Saturday, April 02, 2011

When Only a Putzmeister Will Do...

The other day, we mentioned that two pumps were being sent form the United States to Japan to help with the water spraying effort at Fukushima to keep the reactors and fuel pools cooled. The giant pumps are manufactured by Putzmeister in Germany, which most stories I've read on this have mentioned. 
It occurred to me that Putzmeister might be a little interested in this unexpected publicity - all this seemed to have happened without the company's direct participation - and indeed it has.
Since Tuesday, 22.3.2011, a 58-metre Putzmeister large-boom pump has been pumping water for cooling at the atomic power plant in Fukushima.
A few days ago, the Japanese operator decided to use another four Putzmeister machines at the damaged reactor blocks in Fukushima: Two 62-meter-high machines with 6 arms (M 62-6) and two 70-meter-high machines (M 70-5). All the machines are from Germany. The two 70-meter pumps are to be taken from construction sites in the USA. The first machine will probably be flown from Stuttgart to Japan on 31.03 in an Antonov wide-bodied aircraft, and the other machines will be flown in during the following days. Initially, they will probably pump water; later they will be used for any necessary concreting work.
So, a little national pride, but otherwise pretty exacting in sticking to details. It also sounds like Putzmeister is helping out. Given the circumstances, you can't blame the company for letting you know exactly how their machines are useful.

The two large-boom pumps are characterized by their enormous vertical reach of almost 62 or 70 metres, as well as their particularly flexible boom kinematics. This means the uppermost arm of the booms can reach over the edge of the reactor buildings and into the buildings from above, and thus discharge the water where it is needed.
Thanks to its 6 arms, the M 62-6, for example, is considerably more flexible than a comparable 5-arm boom with a similar range. The M 70-5 truck-mounted concrete pump is the largest series-produced truck-mounted concrete pump in the world. It is mounted on a semitrailer pulled by a 500 HP tractor unit. In order to ensure even distribution of the weight of 80 tonnes, the vehicle has 10 axles over a total length of 21.4 metres.
However, you slice it, these are highly specialized machines. I suspect anyone who needs one of these knows about Putzmeister. Still, the company had wide latitude to get crass about its involvement - and it didn't - at all.

Good for Putzmeister.
Thanks to its large reach and flexible boom, the M 62-6 is ideally suited to use on high buildings, for example the damaged reactor buildings in Fukushima. These are the two being sent from Germany.

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