OH&S News

Mobile plant adds new string to driller’s bow

Over many years, Atlas Copco has been renowned as a global supplier of surface drills, drilling tools, compressors, construction tools and ground engineering systems within the quarrying, mining and extractive industries. The company has now added another string to its bow – its range of Powercrusher tracked crushers and screens has arrived in the Australian market.

The new Atlas Copco Powercrusher range, which was previously owned, manufactured and operated by Hartl Powercrusher in Austria, includes 11 different models of tracked crushers ? comprising four jaws, six impactors and a cone – and five screens. The 11 crushers have a crushing capacity of 200 to 450 tonnes per hour; the five screens have a capacity of 300 to 600 tph.

The first three Powercrusher machines introduced to Australia were in action at a customer and media open day organised by Atlas Copco Construction & Mining Australia at the Daracon Buttai Quarry, near Newcastle, on Friday, 19 August. The mobile train included the PC 3 impact crusher, the PC 6 jaw crusher (the largest jaw crusher in the new Powercrusher range) and the HCS 5515 screen plant.

The point of difference in Atlas Copco Powercrusher?s tracked mobile jaws ? which also comprise the PC 1055, PC 2 and PC 4 ? is the unique quattro movement. The nip angle between the vertical stationary jaw plate and the oscillating swing jaw, coupled with the figure eight motion of the swing jaw, combine to create continuous crushing. The vertical motion of the swing jaw draws in materials and a more effective force is applied over the face of the crushing chamber, with an efficient post-crushing effect as the rocks leave the chamber.

Tom Ross, the business line manager for surface drilling equipment at Atlas Copco Construction & Mining Australia, described the quattro movement as ?completely unique to Atlas Copco, nobody else runs this kind of system. In the old days, it was realised that a traditional jaw with a down-thrust toggle didn?t work efficiently. The crushing didn?t start until the material went at least a third of the way down the jaw plates, so traditionally that?s why crushers have had very long jaw plates. With the up-thrust toggle in the Atlas Copco Powercrusher, the crushing action starts right at the top of the jaw plate, so you?re using the maximum opening of the crusher and also the maximum surface area of the jaw plates. It not only swings and crushes in, it also crushes down on the top, so you could say in a way it drags the material into the crusher rather than the traditional crusher that actually forces the material up. With the motion of the jaw, you will also have a post-crush, so you have your initial crush on the top and you have a second crush near the bottom. And it?s this action, this post-crush with a lot more stone on stone crushing that produces a cubicle shaped, less flaky material.

?The more cubicle the shape of the material that you make, the less need for crushing further in the process to get the shape required. You quite often see that there will be a tertiary or even a fourth crusher in line, purely for shaping material. Now if you can start the shaping process with your first and second machines, then the running cost of your second machine might be slightly higher but if you?re taking one or two more machines out of the train, then there are definitely benefits to be had.?

Both Tom Ross and George Stirling, Atlas Copco?s regional business manager for surface drilling equipment in Australia and Africa, estimated that in comparison to a standard jaw crusher, there would be a 30 to 33 per cent reduction in the flakiness of the product. The mobile jaws are also capable of handling larger feed sizes than conventional crushers with similar inlet openings (ranging from 1000mm x 550mm on the PC 1055 to 1300mm x 800mm on the PC 6) while limiting blockage and can produce output ranging from 200 tph to 350 tph.

At Buttai Quarry, the PC 6 jaw crusher was the primary crusher in a mobile train comprising a PC 3 impact crusher (secondary crusher) and a HCS 5515 screen. The PC 6 features a 1300mm x 800mm primary jaw, a 4300mm (length) x 2800mm (width) x 4200mm (height) feed hopper with volume of 7m3, a 4700mm x 1270mm vibrating chute with double deck grizzly, a conveyor belt with 1200mm belt width and 3112mm discharge height and a permanent magnetic separator with a belt width of 750mm. It is powered by a 287 kW Cat C11 Tier 3 engine and has a total crushing capacity of 350 tph.

The PC 3 impact crusher has a 1250mm x 705mm impact crusher box, a 3340mm x 2340mm x 3220mm feed hopper with volume of 4.5m3, a 3410mm x 1240mm vibrating chute with pre-screening unit, a conveyor belt with 650mm belt width and 2630mm discharge height and a permanent magnetic separator. It is also powered by a 287 kW Cat Tier 3 engine and has a total crushing capacity of 250 tph.

?The PC 3,? said Tom Ross, ?is our mid-range impact crusher. It doesn?t have an independent screen but it has a grizzly integrated into the end of the feed hopper. With our impact chamber design, we?re able to put very large pieces of material into the impactor and in certain circumstances use it as a primary machine. With the design of the blow bars and the impact areas within the crusher, again we can get a very cubicle shape from that machine.?

Of the other five impact crushers in the Atlas Copco Powercrusher range, two ? the PC 5 and the PC 1610 ? incorporate double-deck independent pre-screens. The impact crushers are designed to accept large feed sizes (with inlet openings of 1000mm x 600mm on the PC 1060 up to 1560mm x 1020mm on the PC 1610) and can be used for the processing of soft to medium-hard aggregate such as natural stone and construction and demolition materials. The other five impact crushers have a high output capacity from 200 tph up to 500 tph.

The HCS 5515 features 5500mm x 1500mm screens on both top and bottom decks, a feed hopper with a volume of 8m3, a reject grid area of 3500mm x 1900mm at an angle of 15 to 30 degrees, and main, feed, side and fines conveyors. The conveyor belt width is as wide as 1200mm while the discharge heights on the side and fines conveyors are 4260mm and 5045mm respectively. The screen?s engine output is 75 kW and it is powered by a Cat C4-4 drive unit.

While the HCS 5515 is the largest of the Atlas Copco Powercrusher double deck screens, Tom Ross explains that there are various configurations available amongst the five screens to enter the Australian market. ?We have a triple deck screen (the HCS 3D), which is slightly larger  in size to the HCS 5515, and we also have the HCS Grizzly which is a super heavy duty machine.?

Aside from double-deck screening plants that include lower-deck screening media to divide aggregate into accurate fractions, a five-degree incline of the screenboxes and bowed meshes produce a ?banana effect? for more efficient screening. The screens have a high capacity output of 200 tph to 600 tph.

With 11 mobile machines in the Atlas Copco Powercrusher range, Tom Ross and George Stirling maintain that every one could potentially play its part in a quarry set-up. ?It?s very much like drill rigs, you have to know the basic information first,? Tom explained. ?First of all, what are you going to put into the machine? What kind of rock do you have, how big is that rock, and how small do you want to make it? And add all fractions that are multiple combinations. All of our machines are suitable for the quarrying industry, but for example, the impactor may not be the machine you want to use on a very hard, high silicon rock because the running cost will be higher. However, if the rock is softer, there are all sorts of different combinations. It really depends on the quarry location, the material and the size of material that you have.?

?The range of the crushers is quite similar to the range of the drill rig,? added George Stirling. ?We have a crusher for your particular requirement ? and that requirement is driven by the end product. So it falls into the thinking of Atlas Copco?s philosophy. For the offerings you require, instead of saying ?Oh, we have one crusher or one drill rig per application, here is the range?, let?s look at it in a bit more detail and we will gear ourselves up for the product that we have for your specific needs.?

Another key element of the Atlas Copco Powercrusher range is that the machines will not be on-sold through an Australian distributor or dealer. Atlas Copco will manage all sales of the Powercrusher range to quarrying customers and will deal directly with inquiries and aftermarket sales.

?At Atlas Copco, we have a huge parts and services aftermarket organisation,? Tom explained. ?We have 16 branches in Australia and there?s 34,000 worldwide team members, including trained technicians. The message I really wanted to get across to our customers was that our commitment is ?from cradle to grave?. We?re not a dealer that will sell you the machine and then not really be too worried because it?s Atlas Copco from the start all the way through to the finish. We have ownership, we are going to support these machines on the market. It?s a different concept for the Australian market.?

George Stirling said that this approach is not new; it has been successfully demonstrated in the way that Atlas Copco sells its drill rigs. ?We?re currently enjoying the market dominance of the drill rigs, and that?s not just through the products. The dominance is driven by the aftermarket support and as Tom said there?s 16 branches here, but that?s just part of the equation. We have a whole organisation of global driven organisations supporting Australia. So Australia?s not a continent on its own, its part of the global team, which I think, makes a big difference.?

As part of the aftermarket support, Atlas Copco Powercrusher will offer its customers service kits for seven of the mobile jaw and impact crushers that contain all of the necessary parts required to perform 250 hour based preventative maintenance tasks as per the factory recommendation. The kits ? designed for the PC 1, PC 2, PC 3, PC 4, PC 5, PC 6 and PC 1060 and PC 1055 – are priced competitively against individual parts costs, using one part number per service interval, and packaged for easy shipping and handling at the jobsite. Each kit is tailored for maintenance in the first 250 operation hours and then for every 500 operation hours after that (up to a total of 6000 hours).

?The 250 and 500 hour service kits are part of Atlas Copco?s strategy on any new machine that we bring in to the market, that we bring in enough parts to at least support that machine for the first thousand hours,? explained Tom Ross. ?So if the first machine goes on the market, the customers have confidence that we have a stock holding of parts that we can draw from. It?s an internal parts holding that is specific for that crusher or that drill rig or that compressor. The part holdings are constantly being reviewed and upgraded.?

Tom and George were encouraged by the feedback from customers who visited Buttai Quarry to view the PC 3, PC 6 and HCS 5515 in action and by Daracon who trialled the machines. ?Daracon were very happy with the performance, especially as they were using very difficult material, lots and lots of fines in it. They were very impressed by the way the machines were able to cope with all those fines and the throughput and consistency that they got,? said Tom.

?They turned it on in the morning, it was doing 250 tonnes an hour and did it all day long which was certainly higher than their existing equipment,? George added.

?I was very pleased with the reception the machines had from everyone we had at the launch, based on the initial ?wow? factor and also when we did a more detailed inspection of the machines,? Tom remarked. ?The comments I had was that the quality in the machines was evident, you could see that the standard of all the engineering was very high and that the way that the machines were being operated and the material that was being put through them was very impressive.?

George Stirling, however, was not too surprised with the quality of the reception. The old Hartl Powercrusher mobile plants used to be amongst the top five brands in the European market and from a customer perspective were ?widely accepted? for the innovation and wider applications they brought to the aggregates market, particularly with regards to asphalt, glass and concrete recycling. George forecast that in addition to the aggregates market, there was a whole new recycling market within Australia that remains untapped.

?One of the exciting things about Australia is that the recycling or the green market hasn?t been approached with the right product,? he said. ?Now we have the correct product for recycling, for demolition, for recycling of roads, it?s geared up towards recycling as opposed to standard existing mobile crushers.?

At time of writing, more first year Atlas Copco Powercrusher units were expected to arrive in Australia before the end of this year and into 2012. ?We have more machines on the water coming to Australia,? said Tom Ross. ?We?re starting from a blank page with a really exciting concept.?

Damian Christie attended the official launch of the Powercrusher mobile range in August 2011, courtesy of Atlas Copco Construction & Mining Australia.

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