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Reliable equipment for the refractory service industry – Part 2

World Cement,

K&G’s fleet consists of two Blastcrete MX-10 mixer/pumps and twelve AA 020 Genuine Piccola gunite machines. The MX-10 is an ultra high-pressure swing-tube style mixer/pump used for wet shotcrete applications. Featuring a simple, one-bolt clamping system, the AA 020 Piccola machine is ideal for dry shotcrete, or gunite, installations. K&G stocks more Piccola units, as the company typically prefers to do dry shotcrete installation. However, some customers specify a wet shotcrete must be applied; in those cases, K&G has the MX-10 units ready to go.

“The company doesn’t offer just one model of equipment. There are several to choose from,” Sternfels said. “So that’s great for us because it allows us to accommodate each client’s request. And it takes our customer service up a notch.” Blastcrete even customises pieces to a customer’s exact specifications, an option Sternfels says he has considered.

Sternfels was also pleased that Blastcrete was able to get him several pieces for his fleet. He anticipated K&G would have multiple jobs going on at the same time, so he wanted to have several pieces of equipment on hand so that he would never have one job waiting on another.

“Sometimes we’ll have a few different jobs in different parts of the country,” Sternfels said. “We can’t hold up a job in Texas because we’re waiting on the piece of equipment to arrive from a completed job in New York. That just wouldn’t be efficient and it wouldn’t work for our customers.”

Another factor Sternfels cannot tolerate is broken equipment. “We can’t afford for the equipment to break down and be in need of frequent repairs,” he said. “That’s one thing I really like about the Blastcrete machines. They just don’t break.”

On the off chance anything would go wrong, Sternfels has peace of mind knowing Blastcrete will be there to provide service and support, not just because the company is nearby in Alabama, but because it is a customer service-focused company.

“From day one, we made it our mission to provide the best customer service,” Farrell said. “Now, customers have high expectations, and we strive to live up to those expectations any way we can.”

K&G typically performs dry shotcrete, or gunite, for most jobs. For those customers who require wet shotcrete applications, K&G is prepared with its MX-10 units from Blastcrete.

As far as the routine maintenance and cleaning, K&G takes care of it all, right at its shop in Theodore. Both the MX-10 and Piccola machines, along with all of Blastcrete’s equipment, are designed to be very easy to maintain, including a simplified cleaning process. To equipment owners in other industries, that might sound like more of a detail. But Blastcrete knows how important it is in the refractory business.

“Let’s face it, with any piece of equipment, routine maintenance and cleaning is often neglected when companies get busy,” Farrell said. “But with any type of refractory installation equipment, you absolutely cannot afford to skip these steps. They have to be done every day.”

Farrell explains the machine’s performance will suffer, and it can become severely damaged without proper care. It is common knowledge that concrete material will harden over time. So if the material is not cleaned every day, it will harden, and eventually build up and damage the equipment. Recognising that companies do not have an hour to spend on cleaning and maintenance every day, Blastcrete designed its machines to make the process as quick and easy as possible.

“Everything from the swing-out hopper designs to the way we positioned the platform and engine on the MX-10 model was purposeful and planned. It’s all been strategically and carefully designed for best results and to reduce the amount of time spent on cleaning and maintenance,” Farrell said.

Sternfels notes that the cleaning and maintenance process is quick and simple. And while he is quick to point out that it is not difficult, he does recognise that it must be done regularly. “We can just handle it here at the shop and have the piece ready to go out on the next job,” he said.

And indeed it does go, almost instantly, to the next job because K&G remains a busy company that is growing and adding customers. The company recently added a second facility in Texas to better serve customers in the area.

Part One of this article is available here.

Adapted from press release by

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