Concrete milling tool saves time and money for Molson Coors

By Nathan MedcalfMarch 10, 2021

Using the Lutec Comicat CM 140 instead of jackhammers decreased the number of people on site from more than 10 to just two

Molson Coors needed to repurpose the concrete floor at its Toronto brewing facility. Not only was the floor 20 years old, but the company planned to convert the property from a production facility - complete with bottle washer, filler and pasteurizer that drained onto sloped floors - into a warehouse.

Approximately 35,000 square feet of concrete flooring needed to be removed from the 60,000-square-foot facility and the sloped floors needed to be milled in preparation for new concrete to be placed at a level grade.

Site Manager Wayne Nyhuis considered redoing the floor in the same manner used when he replaced a similar floor 15 years earlier. At that time, they used a grinder. “It was messy,” he said.

Meanwhile, Tyler Thompson, vice president of construction at Ross and Anglin, attended Canadian Concrete Expo in February 2020, where he met Christoph Ott of Lutec North America.

Ott informed Thompson of the benefits of using a Lutec Comicat CM 140 milling machine which he explained is designed to cleanly, cost-effectively and quickly mill concrete to specification.

“The Comicat 140 is an efficient and productive machine for grinding concrete, asphalt and terrazzo,” said Ott. “The German-engineered machine provides the best possible solution to get the surface prepared correctly for final overlayment. It’s also used regularly to prepare floors in retail centers, industrial buildings, hospitals, and parking garages, as well as prepare bridge, concrete road and asphalt road surfaces for resurfacing.”

Nyhuis then contacted Thompson about removing the concrete floor from the Molson Coors facility. Thompson told Nyhuis that he would like to use the Lutec Comicat CM 140.

Intrigued, Nyhuis scheduled follow-up conversations with Ott before allowing Ross and Anglin to use the Comicat CM 140 to mill the 35,000 square feet of flooring and Ross and Anglin subcontracted Lutec North America to perform the work. Lutec North America is not only responsible for all North American sales of the Comicat CM 140, it also provides concrete milling services within Southern Ontario.

Beating the big boys

Due to its compact size, the Comicat CM 140 was able move unhindered around the facility and it allowed most normal

The Lutec Comicat CM 140 uses a 31-piece milling tool to mill to a 3-inch depth and 14-inch width in a single pass, allowing for a production rate of up to 1,200 ft.² per hour

operations to continue during the project.

“We had used a grinder and milling machines in the past. The machines are bigger and less maneuverable, and they don’t mill any faster than the Comicat CM 140,” Nyhuis said, adding, “The Comicat CM 140 doesn’t get damaged when it hits rebar like other milling equipment does.”

Nyhuis had at one time used a milling attachment with a skid-steer loader and recalled that setup was less efficient and accurate, and created a lot more dust than the dedicated Comicat CM 140.

Designed to work indoors

Besides its compact dimensions, the machine is equipped with a dust-suppressant system that includes a HEPA filter, so it’s well-suited for working indoors. Lutec claims it produces so little dust and such low diesel emissions that it’s considered safe for indoor operation even when bystanders are on site.

“When our floors were milled with the Comicat CM 140, there was minimal dust and only a little mist,” Nyhuis said. “The machine comes with a vacuum, and we used it at first but eventually stopped because only a small amount of dust was produced.”

Staying safe during Covid

Lutec noted that an unexpected advantage of using the Comicat CM 140 is it can significantly decrease the number of people on a job site, which aids in decreasing the risk of Covid transmission.

The Lutec Comicat CM 140 assisted in replacing a floor at Molson Coors’ Toronto brewing facility

The Comicat CM 140 removes up to three inches of concrete, asphalt or terrazzo by milling it with 31 rotating teeth, leaving a path of debris in its wake. A skid-steer loader follows the Comicat CM 140 to clean up the debris. So, only two people - one in each machine - need to be present. Little manual work is necessary.

Comparatively, it would take 10 people with jackhammers to remove the 35,000 square feet of flooring in the same amount of time at the Molson Coors facility.

Doing more work in less time

During the project, Nyhuis decided the facility would benefit if another section of the floor (about 10,000 square feet) were milled. Lutec North America completed the additional milling by the deadline quoted for the original 35,000 square feet.

“I was really impressed with how quickly Lutec was able to mill the floors using the Comicat CM 140,” said Nyhuis. “We even lost a day of work due to a Covid-related shutdown.”

Milling slopes to a consistent grade is a difficult task regardless of the method used. The Molson Coors project required milling slopes up to three inches in height, however, the Comicat CM 140 was able to mill the slopes to the point they were consistent with the rest of the floor.

“I was both surprised and impressed with the machine’s ability to mill slopes so well and so easily,” said Nyhuis.

Since the Comicat CM 140 can accurately mill down concrete to one-eighth of an inch, it doesn’t remove more concrete than is necessary, which can happen with other methods. According to Nyhuis, this saved the company a lot of money when it came to pouring new concrete.

In addition, Nyhuis said the surface milled by the Comicat CM 140 provided a better bond with the new concrete compared with other milling methods.

“It has been months since we laid the new floor and there still isn’t a single crack in it,” said Nyhuis. “Engineers predicted that it would have cracked by now. I attribute the absence of cracks to the excellent bonding qualities of the milled surface.”

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