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Pumping Concrete at Height

Concrete is the significant material that is utilised for building as it tightens the construction.  Lifting heavy concrete materials and to transfer them from one level to another is tough task. Earlier, to transfer the concrete and to apply it,  large number of construction crew were appointed, which was time consuming and full of stress. To curb these strenuous work, designers and manufacturers developed concrete pumping technologies that are easy to work with. Some of the common concrete pumps are found on site are: boom concrete pump, as its uses remote-controlled robotic arm to place concrete properly. Second type is concrete pump mounted on truck, which is commonly known as line-pump or trail mounted concrete pump. This massive technology is proving idol in construction world by saving time, restricting the number of labours, wastage of concrete etc.
Though this technology saves time, it is equally  very challenging, as it can create many error and delays during construction of tall buildings. Therefore, selection of right kind of equipment can avoid errors. This article will discuss on what kind of concrete pumping technology is used in high-rise buildings and how critical is the operations.
Role of concrete pumping technologies Pumping concrete has become an integral part of construction sites. Even though there is good penetration in urban areas, still there is lot more scope for growth for this technology across India. Manpower shortage has made concrete pumping technology very popular among sites. Projects are expected to complete faster. Therefore, mechanised concrete pumping has become a prerequisite in construction sites. Site engineers and technicians have experienced faster concreting process through concrete pumps to extreme heights. Another major reason for the popularity of the concrete pump is that, it acts as a quality check. Site engineers have realised that pumped concrete is an assurance of quality and consistency of the concrete. Anand Sundaresan, Vice Chairman and Managing Director, Schwing Stetter India, says, “Schwing Stetter has introduced various models of concrete pumps even for specialised pumping requirement to high-rise project particularly of high grade concrete (up to M95) and concrete with big aggregates for dam construction (up to 120 mm MSA).”
Putzmeister introduced the new generation boom pump M36-4 NG that has been built using aluminium and high-grade lightweight steel to reduce the weight by more than two tons. Their boom pumps come equipped with “Big Mouth” delivery cylinders of 230 mm diameter, are 32 per cent  more efficient in filling the pipeline than its smaller counterparts with a diameter of 200 mm. The Hydraulic tank capacity has been reduced to 275 litres, which is 30 per cent less compared to other machines in the market, making it much more economical and eco-friendly to run. They come with advanced features like, Z fold system, OSS and Radio remote. Parminder  Gabri, Director – Sales and Marketing, Putzmeister Concrete Machines, India, says, the concrete pumping technology can function smoothly in an space constraint  sites. “The OSS (one sided support system), is the most advantageous feature, this innovation makes sure that construction is running smoothly in space constrained job sites. Many metro and urban projects run into difficulties as truck mounted concrete pumps block the service roads and create traffic congestion. This technology allows the operator to extend the outriggers only where the concrete placement is required.”Concrete pumps for high-rise buildingThe kind of concrete pumps use for high-rise building should be of huge capability. The pumps that are used for high-rise building are capable of delivering concrete to more than 1 km in height. These pumps are not only packed with high pressure hydraulics but are also capable of not wasting the energy (horsepower produced by the engines). On this note, Mr Sundaresan, explains, “We normally classify building above 200 metres as high-rise buildings. Schwing has the experience in India as well as globally in supplying concrete pumps that are capable of delivering concrete to a height of 1 km and above.”
These pumps are designed with rock valve and its effectiveness to seal completely makes them even pump water. This makes the cleaning operation very easy and effective after pumping. Such pumps come with Twin hydraulics to handle pumping and valve shifting. They are also designed to work within acoustic enclosures to keep the decibel levels within acceptable limits.
At present, Schwing Stetter’s pumps are working in Kingdom tower where the height is 1 km in Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. While in India 750 metres vertical height pumping at Parbati hydro-electric project at Sianjis the record. Schwing Stetter’s pumps have worked in top high-rise projects such as Taipei financial centre, Petronas towers and many more such projects.
A pump that is lighter  and can quickly be erected and brought down is articulated MX 32-4 Stationary boom placer which is use during the construction of tall buildings. The Placer ensures fast distribution of concrete at a height and covers building area very efficiently where the human reach is difficult. Putzmeister, provides knowledge support to the contractors on different grade of concrete which is used for the high-rise projects. Further, evaluation support is provided on the power that will be required to ensure the right flow for uniformly placing the concrete. Apart from these, support is provided in deciding location of Placer to ensure maximum coverage of concrete placement with minimum un-covered spots. Mr Gabri, says, “We have our own dedicated concrete project division which provides vital support to the contractors working in high-rise projects, long distance pumping and where special concrete is used.”
How critical is the operation of Concrete Pumping?Most of the high-rise construction happens in redevelopment of plots in central business districts. Therefore, the traffic congestions and huge volume of concrete required in site makes the project viable for the construction only if a concrete pump and separate placing booms are used in such projects. There is no alternative method for moving concrete to such heights. The project during its construction stage should decide on the power and capacity of the concrete pump based on the concrete design. To avoid such errors it is important to order the giant equipment on time as it will take time to reach the exact location, and decide on their placements to avoid delays in the project. Mr Sundaresan, observes, “Any miscalculations can put the construction projects behind schedule. Such high capacity pumps are made to order and there is a wait for delivery.”
The companies dealing in concrete pumping technology are on a constant mode of expansion to meet the nation’s growing demands. Efforts are also done to help the customers access competent and cost-effective concrete pumping solutions that bring down the overall cost of operations considerably. Putzmeister ensures a solution for every challenge. When asked about, how critical is the operation of concrete pumping is, Mr Gabri, says, “Putzmeister offers its customers competent advice and customised concepts. It also imparts training on all aspects of concreting technology to its customers to spread awareness about the advantages of mechanisation and automation of construction technology in India.”Offering from the companiesThe industry is in continuous process to bring new products into the market, products responding to the latest market requirements (less noise, less fuel consumptions, better ergonomics etc.), are user friendly, environment friendly and economical. Putzmeister has undertaken major landmark projects with its innovative pumping solutions with their new generation machines of both stationary as well as boom pumps. The whole range of eSmart machines includes the BSA 1404D, BSA 1405D and BSA 1407D available in diesel and electric engines.
Putzmeister truck mounted boom pumps are proving quality reliability and robustness. Their great reserves of power suit them to the most extreme conditions, reduce mechanical wear and ensure a high level of operational availability. Telling about the new launch, Mr Gabri, states, “Putzmeister has recently launched the much awaited and the ultimate batching plant 60 cubic metre, which is in-house designed and developed completely in its factory based in Goa.”
Apart from this new age technology, Putzmeister, is creating added value to the urban construction projects in India.
ConclusionWith the technology offered, concrete pumping technology has become the core part in the world of construction and is progressing the work rapidly. With the aim to speed up the building project, the demand for the technology will be more. Hopefully, the designers and manufacturers will deliver best concrete pumps to the industry in the coming days.__________________________________Putzmeister offers its customers competent advice and customised concepts.
Parminder  Gabri, Director – Sales and Marketing, Putzmeister Concrete Machines, India_____________________________
Schwing has the experience in India as well as globally in supplying concrete pumps that are capable of delivering concrete to a height of 1 km and above
Anand Sundaresan, Vice Chairman and Managing Director, Schwing Stetter India___________________________________


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