Grab your pith helmet

Software cuts through the underbrush of a construction project

Article May 17, 2002
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When going on safari through the jungles of project management,
it helps to have a copy of Expedition 8.0 by Primavera Systems Inc., Bala
Cynwyd, Pa.

The software provides construction teams with complete
control of project information and distributed, secure access to project and
contract details through a web browser.

Using Expedition, a project partner can track an issue
through the entire process, including a “ball-in-court” field
indicating who currently needs to respond to the issue and how long he has had
that issue in his court.

The user can get to any information about an issue or a
submittal in just two clicks of the mouse, according to the company, from the
highest over-view of the project or projects to the details of a particular
submittal. Submitted materials for testing, for example, can be sorted by
project, person or other parameter.

The information that appears on the screen can be tailored
to suit a user’s particular needs. Access to the information can be
protected using passwords and other levels of verification, so what a user sees
on the screen is what that particular user needs.

Migration from Windows-based version 7.0 to Web-based
version 8.0 is made easy by the fact that version 7.0 already was designed to
look like a Web application. The migration is not quite complete; some modules
are now Web-based, with others to follow, and Primavera will help its customers
make the transition. One advantage of a Web-based application, according to the
company, is that the program does more processing at the Web server and needs
less processing power at the user site and less bandwidth in between.

Highly scalable to accommodate the demands of small to large
projects, Expedition expedites project delivery, mitigates costs and fosters
accountability by keeping team members on top of key issues, alerts and
actions.

“By using Primavera Expedition 8.0, we will achieve a
30% time savings in the submittal review process since last November,”
said Victoria Morgan, administrator for the Maricopa County Department of
Transportation, Phoenix, Ariz. “All of our plans for roads and bridges
require more than 25 approvals and extensive collaboration among MCDOT, our
consultants and the public shareholders. Primavera Expedition 8.0 will help us
effectively share information with all project participants.”

The software matches MCDOT’s work flow by facilitating
daily reports and documenting events; accelerating the submittal review and
approval processes; automatically transmitting documents to appropriate team
members to keep projects moving; and maintaining program, project and database
contact directories.

 

Feel the vibe

The Hamm HD 110 “Hi-Vibe” asphalt compactor from
Wirtgen America, Nashville, Tenn., boasts a centrifugal force of 19,745-27,220
lb with variable frequency to 3,800 vpm. The HD 110 is a 23,400-lb articulated
machine with a 66-in.-wide drum. It has a compact low profile, a low center of
gravity, a swiveling operators seat and an excellent view of the drum surface
and the nozzles in the water spray system. The operator can offset the front
drum from the back drum by 3.5 in. for more versatility. The operator also has
dual joystick controls for travel and vibration.

 

Soil compactor

The 440 Vibratory Soil Compactor from LeeBoy, Denver, N.C.,
is a highly maneuverable, compact unit designed for medium-sized compaction
jobs on granular and cohesive soils. It features a 74-in.-wide smooth drum, a
63-hp engine and a hydrostatic drive system. Operator controls and gauges are
located on the right-hand console, which features joystick control of
forward/reverse travel, unit steering and drum vibration. The drum provides a
centrifugal force of 20,000 lb with an amplitude of .07 in. at a frequency of
2,900 vpm. A padfoot drum also is available.

 

50-ton powerhouse

The LS-108H II incorporates the features of the Hydraulic
Lattice Boom (HYLAB) series of cranes in a smaller package, according its
maker, Link-Belt Construction Equipment Co., Lexington, Ky. The LS-108H II is a
50-ton hydraulic lattice boom crawler crane and is ideally sized for bridge
builders, general contractors, excavation/waterway specialists, pipe liners,
demolition contractors and pile-driving specialists, according to Pat Collins,
lattice crane senior product manager for Link-Belt.

Designed for versatility, the LS-108H II can be used for
general lifting or for a variety of duty-cycle applications. It is available
with a third drum for dragline or clamshell work. The standard quick-reeve
universal top section provides convenient connecting points for pile-driving
lead adapters or other attachments. For even greater lift versatility,
blocked-over-the-end capacities are available.

The crane is equipped with a maximum of 140 ft of
conventional angle-type boom. With a 110-ft main boom and a 50-ft jib, the
crane has a miximum tip height of 163 ft.

As one of Link-Belt’s HYLAB cranes, the LS-108H II
inherits the pilot-operated, variable-displacement, hydraulic- power system of
its larger brothers. The system delivers “smooth, pinpoint controls and
bulletproof reliability,” according to the company. One of HYLAB’s
features is precise, independent control of load hoist drums, with movement
that is proportional to hoist lever movement.

 

Tread lightly

The ASL 300 All-Surface Loader has a rubber-track undercarriage
and large footprint that produces a ground pressure of 2.5 psi, so it can work
on delicate turf. It is designed by Polaris Industries Inc., Medina, Minn.,
with an R-Series Traction and Support System for maximum traction by evenly
distributing its weight over a large area. It is equipped with a 1.5-liter,
three-cylinder engine and a hydrostatic drive that reaches a maximum speed of 6
mph. It has a ROPS/FOPS, lap bar, seat belt and a parking brake.

 

A higher grade

Inspection and service points on H-Series motor graders from
Caterpillar Inc., Peoria, Ill., have been re-engineered to reduce maintenance
time and operating expense. The new models are the 140H, 160H and 14H.

A left-side, ground-level service center provides easy,
centralized access to more routine maintenance points, such as fluid level
gauges, fluid sampling ports, filters and remote lubrication points. Fueling
also is designed to be done at ground level.

The engine oil change interval has been extended to 500
hours, and the hydraulic oil change interval is 4,000 hours. Coolant changes
are extended to 6,000 hours.

Improved performance and fuel efficiency are achieved with a
electronically controlled engine. The engine delivers 9% more torque and 5-10%
better fuel efficiency than the previous models. At the same time, the new
engine meets emission control standards worldwide, including both current EU
Stage II and future EPA Tier II regulations.

 

Sure cut-off

The Air-Cuff shut-off valve from Con Forms, Port Washington,
Wis., stops the spillage of concrete from the discharge hose on the pump truck.
The valve installs on any 3 1/2-5-in.-diam. discharge hose and works by
compressing the hose to stop concrete flow. The standard 1/2-in. line from the
pump’s air supply provides the pressure to operate the valve. A radio
remote allows precise valve control.

 

The forefront of construction

The Forefront Mobile Computing application from Dexter +
Chaney, Seattle, includes Forefront Job Cost/Payroll, which enables project
managers and other field personnel to conveniently record information onto a
handheld organizer while at the jobsite and synchronize with the main office at
the touch of a button. Data such as employee hours, equipment usage and daily
production quantities are recorded directly to jobs and phases.

Another module, Forefront Project Management, documents and
tracks changes to a job’s original contract when the change might affect
the job’s cost. New features provide greater job control for busy project
managers, adding to the software’s ability to track requests for
information, submittals, transmittals, daily logs and more.

 

Rigged for quieter running

In engineering its PowerTech 2.4-liter and 3-liter engines,
John Deere Power Systems, Waterloo, Iowa, aimed to make significant improvements
in noise, vibration, heat rejection, packaging and cost while ensuring
compliance with Tier 2/Stage 2 emissions standards.

The 35-99-hp engines boast a 50-90% reduction (3-8 dBA) in
noise compared with competitive engine models. Low heat rejection will allow
OEMs to use the new engines with their existing cooling systems, according to
Deere.

The company has integrated multiple functions into single
components. The timing gear cover includes the water pump housing, oil pump
housing, governor housing and sensors. Integrated oil and coolant pumps
minimize potential leak paths. The water pump operates independently of the
fan, providing an option for the fan to run slower and reduce noise. The
mechanically governed fuel injection system is mounted inside the block and
head, eliminating external high-pressure lines and minimizing potential leak
paths.

 

Power welding

The Bobcat 250 NT is designed for rugged, reliable,
engine-driven welding  with
multiple-process welding capabilities. The 250 NT has 75% more MIG power than
the Bobcat 225 and 19% more DC Stick welding power, as well as 19% more
generator power. The unit’s rated output in CC/DC/AC mode is 150 amps at
25 volts, 100% duty cycle. A CV rated output of 250 amps, 28 volts at 100% duty
cycle allows for use of either solid or flux-cored wires. The Bobcat 250 has
10,000 peak watts of generator power. Two 120-volt duplex receptacles and one
120/240-volt full KVA receptacle allow the unit to run a variety of tools
simultaneously, such as grinders, hammer drills and flood lights. The Bobcat
250 NT is available from Miller Electric Manufacturing Co., Appleton, Wis.

 

Seeing hexagons

The 3824 hydraulic crane from Maintainer Corp. of Iowa Inc.,
Sheldon, Iowa, has a maximum reach of 24 ft and a maximum lifting capacity of
6,350 lb. The hexagonal boom sections are made of high-strength steel and give
larger cross-sectional area for less boom deflection. A live swivel hook allows
the operator to rotate the load at the hook with minimal effort. The crane has
a closed-center, load-sensing valve with pressure compensation to allow for
independent, simultaneous crane functions. An optional planetary winch gives
faster line speeds, smooth and quiet operation and higher gear ratios for
better control. An optional wireless remote control is available.

 

Mechanical or electronic engines

B and C Series engines from Cummins Inc., Columbus, Ind.,
will meet the Tier 2 emissions standards with mechanical or electronic controls
in the range of 60 to 340 hp. The compact B Series (60-185 hp) fits easily into
equipment, with access to all maintenance points from either side. The
mechanical fuel injection delivers low fuel consumption as well as low
emissions. A variety of B and C Series engines are available naturally
aspirated or turbocharged, in four or six cylinders, up to the QSC (240-340
hp). The QSC has a patented fuel system that delivers fuel at constant pressure
regardless of engine speed and the Quantum System, which uses proprietary
electronic controls to manage everything from fuel delivery and power curve
shaping to protection features and data management.

 

Hel of a tank

The Heli-Tank RR (for rapid rise) unit is a combination
heater and asphalt storage tank. It raises the temperature of the asphalt
cement (AC) much faster than usual. After the heater has been shut down over a
weekend, it can raise the temperature of the AC in one of its compartments
about 15˚ in one hour. The TriTec heater makes the rapid temperature rise
possible by using two helical coils instead of one and passing gasses from the
burner over the coils three times instead of two. TriTec has a heating capacity
of 2 million Btu/hour instead of the standard 1.2 million, yet fits into the
same space as the standard heater. The Heli-Tank RR is available from Heatec,
Chattanooga, Tenn.

 

Superplastic concrete

The Adva Series of high-efficiency polycarboxylate
superplasticizers from Grace Construction Products, Cambridge, Mass., is
engineered for the production of self-consolidating concrete (SCC). The Adva
Series includes Adva Cast 530, a single-component, high-range, water-reducing
admixture that produces super-fluid SCC without segregation and achieves high
early compressive strength. The Adva Series also includes Adva Flow
Superplasticizer and Adva Cast, a high-range, water-reducing admixture for use
in all precast/prestressed structures where ultrahigh-range water reduction is
desired.

 

Tracker

ServiceLogic is the latest component of the iSite 2.0 fleet
management system from MicroLogic Inc., Westboro, Mass. ISite 2.0 allows
contractors and rental companies to track their construction equipment wherever
it is. ServiceLogic provides fully integrated tracking of mobile service
vehicles, allowing management personnel to synchronize the day’s
activities from a desktop or laptop computer, while satisfying the need for
emergency repairs to downed machines in the field. Using state-of-the-art global
positioning and geosynchronous satellite communications technologies,
ServiceLogic plots the location of every service vehicle in the fleet. Combined
with iSite 2.0, both construction equipment and service vehicles are shown on
the same map.

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