Bay-Lynx Manufacturing, a manufacturer of volumetric mixers and other construction equipment solutions has designed updated their BatchPro software. The new software, called BatchPro Connect, is a three-step solution that addresses mobile concrete ordering, dispatch and mix design.
The software makes the volumetric mixer easier to operate. “Truck drivers aren’t usually trained on the properties of concrete,” says Stuart Galloway, President, 20/20 Show Productions, producer of Canadian Concrete Expo. “Likewise, many people who are trained in concrete don’t have a commercial truck driving license. It’s difficult to find people who are both a licensed truck driver and trained in concrete.”
Mobile concrete ordering and dispatching
Bay-Lynx’s new, branded customer portal can be linked to any concrete provider’s web site. Once an order is placed, the information gets sent to Bay-Lynx’s new dispatch platform. The dispatch platform is the only part of BatchPro Connect that is tailor-made for volumetric mixers.
The truck communicates in real time with dispatch, so dispatch can know where the trucks are at all times and even how much has been poured. The ability to see at a glance where each truck is, how much time is needed to complete their current job, and how much concrete is in each truck, makes it easier for dispatch to decide which customer orders to assign to which trucks.
A business-in-a-box solution
The second part of the solution is the app used by the volumetric mixer operator. With this app, the operator can not only load the mix design and initiate automatic set up of the volumetric mixer, but also:
- see all the jobs that they are assigned
- accept jobs
- take photos and make notes about job site conditions
- get the customer’s signature
- collect payment and
- send tickets (the customer’s order) to the printer on the truck, so the customer can have a printed copy of their order before the operator leaves
And, if creating an app wasn’t enough to overcome the skills gap, Bay-Lynx has created help screens at each step. The help screens feature tutorials that inform the operator about all aspects of the truck.
Since everything on the truck is live-recorded, this allows for remote diagnostics. Information can be sent to the Bay-Lynx service center, so the company can proactively help customers with any technical problems with their equipment.
Everything that the truck can record can communicate with Batch Pro Connect. So, this would depend on the telemetry included with each chassis in addition to the Bay-Lynx mixers data which include the status on components such as the radio remote, the flow meters, the conveyor belt speed and other components.
Plus, calibration is made easy, since all setting are saved both on the truck and on the Cloud. “If anything happens to the truck—if you have to replace a component, for example. You can just push the calibration from the cloud to the truck, so you don’t have to recalibrate it,” says Vlietstra.
Automation is the future
Bay-Lynx is working on updating their BatchPro Connect to include automation of the volumetric mixer set up so the desired amounts of sand, stone, water and admix are used. The volumetric mixer operator will soon only need to push start on their phone and pull a lever on the truck, and BatchPro Connect sets up the volumetric mixer so you achieve the desired mix design.
“We noticed that all of our customers were struggling with the same issue. My concrete truck drivers are truck drivers and don’t understand the finer details of concrete or how to set up a volumetric mixer. They are having trouble hiring people that have both concrete knowledge and truck driving certification and experience,” says Vlietstra.
“Like so many construction markets, technology is solving the skills gap,” says Galloway. “I’m excited by how innovations from our exhibitors are driving productivity, efficiency, accuracy and safety gains in the concrete industry.”