Construction of Looping Pits & Industrial Machine Foundations
Rademacher Industrial System (RIS) specializes in the planning, design and installation of looping pits and industrial machine foundations. RIS logistical personal meet early on with plant officials to:
- Arrange work schedules
- Determine work entry & exit points
- Evaluate equipment & storage needs
- Plan a comprehensive safety program
Off-Site Pre-Fabrication Plant
In our modern fabrication plant in Farrell, PA, our craftsmen design, manufacture and begin to pre-assemble the necessary components for the project at hand. Using state-of-the-art manufacturing processes, each piece is quickly and efficiently fabricated to exacting specifications.
Pre-fabricating the work in our home base plant allows RIS to be in complete control of both the timetable and the budget. It also allows us to competitively pursue projects at distant or remote locations.
Construction begins as concrete floors up to 20” thick are cut into manageable pieces to be removed one at a time. At the same time, RIS construction personnel are readying the tools and equipment they’ll need on the job site.
Looping Pits: The Exclusive Shaft Sinking Process
Because they take the longest, looping pits are built first using an exclusive RIS-developed shaft sinking process. Just like it sounds, a shaft of concrete is allowed to sink through the ground under its own weight. With our shaft sinking process, we are able to sink a finished wall that is self-shoring. At the same time, it is our finished product as it sinks.
The shaft sinking process is performed by excavating down to approximately 8’ below the finished floor. Then, a strong shoring wall is studded in.
The shoring wall does two things:
- First, the shoring wall ensures the integrity of the surrounding adjacent foundation.
- Second, it gives our workers a safe area to climb within and perform work according to OSHA shoring standards.
With the exception of locally purchased concrete and the use of an overhead crane, RIS brings everything they need to work on the project. This provides additional control over timing, costs and minimizing plant disruptions.
Steel Wedge Base
The steel wedge base is the secret of the Rademacher shaft sinking process. Constructed of heavy steel plate, each one is custom fabricated to the dimensions required. Designed to support an 18” think concrete wall on top, the inside tapers to a bottom edge that actually cuts its way into the ground as walls are built on top.
Looking at floor level, the base is level. Steel reinforcing is welded in place and filled with concrete to make it more rigid. Rademacher craftsmen set the forms for the first section of wall, and move the assembly into place. The base is lowered through the guide ring until it settles into the earth.
At this point, the top of the form is only 4’ above the floor, making it easy to pour concrete. A heavy industrial water seal is cast into each section to eliminate the possibility of future seepage problems. When this section is cured and the form is removed, excavation resumes.
Shaft Excavation Straight Down
Working with special modified equipment capable of digging 40’ straight down, the hole is dug inside the concrete shaft. The weight of the concrete shaft forces the wedge into the ground. Removing soil from the center allows the wedge to settle more, continuously forcing material into the middle as it cuts its weigh down. As more earth is excavated, the shaft sinks.
Sometimes the progress is barely distinguishable, other times more dramatic. As each sections sinks below floor level, another 10’ section is cast on top. Because the crew is always working at floor level, maximum efficiency is achieved. No special pumping equipment or scaffolding and very few safety appliances are required.
When the final depth is reached, the shaft is locked into position with a reinforced concrete floor. Even though the industrial water seals are installed between each section, a sump is cast into the floor to allow for removal of oil or other contaminants that can spill into the pit over time.
RIS also casts a man access ladder into each shaft to allow easy access for routine maintenance, inspection and house keeping.
Maximize Your Production Floor Space
Because only the material inside the shaft is disturbed, and there is little or no vibration involved, Rademacher Industrial System can install looping pits in close proximity to support columns and existing equipment. This allows the customer to make the best use of production floor space. Our specialty modified equipment can be operated within close proximity to support columns, walls, etc., minimizing any structural modifications or holes cut into walls or roofs of your building.
As the looping pit nears completion, the foundation for the rest of the line is prepared. Finally the entire line is cast to the looping pit shaft creating an interconnected, integrated foundation system.
Contact us to discuss your industrial machine foundation project or to receive a no-cost foundation construction estimate.