Inversiones Coflan C.A. was founded in 1999 to participate in civil engineering works in Venezuela. In 2003, the company decided to specialize in the design, construction, and maintenance of asphalt pavements. In 2009, during a visit to Roadtec’s used equipment division in Chattanooga, Tennessee, to buy a milling machine, Coflan acquired its first material transfer vehicle (MTV), the Shuttle Buggy® SB-2500, as a technological contribution to the asphalt industry in Venezuela.
BETTER COMPACTION PROCESS
The Roadtec Shuttle Buggy MTV’s advantages convinced the Coflan directors. The MTV can store and transfer hot-mix asphalt from a truck to the paver for continuous paving for smoother roads. The triple-pitch mixing auger at the bottom of the 25-ton (22.7 tonne) bin eliminates the aggregate and temperature segregation. Coflan acquired an infrared camera to initially prove and register the laying temperature of the hot-mix asphalt (HMA), and as a tool to identify in real time the thermic differentials produced by wrong paving practices, as well as other processes during transport. Currently, Coflan is using the infrared camera as a tool to coordinate the compaction process.
Eduardo Martínez, Coflan’s vice president, said, “The asphalt has to be seen in colors; the use of the infrared camera is essential to control and register temperature during the laying of hot-mix asphalt.”
Top image: Coflan uses the infrared camera as a tool to coordinate the compaction process.
Roadtec’s Material Transfer Vehicle homogenizes the gradation and temperature of the HMA in order to obtain uniform densities after compaction, which is an elementary property in the construction of durable pavements. It is of utmost importance to eliminate HMA cold spots produced by the cooling of the mix in the dump truck. The cold spots will be more difficult to compact and will have more vacuum, which can cause the loss of more than 50 percent of the estimated useful life, producing an increase on the road maintenance costs and insecurity.
THE COFLAN ROADTEC FLEET
Inversiones Coflan C.A. has the biggest fleet of Material Transfer Vehicles in Latin America, owning three Shuttle Buggy SB-2500s and renting one. Currently, this equipment works in the Autopista Regional del Centro, the main road with more traffic in Venezuela which connects the cities of Caracas, La Victoria, Maracay, Guacara, and Valencia, as well as other minor cities. Valencia is known as the industrial capital of Venezuela. It belongs to the Eje Vial Nacional Troncal 1—more than 100,000 cars per day travel this road.
Inversiones Coflan C.A. has been recognized by the Public Works Ministry of Venezuela for its excellent pavement finishing and work quality, specifically for the smooth, safe, and durable surfaces. Coflan C.A. was also chosen in 2013 as International Member of the National Asphalt Pavement Association (NAPA).
Currently, a second generation of members of the Martínez family is completing their engineering studies in order to continue with the high-standard of quality on the daily paving process with the same passion as the founders.
Ricardo Martínez, Coflan’s director, mentioned, “I don´t conceive the idea of paving without the use of the Material Transfer Vehicle Shuttle Buggy in these times, with the current tools, like the infrared camera, the portable density testing devices, and the surface profilers to measure the smoothness daily, which demonstrate the difference in quality like uniform density and smoothness of the paving jobs performed with and without the use of the Shuttle Buggy.”
Paul Lavaud, Roadtec director of international sales for Latin America said, “Each time I hear the Inversiones Coflan directors and meet them at asphalt shows talking about how proud they are about their paving jobs, I feel more than thankful that they use our Material Transfer Vehicle Shuttle Buggy SB-2500 as one of their most important pieces of equipment to improve their daily process and quality. They are very professional in each step of the paving process. I am sure that more paving companies will follow their philosophy of high quality.”
L to R: Coflan’s directors: Eduardo Martínez, Ricardo Martínez, Paul Lavaud with Roadtec, Rafael Martínez, and Walter Fajardo at World of Asphalt 2013.
Coflan paving job Autopista Regional del Centro in Venezuela.
Comparison of the HMA Temperature Before Compaction. Left: Without Shuttle Buggy SB-2500. Right: With Shuttle Buggy SB-2500.