The Critical Component
By Curtis Kieres
When it was time to add the “brains” to its asphalt plant, this Quebec company went with Minds Inc.
By Curtis Kieres
Roxboro Excavation has certainly made its mark on Quebec’s construction industry over the past four decades.
Roxboro Excavation has certainly made its mark on Quebec’s construction industry over the past four decades. The Dorval, Que-based contractor builds roads, highways, bridges, parking lots, bike paths, and wastewater facilities, and also performs environmental work such as site remediation, landfill construction and the disposal transportation of contaminated materials.
|The computerized plant controls run on Microsoft Windows and the software provides graphics that resemble the actual plant.|
Started by Jean-Guy Théorêt in 1972 with just one backhoe, Roxboro Excavation has grown into a large diversified company that today offers a full range of construction services. In 2009, they decided to add an asphalt plant into the mix. Daniel Théorêt, who is one of Jean-Guy’s five sons who now run Roxboro Excavation, is the company’s equipment manager. He was extensively involved in the addition of the new asphalt plant, which was designed in-house and has an output of 325 tons of mix per hour. It runs with minimal down time, which allows Roxboro to support the growing need for hotmix in the regional marketplace. Daniel and his partners had decided the flexibility of a combo plant best served the needs to supply HMA for large contracts as well as smaller projects.
One critical component Daniel knew he needed was the plant controls, as this is what facilitates the blending and operations of the asphalt manufacturing. Enter MINDS Inc, a Quebec-based solution provider specializing in technology innovations applied to the road construction sector. They were selected as the plant control provider. “We had a contract in Coteau du Lac where Bauval was supplying us with hotmix to pave a large parking lot for the new Canadian Tire distribution centre (100,000 Ton project),” Daniel explains. “Bauval used a Drummix plant equipped with MINDS Inc. Drumtronic™ software. The quality and stability of the mix produced was incredible. I even had samples tested independently as it was almost unbelievable. When we decided to build our own plant, MINDS was the obvious solution.”
MINDS Inc., with over 17 years of industry experience, has over 400 plants running its control system with a high concentration in France and Quebec. “Asphalt producers and contractors are typically looking for established, reliable plant automation vendors that can provide quick, responsive support,” says Pierre Vidaillac – president and founder of MINDS Inc.
The Drumtronic™ computerized plant controls from MINDS runs on Microsoft Windows® and the software is a graphical user interface with graphics on the main production page resembling the actual plant. The system is fully integrated and has the capacity to control all plant operations.
“We opted from the start for a fully integrated system,” Daniel adds. “All plant equipment is controlled on screen eliminating consoles, button and the likes. This allows for easier maintenance and operator training. The interface is user friendly and my operators had no difficulty at all getting used to it,” he says, while adding they were not alone in the project.
“MINDS accompanied us all the way giving us useful and pertinent insight into the control part of the design, saving a lot of time and errors,” he notes. “As a matter of fact, we bought another plant in 2010, a mobile Drum mix unit and we stripped the old control system out without hesitation.” It was also changed to a control system from Minds Inc.
The outcome is ultimately a win-win relationship between MINDS and Roxboro. “The relationship is more of a long-term partnership and we understand and meet the needs of contractors/producers while they remain loyal to us as their automation partner,” concludes MINDS’ Pierre Vidaillac.
MINDS’ control systems can be found in batch plants and are used for drum plants, silo loadout, full plant control and data management for the asphalt industry. Minds Inc. also offers automated tracking and process control solutions for the road construction, asphalt, agriculture and various other industries. Its innovative products and services, based on automated control systems, RFID, telematics and web technologies, provide solutions for vehicle tracking, real-time monitoring, asset tracking and asphalt plant automation. n
Curtis Kieres researched and wrote this article for Minds Inc.