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Also known as a batching plant, a batch plant is a facility in which the ingredients used to create concrete are combined and blended. The blended concrete mixture is transported directly to a job site with the use of a truck with a revolving drum. This approach makes it possible to immediately pour the concrete once it arrives at the construction site, a strategy that can often save time and money.
In some instances, the batch plant is established as a temporary facility rather than a permanent plant operation. When this is the case, the actual location of a concrete batch plant is often somewhat close to the construction site. For example, the batch plant may be located on a lot adjacent to the site, or on land that is located within a short distance from the location of the construction. The idea is to maximize the use of space on the building site itself to best advantage, while still making it possible to receive regular deliveries of the pre-mixed concrete and avoid unnecessary delays in the progress of the construction.
A typical batch plant will include equipment for mixing the aggregates, water, cement, and any other admixtures required in the size batches required for a pending task as the construction site. Along with the mixing equipment, the plant will also house storage containers for the different ingredients. Depending on weather conditions, aggregate such as gravel or pebbles may actually be segregated into several piles in the open air, often sorted by the size of the pebbles. Tools and equipment to measure the amount of each ingredient extracted from the storage containers make it easier to mix each batch according to specifications, which in turn helps to ensure that the poured concrete is durable and in compliance with local building codes.
A smaller batching plant may require that the mixing be done by hand. When this is the case, care is taken to make sure that properly measured amounts of each ingredient are placed in the mixer. This is especially important when it comes to the aggregate, since that particular ingredient helps to determine the weight of the concrete. Since the batch plant is a facility involving the use of heavy equipment that may not only include mixers and storage hoppers but also conveyor belts, personnel are usually trained on how to safely use all the equipment on the premises. As with other construction professionals, workers at the batch plant often wear protective gear, including hard hats, steel-toed workboots, eye protection, and air filtration masks.