Scale-Tron, automation, sensors and weighing systems

AquaControl, a better way to control mixer moisture

AquaControl is the ultimate in mixer moisture controllers.   The AquaMix mixer moisture sensor uses microwave technology and on-line digital signal processing to accurately measure the moisture in the concrete mixer.  The touch-screen controller gives a choice of three different control methods, allowing you to choose the best, most accurate control for your plant and product.  Up to 30% improvement in speed compared with older resistance-based methods. New 7 inch touch screen is much bigger, clearer and easier to use than MixTron II`s 5.8 inch monochrome screen - and the price did not increase!

AquaControl's screen shows the moisture of the mix graphically throughout the mixing cycle, allowing each stage to be monitored.  For the first time, the operator is able to see the concrete mixing process in action, allowing him to know when mixing is done and to adjust the mixing parameters properly.  Mixer blade wear and adjustment can be clearly seen. 

The screen also shows raw and averaged data as an aid during setup, as seen at right.

AquaControl is the ultimate in on-line water management for the concrete mixer.  The AquaMix probe’s digital microwave technology is insensitive to temperature and impurities, making it more accurate than the older resistive methods.  Measurement starts shortly after the aggregates and cement have been added to the mixer and continues until the computer has acquired a satisfactory average moisture reading.
Realizing that this process is slow, Scale-Tron has re-thought the averaging process, resulting in a faster and more accurate result.  From batch data received from the batching computer or stored in its own database, the water/cement ratio or water to total solids ratio (for dry cast) of the mix is calculated and compared with the target value for the mix design.  The difference between these two values allows the required water to be calculated.  The water is then metered or weighed into the mixer through fast flow and dribble valves to achieve high speed and a precise cutoff. The mix is released for discharge when the programmable mix time is finished. The result is consistent quality of concrete, batch after batch.

AquaControl goes further than any other system in use today;  it not only takes the formula weights to calculate the water amount - it uses the actual weights of both cement and aggregates to predict the water value, eliminating the errors caused by small batching variations.  The result is accurate moisture all of the time. 

AquaControl’s PLC and touch screen are fully industrialized components in a sealed wall mounting cabinet, eliminating problems created by fine dust in filtered outside air.  Like our BatchTron controllers, AquaControl is extremely reliable;  typical life of these components is over 10 years.  Communication with the batching system is by serial RS232 link;  AquaControl can emulate Ludwig, Hydronix or Lesueur, ensuring full compatibility with your batch controller.  It can also operate as a stand-alone system.  Control of the water valves and communication with the water meter and other sensors is by internal PLC output relays, available in all standard voltages. All parts are standard off-the-shelf items at electrical distributors.

Software

AquaControl’s software operates through an advanced touch screen interface.  Status indicators tell you what is happening at all stages in the mix cycle, together with the weights of materials obtained from the batching computer.  A graph of the moisture shows the progress of the mixing cycle for operator feedback;  any effects due to wear, material jams or breakage in the mixer can be observed before they become a problem.  The moisture value is updated continuously and the calculated water value is displayed before the water is added;  alarm messages are displayed when necessary.  The result is a window on your mixer performance that shows you more than you ever thought possible - and it’s simple to use.  Operators love it and your product quality will improve immediately.

Three software programs to suit your operation and budget:

MasterMix gives highest speed and greatest mixer output for plants where the mixer is running batches back to back without a break for at least some of the time.  Handles dry or wet cast equally well. 

New modified mixing sequence eliminates the climbing or descending readings that often prevent settling of the moisture value, allowing accurate results on almost any mixer and any mix design

MicroMix is lower in cost because it does not require a water meter or scale.  It is useful for dry cast only and takes longer to make a mix, so it has its place in lower throughput applications where the mixer usually stands idle between batches.

Fast MicroMix  gives the same short mixing cycles as MasterMix and is easier to set up.  This system requires a water meter, so is a little more costly than true MicroMix but it is as good a choice for certain applications.  Note that it only handles dry-cast (zero slump) concrete and certain types of SCC.  However, when slump concrete is made in the same mixer, the MicroMix system can be bypassed (depending on your batch controller), speeding up the operation further by using metered water.