Volumetric concrete—the process wherein materials aren't mixed in a ready-mix barrel truck but, rather, mixed right on a job site from a truck with separate compartments to ensure a proper amount or mix—has been around for more than 50 years. But the regulations regarding volumetric concrete still provokes some head scratching, so Des Moines, Iowa-based volumetric mixer manufacturer Cemen Tech is trying to move volumetric beyond its traditional small batch and strict-mix concrete markets. With new web-based tools, the company is looking to help customers understand how to use volumetric concrete and stay in compliance with various department of transportation rules in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.
The equipment manufacturer recently created Cemen Tech Connect, a web-based, video technical support system available to all customers using its trucks and Accu-Pour mix software. Connect provides a direct, real-time video connection for customers to field support with multi-party video calling, two-way screen annotation and content sharing capabilities and support personnel can then assist customers with troubleshooting, part identification, field evaluations and more. The company also recently launched DOTcertified.com, a website that aims to help state DOTs, municipalities, engineers, and others understand volumetric concrete mixing and how to meet the myriad DOT specifications. The site only requires a free registration to access the information.
"While the customer is on-site pouring and mixing concrete or a dealer looking to make a repair or if there's a programming issue, Cemen Tech Connect is very helpful when it comes to programming issues with our computers," says Tony Hood, Cemen Tech's regional dealer support manager. "When someone's on the phone there can be a misinterpretation or a disconnect in conversation. We've been using mobile-to-mobile from the field for years, it's a way you can pause video and make sure the customer on the other end understands and that we're talking about the same thing."
Hood is currently working with the Texas Department of Transportation's San Antonio division helping it specify volumetric concrete using Cemen Tech Connect. The control computer in a Cemen Tech's truck saves mix designs and calibrations and it then can tell customers which gate settings to use to achieve a desired mix. Actual mixing of concrete, using a Cemen Tech mixer, is done via a 10-ft auger at the end of the truck on a construction site.
"One of the biggest challenges in providing phone support to customers is ensuring a common understanding of the issue. Cemen Tech Connect allows our technical experts to visually be in the field with our customers, to understand problems faster, outline routine maintenance procedures and provide the information and support necessary to get our customers back up and running," says Connor Deering, president and CEO of Cemen Tech.
Cemen Tech currently operates in more than 60 countries, and services mixers across the world. It recently added dealers in Utah, Nevada, Wyoming and Georgia and opened a support center in Manchester, U.K. The Cemen Tech Connect mobile app can be downloaded from the Apple or Android app stores.