Concrete Machine Foundations
The moving parts of the large machines used in manufacturing create kinetic forces that will destroy typical foundations.
For this reason, it is necessary to install customized concrete machine foundations for each piece of machinery in a manufacturing facility.
What Are Concrete Machine Foundations?
Concrete machine foundations are physical improvements to the plant footprint engineered to accurately place and support a very specific machine. The goal is to increase accuracy of a product being produced by this machine, and to support the structural integrity of the facility itself.
To think of it another way, a quality product is entirely dependent on the machine making it, but the machine itself can only work as effectively and efficiently as the foundation it’s sitting on allows.
The highest level of accuracy for a machine’s output relies on a very strict tolerance of vibration or movement during operation, and the concrete foundation it sits in reinforces or weakens this.
Because of the very high degree of specialty required to get it right, these foundations are based on professional engineering and a proprietary mixed design of concrete to ensure the durability and strength of the floor.
Types of Machine Foundations
There are four main types of machine foundations. They include:
Block Type machine foundations feature a pedestal on top of a footing. This foundation has the largest mass of the four types and has a smaller natural frequency
Box type machine foundations resemble the block type except the pedestal is hollowed out. The hollowing out reduces the mass of the foundations and increases the natural frequency.
The wall type machine foundation includes a slab that rests on top of a set of walls. Consisting of homogenous materials, this foundation is best suited for small machines.
The framed type of machine foundation includes a horizontal frame on top of vertical columns. Used for larger machines, different materials can be used for the vertical and horizontal parts of the foundation.
Machine Foundation Replacement and Repairs
Machine foundation replacement and repairs can keep your machinery and employees running at peak efficiency.
At Zefco we can redo the entire line or replace individual parts of the foundation, reducing downtime.
When to Replace or Repair
There can be many reasons to replace or repair your machine foundations. The most common we see include:
Extensive cracking is a clear indicator of potential foundation problems.
Cracks in foundations can cause machines to operate less accurately or efficiently and can ultimately cause damage to the machines. Any signs of cracking should be addressed quickly.
Normal Wear and Tear
Normal operation of machines and a the use of chemicals and materials in the manufacturing process can erode foundations over time.
Normal wear and tear might look like dips or chips in the surface that should be addressed before they lead to more extensive damage.
Whenever you replace your machinery that is an ideal time to update the foundation that supports it. Since most machines are in service for an extended period, it is likely that the level of engineering has improved over the decades since it was made.
New machine dimensions may also create a situation where the machine can not be installed on the existing foundation appropriately, and in such cases a new foundation must be installed. For example, if you needed a press pit where a block type was previously.
A new foundation designed for the new piece of machinery can insure better results and a longer life for your investment.
Concrete Machine Foundation Process & Planning
The purpose of our information meeting is to understand the clients needs in order to produce a quote for the foundation.
Common questions we address in this meeting are:
- Who is the equipment manufacturer?
- Where is the facility, and where is the machinery going in the facility?
- What’s the environment like (sandy/hard soil) in which the foundation is being installed?
The above meeting allows us to create a detailed quote that explains what we plan to do and the expected timeline.
Our expertise allows Zefco to not need so many back-and-forth meetings to get a quote quickly and accurately.
Pre-install meetings involve corroboration between all the components of completing the project. This includes working with:
- Machine Manufacturers
- Plant Manager/Safety Director
Having these meetings allows us to troubleshoot anything missed in the initial plan and create. This could include unplaced water lined or missed trenches for example.
Beginning to Completion of On Site Work
Before beginning the on site part of the project, Zefco will work with the client to make sure the prework is ready to make the project a complete success. This includes:
- Drawing accuracy
- All Prefabrication done and on site
- Assigning proper man count
With any foundation replacement or repair, the next step will be to cut and excavate any old materials. Our experience allows us to troubleshoot issues you may not be aware of such as running into old drain lines, older foundations under the surface, etc.
Now that the site is ready with all materials it is time to place the foundation. This includes:
- Material installation (rebar and form work)
- Foundation pour
- Foundation cure
- Removal of form work
- Clean up
Why Choose Zefco?
With many decades of combined experience, Zefco makes clients’ lives easier because we already know a lot of the answers to the questions they have and can deliver the solutions they need.
Our teams are built with speed in mind so shut down times are much shorter than local contractors who are new to machine foundation work.
In short, our team is ready to deliver the best product with the least amount of down time for your business.