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Digitalisation of the concrete industry

9 March 2023

The Process Solutions Department from Equans helps to upgrade and expand four concrete plants with ATVSoft.NET

Whether it’s state-of-the-art control for mixers, filling groups and/or concrete transport systems, automated supply or more, Equans is a key player in the field of automation of bulk processing and processing control for mixing plants in the concrete industry. 

Throughout the summer of 2022, the Process Solutions team were hard at work upgrading and expanding concrete plants for clients such as Marmorith, Ergon, Ronveaux and Norré-Behaegel. These projects are the sort that customers prefer to schedule during holiday periods in order to ensure employees suffer as little inconvenience as possible – or none at all – due to downtime or infrastructure being unavailable. Equans’ Process Solutions team therefore faced a huge challenge to bring four complex projects to a successful conclusion during the summer months.

Equans - Digitalisation industrie du beton - Mise à niveau

From upgrade to expansion

At these concrete plants the job was “simple”: replace the old control system with a new one. These were necessary interventions, since the existing control systems were outdated and often no longer supported by or compatible with other components. But what do we mean by “simple”? Within the Process Solutions department, conversion projects like these are often compared to a brain transplant, where the functioning and performance of the patient is expected to be as high as it was before the operation, or even higher. Not only must everything be done meticulously and flawlessly, the entire converted installation must also be thoroughly tested before it becomes operational again. And here, too, in-depth preparation is absolutely essential. After all, when converting a plant, you want to encounter as few surprises as possible. So, the electrical diagrams are meticulously studied, and the software is programmed and tested in advance, as much as possible. 

Preparation makes all the difference

Each project had its own challenges. In one case, it was an electrical diagram that did not fully correspond to the reality, and in another, it was the complexity of the infrastructure, which included multiple mixers, a filling group and concrete transport systems. Nevertheless, thanks to everyone’s efforts, the team managed to keep everything on track, sometimes running two or three projects at a time. These successes were achieved thanks to 30 years of experience in the concrete sector, thorough preparation of all works for the summer period and meticulous project management during the works. This is not always obvious either: customers also often plan their own maintenance work during the holiday period, which means that the infrastructure is not always 100% available. This requires the necessary agreements and coordination, both within the Process Solutions team and with the client. 

Equans - Digitalisation industrie du beton - preparation projet
Equans - Digitalisation industrie du beton - Formation operateurs

After the projects had been delivered, the Process Solutions team remained on site to train the operators who were due to run the newly installed systems. They spent a week on site, and were then on stand-by for some time to provide support over the phone and online. After all, a project doesn’t end at delivery; testing and preparing the new configuration for use is also an integral part of every project. 

The Process Solutions department can look back with pride at completing these projects. Customers such as Marmorith, Ergon, Ronveaux and Norré-Behaegel can now use state-of-the-art control systems for their mixers, filling groups and/or concrete transport systems. 


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