaker is matched to the robot and can be adjusted based on the conditions, the possibility of damaging the underlying rebar during concrete removal is drastically reduced. 
 

Advanced Solutions

Until infrastructure funding is passed, the number of bridges in dire need of repair will continue to skyrocket. However, funding will eventually need to be addressed and these structures repaired before liabilities escalate. Contractors that prepare, plan and incorporate technology solutions into their business will be able to successfully, efficiently and profitably address these needs. 

KINSHOFER Completes Product Range, Gains Breaker Line with Acquisition of Hammer

KINSHOFER, a leading global manufacturer of high-quality excavator and loader crane attachments, is expanding its product line to include hydraulic breaker excavator attachments following the acquisition of Hammer SRL, an Italy-based manufacturer of demolition, excavation, recycling, and material handling attachments. KINSHOFER chose the company because of its reputation for quality and more than 30 years of experience in the market. The new line includes 22 breakers for carriers from .5 ton to 200 tons and joins an already expansive line of KINSHOFER tools.

KINSHOFER announced the acquisition and debuted the new breaker line at World of Concrete 2019.

“These breakers allow us to offer our customers access to a full range of attachments all in one place,” said Francois Martin, KINSHOFER North America general manager. “Hammer will be a great addition to our group of companies, bringing with them high-quality attachments and a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility.”

The breakers are made up of the KSB Series for carriers from .5 ton to 12 tons and the KFX Series for weights from 8 to 200 tons. Each line includes features to improve operator comfort, reduce wear and improve longevity. The acquisition also includes a variety of grapples, buckets and more. These will serve as an alternative to KINSHOFER’s premium attachment line for the price-restricted customer.

The Hammer management team will stay in its entirety and will continue manufacturing in Italy. Hammer and KINSHOFER will add additional staff to ensure a smooth launch of Hammer’s products and services worldwide through KINSHOFER’s global network.

The acquisition of Hammer demonstrates KINSHOFER’s commitment to being a global leader in the attachments industry and bringing customers only the best tools. Hammer brings extensive experience designing and manufacturing attachments for a variety of carrier types. Like KINSHOFER, the manufacturer uses strict quality control during the entire process, from a careful examination of the steel to be used to the actual creation of the attachment. That attention to quality was a primary reason KINSHOFER chose Hammer.

“We send representatives to every manufacturing facility we acquire to ensure quality standards are consistent,” Martin said. “It’s important to us that our customers receive only the best. It’s why we offer a broad two-year warranty on all of our attachments, including the new breaker line.”

Hammer attachments will retain branding in Europe but will be marked KINSHOFER in North America.

All KINSHOFER attachments are backed by a two-year warranty.

About KINSHOFER

KINSHOFER is one of the world’s leading sources of high-quality attachments for excavators and loader cranes. Founded in Germany in 1971, the KINSHOFER Group includes the Demarec,RF Systems, Auger Torque, Doherty and Solesbee’s brands. KINSHOFER offers a wide product range with just about every type of attachment for equipment carriers with and without hydraulics in industries as diverse as scrap, demolition, railway, landscaping, construction, snow clearing, excavating, road building, forestry, tire recycling, and biomass. For more information: Kinshofer USA, 6420 Inducon Drive, Suite G, Sanborn, NY 14132; 800-268-9525; sales-usa@kinshofer.com; www.kinshofer.com

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