The new batch asphalt plant model from Ciber Equipamentos Rodoviários

On the eve of its 50th anniversary, a history marked by innovation, Ciber Equipamentos Rodoviários, a Brazilian company part of Wirtgen Group, presents a new technological advance for the asphalt production market: the batch asphalt plant UAB 18E Advanced series.

As a result of the knowledge attained from manufacturing and monitoring hundreds of asphalt plants, this new model represents the practical application of the most modern technological features developed by Ciber’s Research and Development and Application Engineering departments. Some of the new features are optimized processes regarding controls, mixture quality, and equipment use management.

The batch asphalt plants count on more defined and individualized processes concerning granule size, weighing, and drying, thus yielding undoubtedly superior results. They are recommended for jobsites which demand high production levels and strict quality control over the asphalt composition. The equipment has a production capacity of up to 140 tons per hour, which ensures high quality asphalt mixtures.

It displays an extremely precise self-dosing system, besides allowing component changes. It can operate manually or automatically.

Walter Rauen, Ciber’s director-president, highlights the fact that the plant, like all equipment produced by the company, takes into consideration environmental issues: “The gases which result from drying the aggregates are purified entirely in a special filter that holds back solid pollutants and reintroduces them into the asphalt, which protects nature and does not waste materials.”

Mixture control

The process is initiated at the pre-dosing stage in the feeder silos, and after that the aggregates are conveyed to the counterflow drier. After removing humidity, a bucket elevator takes the heated and dried materials to the top part of the tower.

The UAB dosage tower, the key part of any batch asphalt plant, is composed of vibrating screens with different openings for the granule size classification, which can classify and separate the aggregates into different sizes.

The plant system, fully computerized, enables the aggregate scale to control the floodgates to add the necessary quantities of the material stored temporarily in the hot silos. The silos have an insulation system against dust leak into the environment and access covers for maintenance, besides sample collectors in each compartment. Unloaded in the mixer, the aggregates receive the precise amount of binding agent, measured by the bitumen scale. The system controls the mixing time. Once the process is over, the unloading floodgates release the material directly onto the conveyor truck. The machine, equipped with electronic scales and sensors, operates in a highly precise way. "The plant minimizes human error,” stresses Walter Rauen.

The UAB 18E Advanced series is an update of the line of batch asphalt plants already known to the market since the company’s foundation in 1958. Plant UAB 18E Advanced series’ extraction piping, for instance, is exactly the same as that of plant UACF 19P-2 Advanced: it has a cold air damper that controls the temperature of the gases in process, emergency valve that protects the bag filters in case of operational failure, and a static separator that retains the thick part of dust. The bag filter has a large filtering area (1.080 m2), with 216 bags, which ensures operational stability at high production levels and environmental safety. The UAB 18E Advanced series has a control panel similar to that of UACF Advanced series, with independent manual and automatic controls, besides displaying a perfect layout of actuations and information for the operator. The industrial microcomputer automatic controls and the updates for Windows Embedded, especially designed for aggressive environments, provide the process with the necessary stability and reliability. As additional protection, the equipment brings in its standard configuration the possibility of manual control.

A feature that can be found in this machine and is characteristic of all equipment manufactured by our company is the great comfort for the operator and ease of operation. The control station, the machine 'brain’, is air-conditioned and ergonomic, allowing safe, simple, and efficient work conditions.

Another advantage of the batch asphalt plant is the possibility to develop special mixtures, such as SMA, widely used in German roads. “This plant model is able to introduce cellulose fiber in the mixture, which changes the aggregate structure, making it more resistant and allowing water to be drained off the roads,” explains Rauen.

Designed according to an environmental-friendly concept, Ciber plants meet international requirements and can work in highly populated places without affecting their surrounding environment. The emission of pollutants is lower than the lowest rates required, and the care concerning the asphalt avoids oxidation and segregation, through mechanisms that allow the mixture to be optimized, utilizing aggregates in the best possible way.

Satisfied customer

One of the first customers to purchase a UAB 18E Advanced series plant was the company Super Pave Ltda., from Trinidad & Tobago, in the Caribbean, one of the region’s largest asphalt providers. With 30 years of experience in the area, Danny Gokool, Super Pave’s partner, says that the company developed its own process to produce cold mixture using a hot mixture technique, which is nowadays responsible for the Trinidad Lake Asphalt, a product exclusively distributed worldwide by The Lake Asphalt Company of Trinidad & Tobago. Super Pave has the only asphalt plant with ISO 9001:2000 Certification in the country and, according to Mr. Gokool, probably in the whole region.

The company’s preference for Ciber is not recent: the first plant purchased was a UACF 17P, in 2004. “I visited the factory in Brazil and realized the high level of quality control and assurance systems offered by this company. I got to know the technology used both in the production and in the operation of the equipment. This influenced me a lot towards deciding to purchase a plant from this brand,” affirms Gokool.

The equipment met all the customer’s expectations and fulfilled ISO requirements. For José Luis Matallana, Resansil’s sales manager for the Caribbean and Latin America – a company that distributes and sells building equipment in Trinidad & Tobago, this is even more important because it opens new ways: “The batch asphalt plants have a growing market in the Caribbean region, due to the quality of the mixture they produce, thus meeting the requirements from governmental and funding bodies.”

Ciber was created in the late 1950’s. In the 1980’s it joined Wirtgen Group, from Germany, and nowadays it is present all over Latin America with products such as this asphalt plant in Trinidad & Tobago.

Aiming at enhancing its production, Super Pave has begun operating with our new batch asphalt plant model, which stands out for its precision and care for the environment. Gokool trusts the after-sales support services provided by Ciber and its dealer Resansil, which have already been tested and approved. “We are extremely satisfied. The services provided are truly surprising, even more when you think about the distance between Trinidad & Tobago and Porto Alegre (Ciber Head Office in Brazil), Caracas (Resansil Head Office) and Miami (Resansil Branch). The operation was coordinated and amazing, which means that the two companies are determined to provide its customers with excellent services.”

Equipment with results

With fifty years of experience in the paving market, Ciber knows that its customers need more than just machines: they want results. Therefore, factory monitoring is essential. “The kind of equipment we trade is not supported just by the product. It needs qualified after-sales service teams that can work efficiently. We know that, and Wirtgen Group’s policies mean to invest in qualified structure for after-sales services in each country where it does business,” stresses Walter Rauen.

Formed in the south of Brazil in May 1958, Ciber has always focused on the international market. Since 1967, it began to expand in Latin America. In the late 1970’s, the company was already a regional leader in the segments of plants and pavers. The partnership with Wirtgen Group, from Germany, during the 1980’s, enabled the company to cover even more markets, and in 2001 it began to represent all the group’s operations in Latin American countries. The business expansion in Africa dates from the last decade. Ciber currently trades equipment in Angola, Tanzania, Algeria, Cameroon, and South Africa. However, Latin America remains its main market.

“Our performance is directly linked to infrastructure. We are like a temperature check: growth in our sales means that infrastructure in the countries where we operate is developing. And the development is very visible: we are having 20% average annual growth in all Latin American markets, from Mexico to Argentina,” says Luiz Zoch, sales manager for Latin America. Due to several factors, among which is a long relationship and closeness, Ciber easily reached leadership in the segment of asphalt plants in Argentina and Uruguay. Other countries, such as Ecuador, have already become traditional customers. Furthermore, the company presents great penetration in the markets of Venezuela and Colombia. In the latter country, the company got to the point of providing 80% of plant acquisitions. In Mexico, a competitive market where Ciber has been operating for less than 3 years, our market share is already about 30%.

“We enter a market when we are sure we can offer fast and quality services, with an efficient after-sales structure, which involves not only support services, but also spare parts and technical assistance,” guarantees Zoch. Wirtgen Group unified its operation in Mexico in 2007 and is achieving excellent results.

The plant system is computerized, and the control station is air-conditioned and ergonomic.

Quality, technology, and after-sales services

This is the tripod responsible for Ciber’s leadership in the continent. “Our products are adapted so as to meet the diverse needs of our customers with reference to geography, consumption, and environmental regulations. Meeting international standards of respect for the environment, we offer a product that goes beyond economy and versatility in all equipment of our product range,” says director-president Walter Rauen.

The modular and environmental-friendly projects enable the machines to operate safely and efficiently under different conditions and with applications, including operation in areas with high population densities. The diversified line of products is composed of asphalt plants, pavers, compaction rollers, and asphalt milling machines. While offering full solutions for paving, Ciber also trades equipment from other Wirtgen Group companies (the brands Hamm, Wirtgen and Vögele), such as compaction rollers, pavers, milling machines, recyclers, stabilizers, slipform pavers, and surface miners.