From steel to solar with Indeco hammers

07 July 2016

Five Indeco hammers have demolished the foundations of a former steel mill in Buffalo, New York, in an area seeing construction of the largest solar panel production plant in the United States.

The SolarCityproject - one of the latest ventures of Elon Musk, founder of PayPal, SpaceX and Tesla - is of huge importance to Buffalo because it is closely tied to the city's economic revival and is part of a broader plan called Buffalo Billion Dollar Initiative, which aims to attract high-tech companies to the RiverBend site. The new manufacturing hub, built on the grounds of an old steel mill, will occupy a total area of 29.4 hectares (61.5 acres) and annually produce next-generation solar panels in sufficient quantity to generate 1 GW of energy establishing itself as the largest and most productive in the Western Hemisphere. At full production, the modern factory will employ over 2,000 workers in addition to 1,000 working in downstream activities.

Site conversion and construction of the new industrial complex were assigned to LPCiminelli, a major contracting firm based in Buffalo.

To perform demolition, LPCiminelli used five Indeco hammers, two HP 8000, two HP 13001 and an HP 16000. The hammers were used to a great extent, not only to demolish elements in reinforced concrete and structures where the new foundations were to be built, but also to excavate trenches for installation of the large utilities network.

Commenting on the project, Keegan Lachut, site manager for LPCiminelli had this to say: “The demolition was incredibly challenging, due both to the quantity of material we removed from the ground and because we really didn't know what to expect as the job progressed. All Indeco hammers performed optimally, but in certain situations the one that delivered the best was undoubtedly the HP 16000. I don't think I've ever seen a hammer giving that type of performance.

“In hindsight, if we had immediately understood how difficult the job would have been and the capabilities of the HP 16000, we would have rented five in place of the other models. As I said, the other hammers gave excellent performance, but given the hard task they needed more time to get the job done, especially in the most difficult situations."

Indeco hammers and most of the machines operated by the contractor were rented from Anderson Equipment, a major distributor of machinery and equipment with 21 branches.

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