For transfer of blast furnace cement from big bags into bulk trucks, Argos & Mijnmaatschappij Cement Company (A&MCC) in Willemstad in Curaçao, looked all over the world for a mobile installation for loading blast furnace cement from big bags into bulk trucks. After careful selection the Van Beek cement Dino® seemed to have the best configuration. Although this came at a slightly higher purchase price, “The fast payback time of the Dino® and good after care by Van Beek were the deciding factors for us in the end” according to Maarten van de Laar, Technical Service Manager at A&MCC.
The loading process
A&MCC uses the Dino® to transfer blast furnace cement from big bags into bulk trucks. This cement comes from Europe and is transported by cargo vessels to the central port in Curaçao. From the central port the big bags are driven to the cement transfer station on the bay of Fuikbaai. Bulk trucks from Betonindustrie Brievengat (the biggest local building block, paving and concrete supplier) supply the company’s different concrete and block plants on the island with cement. The cement is transferred into a bulk truck by pressurised air and then pumped into the silos as if it were a liquid.
Maarten van de Laar, Technical Service Manager at A&MCC and Betonindustrie Brievengat, says: “We were looking for a reliable and user-friendly big bag cement installation, because the plant we had then was very out of date and constantly caused problems. A mobile plant seemed just the right solution. We first looked on the Internet in America. But because of our experience with European machines and with a view to possible after care we wanted to look further. So we searched further on the Internet and by searching with the words ‘bulk truck’ we discovered Van Beek in the Netherlands. This was followed by a telephone call to Van Beek and we were on the right road. When talking to Roel Kneepkens we immediately had a good feeling about the Van Beek cement Dino®. In particular Roel clearly explained the differences from the American model, that we had found previously and the options for this Dino® bulk truck loader. After careful selection the Dino® seemed to have the best configuration and to be the best solution for us. The Dino® is of course a little more expensive to buy, but the fast payback time of this Dino® and good after care by Van Beek were the deciding factors for us in the end.”
The Dino® bulk truck loader for cement has a capacity of 40m3/hour and is made of steel with a coated body. The hopper is fitted with big bag cutters, with ‘fluidising pads’ at the inlet to promote the cement flow. The screen cover on the hopper ensures that any coarse and/or other materials that should not be in the cement are filtered out of the cement stream. A loading bellows with a dust filter unit on the outlet side ensures dust-free loading. The Dino® bulk truck loader has a cover over the full length of the screw that can be opened to clean the installation quickly and properly. It was simple to transport the Dino® to Curaçao as the machine folds down and as a result can fit compactly into a 40 foot sea container.
Roel Kneepkens, Sales Engineer at Van Beek, adds “As regards configuration this machine is a real ‘Cement-Dino’. Van Beek has already sold over 350 Dinos worldwide, from Russia to England. But this machine is the first Dino for A&MCC that has crossed over the Atlantic Ocean and arrived in the Caribbean. I hope that this ‘exotic’ Dino® may be a spin-off for many deliveries to the West”.
About A&MCC and Betonindustrie Brievengat
Both companies are subsidiaries of Janssen de Jong Caribbean. A&MCC is a very new company that has now been in existence some 3 years. A&MCC has 2 x 1000 ton Portland cement silos. These silos are restocked every 4 to 5 weeks from Colombia by bulk cement carriers. The Portland cement is used for local production and small cement bags are also filled at A&MCC in a fully computerised plant.
Betonindustrie Brievengat (BIB) has more than 50 years’ experience in the concrete products market in Curaçao. High quality ready-mixed concrete, concrete building blocks and concrete bricks are the three most important products that BIB supplies on the island. The first BIB batching plant was delivered in 1966 and is the biggest concrete plant in Curaçao. At present BIB has two very modern concrete plants and a new block/paving plant. The fully computerised concrete plants have a capacity of 80 m3 per hour and are suitable for supplying more than 500 m3 of liquid concrete per day. In addition BIB has 12 mobile concrete mixers and 3 mobile concrete pumps. BIB has a computerised production process and is constantly working, to improve the finished product, together with its own laboratory. International guidelines from NEN and ASTM are used, which are important standards for building in the rugged climate in Curaçao, where the sea and the weather have free play.
Final question: Is this Dino® really the first dino on the island of Curaçao?
For Van Beek the cement Dino® for A&MCC the first dino that has set ‘foot’ on land in the Caribbean. But just the opposite also applies for Curaçao, an island where dinosaurs have probably never lived. The oldest rock on Curaçao is 87 million years old and was formed in the Cretaceous period. Dinosaurs on the other hand died out 65.5 million years ago. The foundation of the island was therefore there at the time when the dinosaurs "reigned ". A small part of what later was to become Curaçao would probably have been above water, but no dinosaurs lived there. Dinosaurs were animals that mainly developed on the continents, so there is a minimal chance that these animals could have populated the island. Of course it may be that such a beast got onto the island ‘by accident’. But the chance of such an individual fossilising is so small that archaeologists have never searched for any remains.