Technology at High Speed
Technology at High SpeedPutzmeister concrete placing system builds Intel Corporation’s new D1X facility
STURTEVANT, WI (Oct. 19, 2011) – One of the largest construction projects in Oregon’s history, Intel Corporation’s (Intel) massive 1.8-million-square-foot (167,225m²) research facility being built in Hillsboro required the efficiency and technology of Putzmeister’s concrete placing system to meet a demanding, fast-paced schedule.
Construction of the $3 billion facility, dubbed D1X, required four placing booms, 14 placing boom towers and 2,500 feet (762m) of delivery line to help place more than a quarter million cubic yards (191,140m³) of concrete at an accelerated pace. The project includes construction of an enormous fabrication plant and two support buildings that will develop Intel’s future generations of high-tech microprocessors.
Upon its 2013 completion, the new research and development site will host breakthroughs still formulating in engineers’ imaginations. Taking shape on the ground since the project began in February 2011, up to one million cubic yards (764,555m³) of dirt was excavated, 45,000 tons (40,823mt) of steel and rebar installed, and 300,000 cubic yards (229,366m³) of concrete placed at the Ronler Acres Campus. General contractor Hoffman Construction Company of Portland, Oregon, coordinates the efforts of a small city of construction workers and sub-contractors, as many as 5,000 projected at the peak of construction, working six days a week, 12 hours a day.
One especially critical coordination challenge was placing a large volume of concrete at a demanding pace, requiring Ralph’s Concrete Pumping, Inc. (Ralph’s) of Seattle, Washington, to supply an enormous amount of equipment and support a highly aggressive schedule. Ralph’s, under the direction of owner Skip Gribble and his three sons—Jacob the sales manager, Isaac the maintenance manger and Joshua the operations manager—was selected as the exclusive concrete placing company for the high-profile project. With 30 years in business, the concrete pumping company put its industry experience in high gear when complex concrete work for D1X started in April 2011.
Using varied sizes of truck-mounted concrete boom pumps from its expansive fleet, Ralph’s first placed a nine-foot (2.74m) thick mat-slab the size of 31 football fields. The unusually thick slab is designed to protect against possible seismic vibration when developing Intel’s highly sensitive products.
Reach from 14 Towers
After completing the gigantic slab, an elaborate concrete placing system was installed.
“Twelve Putzmeister placing boom towers were erected to 50 foot (15.24m) heights using the freestanding mounting configuration. Two additional towers, mounted with ballasted cross-frame base, were mobilized in and out of the job site depending on the need for additional coverage,” says Joshua.
The lattice towers were positioned to attain the greatest coverage area when placing concrete.
“We specifically purchased four Putzmeister 40Z-meter truck-mounted concrete boom pumps to meet the project’s bid specs for a long horizontal boom reach of 115 feet, two inches (35.10m),” says Skip. “The four placing booms, two equipped with the series I detach option and two with the series II detach option, were removed from the trucks for use on the towers; and because of the booms’ long reaches and towers’ precise placements, crews didn’t need to drag any extra hose, which kept up the fast pace.”
Another process that accelerated the project’s speed was the ease in moving the placing system among the numerous towers. It involved a simple four-pin disconnect from the tower, then picking and moving the boom and pedestal together to the next tower, followed by an quick reconnection with four bolts.
“We could move the placing boom from one tower to the next in less than ten minutes,” says Jacob. Plus, the time- and labor-saving process was done in only one crane pick because no counterweight is needed with Putzmeister placing booms, thereby avoiding a potential second pick.”
Plenty of Power
While the placing booms were mounted to the tower, their truck-mounted bases remained on the ground, pumping concrete. Two of the truck-mounted boom pumps were equipped with .16H pump cells and two with .20H pump cells, capable of pumping up to 210 and 260 cubic yards an hour (160 and 200m³/hr), respectively. Therefore, with plenty of power, each pump easily attained the required 100 cubic yards an hour (76m³/hr) outputs. The smooth, controllable concrete flow, even under full concrete pressure, was a result of the standard closed-loop free flow hydraulics system.
“Of course, when there were big pushes around 1,300 feet (396m), we relied on our Putzmeister high pressure 14000 trailer pump that was also purchased for the job,” adds Skip. The BSA 14000 HP-D 8" trailer pump features the highest pressures and outputs available on the market today, utilizing a powerful 630-horsepower (470kW) engine, smooth free flow hydraulics and rugged eight-inch (200mm) material cylinders.”
Cal-Portland set up a concrete batch plant on the job site, supplying a high-strength 6-1/2 sack mix that was discharged at four different pump stations. To deliver concrete to the placing booms, 2,500 feet (762m) of highly advanced ZX pipeline and couplings was used.
“The ZX pipe produced by Putzmeister is rated for extremely high pressures,” states Skip. “We used about 10,000 feet (3,048m) of it when placing concrete for the Tacoma Narrows Bridge, one of the longest suspension bridges built in the United States, and not a drop of slurry leaked out. On the D1X job, the pipe again impressed us and proved to be leak-free and trouble-free.”
Also selected for their leak-proof capabilities, four DVH 5/2 hydraulic diversion valves from Esser Pipe Technology were on the job. The valves’ multiple ports accommodated the pipeline setup to the towers positioned in two long rows, as well as could handle delivery pressures up to 1,885 psi (130 bar) without leaking, which made them ideal for this application.
Busy, Busy, Busy…
When placing concrete for the elevated slabs and walls, 12 employees from Ralph’s were on-site on almost a daily basis: eight operating equipment with two at each of the four placing system setups, and four setting up and tearing down pipe. In addition, while the placing booms were busy working, up to five truck-mounted boom pumps and their operators were often found on-site pumping concrete for ancillary work such as the roof.
“It was a ridiculously fast-paced project,” notes Skip. “We placed 300,000 cubic yards (229,366m³) of concrete in about six months, sometimes pumping 12,000 cubic yards (9,175m³) in a day.”
“Placing the high volume of concrete needed for the project went smoothly and without service-related issues,” adds Isaac. “As a result, concrete placement was finished on schedule in the fall of 2011, with major credit going to the concrete placing company’s expertise, its experienced operators and crew and the equipment’s reliability.”
Skip concludes, “The overall construction requirements for D1X were just huge, and came at a time when it was definitely needed for our area’s economy.”
Reports indicate the Oregon-based D1X project is single-handedly boosting this region’s economy by reviving its weakened construction industry. With Intel investing up to $8 billion in new building projects in Oregon and Arizona, the micro-chip giant is supporting up to 8,000 construction jobs and creating up to 1,000 new permanent high-tech jobs between the two locations.
Putzmeister America, Inc. manufactures a complete line of truck-mounted concrete boom pumps, seperate placing booms, truck-mounted telescopic belt conveyors. ready mix trucks and trailer-mounted concrete pumps as well as mortar, grout, shotcrete, plaster and fireproofing pumps and mixers, industrial pumps, tunneling machinary and pipeline systems. Some of the industry's best known brands, such as Tellebelt, Thom-katt, and Tommy Gun are part of the Putzmeister America family. The company's workforce is dedicated to the hands-on customer support and advancing the industry in design and technical innovation.
Technology that puts you first
General Contractor: Hoffman Construction Company—Portland, Oregon
Ready Mix Producer: Cal-Portland—Headquartered in Glendora, California
Concrete Pumping Contractor: Ralph’s Concrete Pumping, Inc.—Seattle, Washington
Equipment: Four Putzmeister 40Z-Meter truck-mounted concrete boom pumps with placing booms; 14 Putzmeister lattice towers; one Putzmeister BSA 14000 HP-D 8" trailer-mounted concrete pump; 2,500 feet (762m) of Putzmeister ZX concrete delivery line; and four Esser DVH 5/2 hydraulic diversion valves