ACE Auto-Grade System Cuts Gradation Testing Time 48 Percent Against Standard Manual Testing

ACE Auto-Grade

In a head-to-head test between the ACE Auto-Grade Laboratory and standard testing practice the fully automated portable gradation testing laboratory beat the standard protocol time by 48 percent while maintaining accuracy within .00256 percent.

The ACE Auto-Grade Laboratory automates AASHTO T11 and T27 as well as ASTM C117 and C136 aggregate testing. It is fully portable, measuring 24 inches deep and 36 inches wide, with customizable feet or castors giving the testing deck a range of 37 to 44 inches.

“Our unit uses less power than a 15,000 watt microwave and you put it in the back of the truck,” said Joel Costonis, Founder and CEO of Advanced Concepts and Engineering.

Pike Industries donated five samples of raw aggregate and one blended sample for the test, which included sample preparation time, dry time, moisture calculations, sieve time and gradation calculations.

Using standard practice the process took 48 minutes. With the ACE Auto-Grade system moisture and gradation calculations were completely automated and dry time was reduced from 17 minutes to only 12 minutes.  The total testing procedure with the fully automated Ace Auto-Grade system took only 25 minutes. 

ACE’s proprietary sieves are 532% volume of standard sieves. Sizes range from 25mm to 7.5μ, with up to 15 different sizes. Sieve walls are slanted at 69 degrees, promoting motion of the aggregate and delivering a far more accurate result than a standard stack. Triangulating load cells have a maximum capacity exceeding 30,000 grams reporting to .1g.

The ACE Auto-Grade Laboratory is enhanced by the Total Integration Total Automation Protocol. This proprietary software fully automates the process so that users can enter test information and let the unit test and report on each size individually.  The user can choose which sieves are reported via an on-board touch screen computer.

Reports are delivered via on-board Wi-fi.  The user can then download using an on-board USB port, print using the on-board printer, or uploaded to the Ace Advantage Integrated Software Solution, which manages quality control data, ensuring accessibility of data 24-hours a day.

“Part of this totally automated, totally integrated protocol is to be able to have information for whoever wants it as close to live data as possible,” Costonis said.

“The unit is 100 percent automated, 100 percent repeatable and the results are certifiable because they cannot be edited,” Costonis said. “Our target is to change the way these quality control processes are done.”

Mr. Costonis was invited by ASTM Chair to present at the semi-annual  ASTM Meeting, December 5th through 9th [at Renaissance Orlando at SeaWorld]. Advanced Concepts & Engineering has further reserved the Zander Room at the Renaissance and invites all who would like to test the ease and effectiveness of the laboratory to bring samples of raw aggregates and blends [19mm and under] for a hands on demonstration of the ACE Auto-Grade

Advanced Concepts and Engineering, LLC is a pioneer in the aggregate industry. Company President, Joel Costonis, founded ACE as a way to overcome challenges associated with manual testing of aggregate materials. Headquartered in Dexter, Maine, ACE is a voting producer member of ASTM International and a member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science as well as the American Society for Quality.


Mr. Joel Costonis
President, Advanced Concepts & Engineering, LLC


Source: Advanced Concepts & Engineering; Emma Gallimore


Categories: Business Technology, Emerging Businesses, Construction, Engineering, Information Technology, Quality Control

Additional Links

About Advanced Concepts Engineering, LLC

View Website

Advanced Concepts and Engineering, LLC was founded to provide an alternative to the current manual quality processes of the aggregate industry.

Advanced Concepts Engineering, LLC
9 Zions Hill Rd (P.O. Box 344)
Dexter, ME 04930
United States