Situation: In an effort to keep up with the high demands of envelopes, The Double
Envelope Company purchased a new printing press machine for their plant.
This press weighs approximately 50,000 lbs. It was quickly determined
that the 6” thick floor slab where the printing press machine was
going to be placed was not sufficient to support the gravity and dynamic
loads. A contractor was hired to build a new foundation.
The contractor knew he was in for a challenge when he received the soils
report. The soil borings indicated the ground water table was 7 feet below
the finished floor elevation and a 3 foot layer of organic silty soil
was present 4 feet below the floor slab. Therefore, an underpinning system
was required in order to transfer the loads from the printing press machine
to stable soils.
Solution: One of the challenges was to install a deep foundation system for the
printing press machine inside of an existing plant. The other challenge
was that the installation of the new foundation system couldn’t
interrupt the normal operations of the plant. Therefore, time was of the
essence. Ram Jack helical piles seemed to be the ideal solution to the
owner’s needs. They can be installed quickly with limited-access
equipment, with no spoils and can be immediately loaded after installation.
Ram Jack Solid Foundations was contacted to provide a bid for a foundation
that would support the new printing press machine. Ram Jack’s engineering
department worked with a local structural engineer to design a new foundation
based on the project soils report and the press manufacturer’s specifications.
Conclusion: The new foundation was to be 40’-0 long, 7’-6” wide and
18” thick. A total of (24) 2 7/8” diameter Ram Jack helical
piles were required. Fourteen of the piles were placed vertically and
the remaining ten piles were placed at a batter to resist the dynamic
lateral loads generated by the machine.
In order to meet the owner’s time constraints, two machines were
utilized during the pile installation. The machines were operating simultaneously.
The piles were installed to an average embedment depth of 25 feet below
the foundation. The total installation time for the piles was 7 hours.
The contractors were thrilled to be placing the reinforcement and concrete
the day after the helical piles were installed. The owner was thrilled
that the foundation was installed on time, within budget and with minimal
disruption to his plant operations.
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