Quality control of the concrete mixing process and the concrete itself are essential parts of each concrete manufacturer´s everyday’ s life. Quality control provides information to supervising authorities, e. g. allows to trace concrete batches and ensures that the production complies with the actual standards and with this, as far the influence of the concrete quality is concerned, the safety of concrete constructions.
Whenever concrete samples are taken, the data is recorded by the quality control system. The fresh concrete samples are used for measurements of the temperature, eventually the air content and slump/spread, the hardened concrete in the shape of cylinders or cubes is used for compressive strength tests.
There are a lot of different control software and systems available where the simplest versions use an Excel file to manually be filled in. A high quality control software should be able to automatically collect numerous data.
The four most important features, in our opinion defining a high quality control software, are those listed below.
Concrete information is always transferred automatically from the control system to the quality control software. The more of the information is imported automatically, the lower the possibility of errors.
In addition to the automated system, a good quality control software is able to connect multiple control systems and factories by using the same system. This further reduces the risk of errors, reduces the daily manual work and allows permanent data monitoring.
The more comprehensive the quality control information can be transferred from the control system, the more functions can be automated. For example, the number and necessity to take samples can be easily monitored by the systems automatic addition of the production volumes of each mix-design. A good quality, intelligent system automatically gives notice whenever a concrete sample of a concrete family has to be taken.
Automation also makes it possible to compile various task lists, which are discussed in more detail in the next section.
2. Task lists
Good concrete quality control software is able to generate automatic task lists for the user in an easy and reliable way. In this case, no one needs to rely on his own memory - the software takes care of the reminder.
In practice, this works, by making a report of a concrete sample where measurement data of the fresh concrete sample and the cylinder/cube are put in.
The system then reminds you, for example, by giving the following notice:
“It is now seven/twenty eight days since the sample x was taken, it´s time to make a compressive strength test for this sample”.
Producing reports from data entered into the system is one of the most important features of a good concrete quality control software. Tens or even hundreds of samples are taken at each factory every year, therefore reliable gathering of data for all kind of reports required is really important.
Reports allows the user to have the information collected at a glance, which helps to anticipate future developments. An individual report can be, for example, a compilation of the recipes from which samples have been taken and the measurements and test results of these samples.
A report may also include graphs that reflect the variation in compressive strength within a time period given. The user is thus able to proactively monitor how the results will evolve.
Report file formats may vary from traditional PDF and Excel to graphical formats. It is important that the report formats are easy to handle and can be shared with others.
In an ideal situation, different concrete quality control functions are automatically combined by a single system. Having to manually combine data from different systems can cause headache and also is a very time-consuming task.
A comprehensive interface for transferring a data to quality control software also enables its use under circumstances where control systems from several different manufacturers need to be integrated.
Tecwill offers a comprehensive control system and quality control software for ready-mix concrete plants as well as for concrete plants for precast concrete element, block and paver factories. Read more about element and block factory >>