At Bridgnorth Aluminium in Shropshire, UK, Nuneaton-based AR Demolition faced the challenge of internal demolition of a 400 m (1,300 ft) by 10 m (33 ft) wide aluminium lithography strip production line where height restrictions meant that the largest machine that could be used was a 20 tonne excavator. The work involved the breaking out of a strongly reinforced concrete mezzanine ceiling at 10 m while retaining the external walls of the structure. The work was further complicated by the need to remove several heavily reinforced concrete bases that protruded from the floor by up to 2 m (6.6 ft) to allow further access into the structure.
With access so tight and compact, the only logical sequence for the demolition was to pulverise, shear and break alternately in small sections, which meant frequent attachment changes. The first stage of the work saw the use of a VTN FP24 concrete pulveriser to remove the heavily reinforced concrete of the mezzanine floor and bring it down to ground level where it was further processed into smaller pieces and rebar removed. As the rebar was over 2.5 cm (1 inch) thick it was not possible to bundle with the pulveriser. The operator therefor changed over to a VTN MT20 multiprocessor fitted with steel jaws to cut the rebar into manageable lengths. It was then necessary to swap to a sorting grab to load the rebar into a scrap skip for recycling. The broken concrete was left on the floor, so the excavator could track forward onto the next section of the building.
When faced with the first raised concrete platform a Furukawa F27XP hydraulic breaker was used to break into this base and make room to proceed into the next stage to repeat this process over again.
The solution for these rapid tool changes came in the shape of the OilQuick system supplied by UK distributor ECY Haulmark, who introduced the company to the system in 2010. OilQuick is an automatic coupler that permits hydraulic work tools to be connected and disconnected directly from the driver's cab, which allows the operator to safely change between different attachments within just a few seconds.
AR Demolition MD Richard Dolman commented that whereas they would usually need more than one machine on site, all fitted with different attachments to carry out a demolition contract, only one machine is now required. In terms of financial gains Richard said that this offers the main advantage since this means lower fuel, servicing and maintenance costs. AR Demolition is now looking to the future with a further investment in OilQuick for its fleet of larger 40 tonne machines.