The Official Publication
of the Mason Contractors
Association of America
Mixers, Pumps and Delivery Systems
Product Profile: BMI’s Silo System
Masonry examines the uses and benefits of a silo system for mason contractors.
Imagine: no more enormous dust plumes and empty cement bags on your jobsite, and no more large piles of hardened material and empty pallets lying around. Dirty sand and wasted space are a thing of the past, and you can say goodbye to long set-up times, inconsistent product and unnecessary demands on your crew. These are benefits of a silo system, according to BMI, a company with regional offices in Chicago and San Francisco.
BMI dubs its Silo System as “The Clean Choice” and says it makes masonry practically a no-brainer for contractors. The system combines blending, delivery, storage, mixing and pumping into a single, seamless system.
How the process works
In 10 minutes, you’re ready to make high-quality, highly consistent mortar or grout, with the push of a single-push button. While this all may sound ultramodern and revolutionary to some, a variation of the BMI system actually has been around for nearly 50 years.
“The silo system was developed in Europe in the late-1960s,” says Arnold Germann, president of BMI Products. “The goal was to improve efficiency on the construction site, while keeping the site cleaner, with less dust.”
Germann says BMI Products introduced a variation of this European system to North America in 1988. Eventually, this would become the company’s signature silo system.
“We’ve been using BMI almost exclusively for at least 10 years now,” says Al Esche, partner at Esche & Lee, the commercial contractor responsible for masonry work in Chicago’s Wrigley Field, the Great Lakes Naval Base, Chicago’s McCormick Place and the Loyola University campus. “In 10 years, I’ve never had a mortar complaint.”
While he attributes that fact to the factory-blended quality and consistency of the BMI product, he also cites the cost efficiency of the system itself as a primary benefit to Esche & Lee.
“The largest percent of our job cost,” Esche says, “is labor, not material.”
With the BMI system, Esche says, his crew is free from hauling enormous bags of material, or what he likes to call “80-pound back breakers.” That means he reduces his crew hours and pays fewer workers comp claims. He only needs one worker versus three, and the company doesn’t have to purchase any $4,000 mixers. Esche says the BMI Silo System pays for itself.
How the silo works
There’s never a charge for delivery. You only pay for BMI’s product. It’s priced by the ton, and, since it remains pristine in the silo while on the jobsite, you only pay for what you use.
Weighed and pre-blended in a factory by a computerized system to insure a consistent mix, BMI’s mortar and grout incorporate ingredients that include crushed, cleaned and graded sand. Mortar is produced to specification, and can be adjusted to the masonry or brick unit, resulting in a better bond, better workability and better water retention.
“I know that I’ll get a consistent product,” says Esche. “I know that it’s automatically going to be in compliance with masonry specifications.”
Esche recalls the time he had six of BMI’s silos on a single jobsite. Each contained a different colored mortar, and each produced a consistent color throughout the job. “If you’re hand-mixing that,” Esche laughs, “good luck!”
When your silo is delivered, a BMI technician will explain to your crew how to operate the system and the control panel. Should problems arise later, call BMI, and a field-service representative can help. If your problem can’t be solved over the phone, the company will dispatch immediately a technician to your jobsite, to help minimize expensive downtime for you.
BMI produces a variety of materials, from masonry mortars and adhesives, to plasters, stuccos, self-leveling floor products and more, and all are compatible with all of the equipment in the BMI Silo System.
|Last Updated on Thursday, 08 September 2011 11:04|