Betolink® Laboratory

CONCRETE QUALITY CONTROL MANAGEMENT

The quality control in an advanced Ready-mix Concrete industry is more than a requirement enforced by the legislation. It is a necessary and dynamic working tool that which ensures the company’s prestige and safeguards its profitability.

Betolink® Laboratory has been developed by PROTEM in order to fill in the gap created by the market’s software which are not incorporated and cannot interact with the other departments of a Ready-mix concrete company. This occurs because most software have been designed to fulfil the needs of Construction Materials Testing Laboratories that can only manage the quality control and are by no means involved in the production.

Betolink®  Laboratory communicates on-line and bidirectional with the production via the Betolink® Pro software as well as with the accounting department via the Betolink® Enterprise software. It provides tools that allow concrete producers to manage and adjust their mix designs centrally, to handle their specimens and analyze its strength results, manage their raw materials, resulting in significant savings in concrete production costs.

As a result the quality control is incorporated into the uniform Ready-Mix Concrete Production System (RMCPS).

The following modules/functions are supported by Betolink® Laboratory:

• Recipes Management • Consolidation of Laboratory with the Batching Plants • Specimens Management • Compressive Strength tests • Aggregates Management • Mix-Designs Management

RECIPES MANAGEMENT

Studying the mix designs-recipes requires a specialized know-how which is acquired through tests and verifications that must be continuously performed by skilled laboratory experts of a well-organized Ready-Mix Concrete Industry.

The mix designs are, by nature, constantly changing and increasing in number as the chemical additives and other additives’ technology advances. On the other hand, companies with multiple production plants in different geographical locations have different mix designs for each plant, due to the difference in raw materials.

As a matter of fact, certain companies use more than 500 production recipes for the 8 main concrete strength categories.

  • Registration of mix designs by grouping them based on the Company / Section (area) / Plant / Grade of concrete.
  • Correlation of each mix design with the criteria of the EU Concrete Technology Regulation (EN 206) based on predefined tables and other parameters defined by end users.
  • Automatic generation of a smart mix-design code based on the chosen criteria. This makes every product easily recognizable by its code.
  • Ability to enter an independent code in order to integrate our software with third parties Accounting software.
  • Correlation of the aggregates of each new mix design with the quarry of origin for the automatic extraction of its grading registered in the system.
  • Ability to simultaneously change the percentages of four aggregates and auto-correction by the system when deviations occurs from target value (100%). Displays also the aggregate grading curve.
  • Calculation of the raw material values based on the air & moisture % content.
  • Classification of the mix designs based on chemical additives. Query available by type of used additives.
  • Definition of the quantity of each additive used in a mix design as a percentage (% or ‰) of the cement or as a weight in Kg/m3.
  • Different additive quantities for the four seasons of the year and mass modification of selected mix-designs by changing the season or altering a percentage.
  • Automatically create mix design modification history, keeps versions and generates new relevant codes.
  • Registration of the purchasing price of raw materials (or updating those prices via Betolink® Enterprise for defining the standard production cost of each mix design.

CONSOLIDATION OF LABORATORY WITH THE BATCHING PLANTS

Each new mix design or mix design modification must be registered by the quality control manager, then updates the rest of the departments and most importantly the batching automation of each factory in real-time.

  • Sending – Receiving mix designs to – from plant(s) and automatically updates the production automation(s) without the interference of the plant’s operator.
  • Companies with multiple factories and different laboratories can scale the actions of each person involved in order to centrally manage their mix designs through error- free procedures.
  • Setting an effective date for each new or modified mix-design or recipe which can also be marked as inactive (when no longer used).
  • Ability to automatically set into effect seasonal recipes at the beginning of a period (winter, spring, summer, autumn).
  • The quality manager may continuously monitor the production automation’s dosing accuracy by using certain criteria to track the productions that have a deviation between the theoretical and the actual weights, accordingly to his criteria.

SPECIMENS MANAGEMENT

  • Registration of the specimens’ age (the standard 3, 7, 28 days) as well as any other age set by the user.
  • Option to identify specimens as “Trial mixes” so as not to participate in the conformity tests.
  • The specimens are grouped per Company / Section (Area) / Plant / Client.
  • Printing of bar-code stickers for the specimens.
  • The marked specimens are inserted into the curing tank by reading the bar-code with a handheld scanner. The system automatically recognizes “missing” samples and alerts the users when certain samples, based on their unique code, are omitted.
  • For the specimens taken into the plants, the bar-code labels are automatically printed after issuing the delivery note. All the important data such as: client, project, grade, recipe, delivery note No., are inherited without the need of any further registration in the Laboratory. Specimen weight, Temperature, Slump and Flow table test results are also recorded at the plant.
  • Betolink® GPMATIS 2 enables the vehicle drivers to register the cubes taken at the project by themselves, while the laboratory simply awaits their delivery.
  • Daily user reminders about which specimen’s curing age has passed and must be crushed.
  • Ability to interface with the compression testing machine to automatically record the compressive strength in MPa as well as the loading rate in MPa/sec. Real-time displaying of the crashing curve and loading rate. Automatic creation of historical files (including crushing curve) and linking to each customer's Delivery Notes.

STATISTICAL ANALYSIS AND CONFORMITY TESTING

  • Τhe samples taken and their compressive strength are kept in electronic form (specimens calendar) which is required by law in many countries, like Greece.
  • Full statistical processing & analysis based on the ΕΝ 206 requirements. You won’t need to create spreadsheets ever again.
  • Monthly and Yearly comparison of the strength results (7 & 36).
  • Monthly statistical analysis of 7/28 days, moving averages, standard deviation using criteria such as the concrete grade, recipe, cement grade and the workability (slump) average.
  • Immediate finding of the samples whose strength is above or below the compliance criteria for each grade or mix design set by the company.
  • Fast and easy centralized monitoring of your concrete products’ performance by checking the specimen strength results of each plant, based on the minimum and maximum strength values set by the company. Queries available such as Concrete Grade / Mix design / Month / Year / Slump etc.
  • Data export in Excel format with the ability to create and print a personalized form according to the customer’s needs.

AGGREGATE MANAGEMENT

  • Registration of gradation samples per aggregates fraction.
  • Sieve registration, distinct limits for each aggregate size.
  • Registration of the aggregate material tests as well as those of the remaining materials. When the tests are performed by an external laboratory or by the quarry, all data regarding their source are registered and attached to the electronic documents of the tests.
  • Ability to receive and import test results from raw material suppliers.
  • Graphical displaying of curves, limits, etc. on the screen.

NEW MIX DESIGN MANAGEMENT

  • Three stages of managing new mix designs (in process, active, inactive)
  • Mix design approval system using one or more than one digital signatures.
  • When a mix design is registered, a rotating historical archive is displayed, with an option to recall the earlier stages of the mix design.
  • Dynamic calculation of the material percentages based on the desired water-cement ratio (W/T), as well of the changes in the particle size analysis percentage of the aggregates based on the mix design.
  • The aggregate quantities and the other features (special weigh, absorbency) are calculated with the particle size gradations of each supplier/quarry.
  • Graphic depiction of the mixture’s particle size analysis curve according to what is defined by the legislation.
  • Fast and dynamic changes in the participating percentages of each fraction. The alterations in the mixture’s value and the particle size analysis curves are displayed at the same time.
  • Option to keep a record of seasonal admixture changes and massively perform changes to them.
  • The total and active water values are divided based on the EU legislation.
  • Option to register a mix design template in order to rapidly generate variations of it.
  • Registration of all the laboratory tests and results for the completed archive of the mix design.
  • Limits and alerts management for controlling the resistance during the internal quality control process.
  • All the aggregate performance and stability certificates, based on the mix design that took place, are saved and associated.
  • Individual Tracking number (internal tracking code) per mix design for connecting the data with the sample fracture results.
  • Parametrically set quality information and data needed by the EU legislation for each mix design. These will be printed on the delivery notes of Ready-mix Concrete plants.
  • The mix design document can be printed or sent in electronic form (PDF, Excel).

CONNECTION WITH THE SAP

For the connection with the SAP software, PROTEM GROUP has developed and delivered an added plug-in software called Betolink® PI, which acts as a connective hoop with the Betolink® ERP suit software.

The Betolink® PI has been designed by using Java / SQL and supports three types of communication with the SAP:

  • Via SQL ZTABLES
  • Via XML files
  • With the use of SOAP Calls via WSDLs.

Betolink® PI is a flexible platform of communication between two systems and is capable of fully managing and displaying not only the information flowing between the systems but also the possible errors that may occur. The final parameterization is performed by PROTEM’s technicians and in accordance with the client’s specifications.

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Protem Group S.A.

3, 35th Str., 133 41 Industrial Park
Ano Liossia / Athens, Greece
info@protem.gr
Τ. +30 210 5716500
F. +30 210 5710008