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Articles from MOBILE CRUSHERS (444 Articles), MOBILE SCREENS (426 Articles), HAUL TRUCKS (353 Articles)

Portable plant set-up in the past was a cumbersome, time-consuming operation.
Portable plant set-up in the past was a cumbersome, time-consuming operation.
 










Ensuring quick, safe and easy mobile plant set-up

The beauty of mobile crushing and screening plant, versus its static cousins, is that it is easily transportable, whether that be closer to the face or elsewhere in the pit – or even to another pit entirely. Three US-based plant experts give their thoughts on how you should move your equipment quickly, safely and efficiently.

There’s no doubt that portable aggregate and recycle plants have evolved over the years. Hydraulic run-on jacks have replaced the need for cranes and cribbing timbers. Slim electric lines now provide power where heavy electrical cables were once the norm. 
 
On-board conveyors have reduced the need for separate transition and stacking conveyors that add to transport loads, set-up time and space requirements. 
 
Where a portable plant move once required numerous workers and took up to two weeks or more, it can now be completed in a matter of days with far fewer personnel. More importantly, while efficient transport and quick set-up are always goals worth achieving, the features of today’s mobile plants also contribute to safety for workers. 
 
“The old-fashioned way of moving plants meant a lot of people, a lot of time, a lot of sweat and muscle,” Dave McLaughlin, director of major accounts for KPI-JCI and Astec Mobile Screens in the US, said. “Our customers today want plants that move and set up efficiently but they also tell us, ‘Build us a plant that is safer for our employees’.
 
“And when moving a portable plant doesn’t require as much time, muscle and personnel, when hydraulics position auxiliary equipment in place, when smaller electric lines replace worker exposure to heavy, high voltage cables, then you can start to answer both requirements.”
 
Paul Brandt, the territory manager for Power Equipment, based in Denver, Colorado, said manufacturers understood their customers’ need for efficiency combined with simplicity. “Some companies set up and tear down six, eight or more times a year,” he explained.  
 
“The more single pieces you move in the spread, the more money it costs. The more time it takes to set up the plant, the more downtime you incur, which translates to lost production and lost revenue.”
 
Brandt said portable plants now offered simple “plug and play” set-up and performance, which addresses the need for plant uptime, employee safety and ease of operation.
 
Engineering has created plants with a more “plug and play” ease of set-up.
Engineering has created plants with a more “plug and play” ease of set-up.
Prep and level the site before the plant and equipment arrives.
Prep and level the site before the plant and equipment arrives.
Transport and set-up of portable plants can go wrong if not properly planned and organised.
Transport and set-up of portable plants can go wrong if not properly planned and organised.
 
Ultimately, organisation is the key to a successful move, according to Chad Ferguson, the operations manager for Cessford Construction, based in Burlington, Iowa. 
 
At least a week prior to any plant move, he recommends a manager sit down and create a plan that includes site preparation, a listing of loads and the proper order in which they should pull onto the site, along with scheduling maintenance as part of the move.
 
Ferguson, Brandt, and McLaughlin all agree that while the hydraulic features available on today’s portable plants can reduce the time spent in plant set-up, it is still imperative that employees slow down and make sure they are following the proper steps for safety.
 
AN EXAMINATION OF OLD … 
Portable plant set-up used to mean days of work, with extra manpower and auxiliary equipment such as cranes and cribbing timbers. It was a cumbersome, time-consuming, expensive operation — made more costly by the production time that was lost during transport and set-up. 
 
Issues with setting up these traditional portable plants also included bulky, high voltage wiring, truckloads of conveyors to erect and assembly of handrails and walkways. 
 
… VERSUS NEW
The fact mobile plants set up more quickly buys your team time to address safety with every step.
The fact mobile plants set up more quickly buys your team time to address safety with every step.
Engineering of today’s portable plants allows more of a “plug and play” type of assembly. Hydraulic folding and unfolding of on-board conveyors and the use of run-on jacks allow for quick set-up and levelling without the need for cranes and large numbers of personnel. 
 
Electric lines between plants are now as small as a quarter-inch (6.35mm) diameter. New technology, however, can bring new challenges. For example, plants can transport with fewer loads but there is greater weight per load.
 
ORGANISE, ORGANISE, ORGANISE
Transport and set-up of portable plants can go awry if you’re not prepared. Make sure you understand axle weight regulations when travelling interstate and ensure permits are in place for the heavier loads. At least a week before the move, create a plan that includes a list of the loads. 
 
Don’t forget to plan for ancillary items such as dumpster, fuel and portable toilet facilities. Prioritise and organise the equipment before it’s torn down at the previous site.
 
LIKE CLOCKWORK
Prep and level the site before the plants arrive. If you are shooting material, it can help to drill and shoot prior to the plant’s arrival. Ensure drivers know the proper rotation for the plants to pull onto the site, where their loads are intended to set up and in what order they should enter the new site to reduce the handling of the equipment. Once a plant is unhooked, if it has to be hooked up and moved again, you are losing time and efficiency.
 
KEEP SAFETY IN MIND 
Plan for routine maintenance as part of the set-up.
Plan for routine maintenance as part of the set-up.
Today’s portable plants are designed to tear down and set up in a fraction of the time their older predecessors used to take. Hydraulics have replaced much of the muscle and sweat that were once required to set up a portable plant but don’t sacrifice safety for the sake of speed. 
 
The very fact these plants set up more quickly than older-style plants buys your team time to address safety with every step. 
 
TIME MAINTENANCE WITH THE MOVE
Even though the plant is designed to run with minimal personnel, it is better to have extra employees on hand to help with the move and set-up. Plant set-up time is also an ideal time to schedule routine maintenance for equipment. 
 
By planning for service personnel to be on-site during the move, equipment maintenance and repairs can be timed for completion before start-up. •
 
This is an abridged version of an article that originally appeared in the September 2013 issue of Aggregates Manager (US). It appears in Quarry with kind permission.
 
 



















Wednesday, 20 June, 2018 09:35pm
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