Tesab mobile plant and equipment has been a mainstay of the Australian quarrying landscape for several decades. While the machines have been popular, they have lacked a dedicated distributor – until now. Enter Precisionscreen to provide the missing piece of that logistical jigsaw.
For the best part of three decades, Precisionscreen has been an influential supplier of plant and equipment to the Australian quarrying, recycling, extractive, mining and bulk materials handling industries.
The family company was established in Brisbane in 1986 by Harold Kerr who had prior engineering and design experience with a globally renowned screen manufacturer in Tesab. He was also prominent internationally for his development of the Scout, a popular vibrating screen in the 1970s and 1980s.
From an operation of just two people, Precisionscreen has grown into a company of more than 40 personnel today. It manufactures more than 30 crushing, screening and washing plants, and more than 50 ancillary products.
Outside of Australia, its equipment can be found in more than 15 other countries. Its products were also highly visible at the IQA annual conference at GMHBA Stadium in Geelong last month.
Precisionscreen is now under second generation family management. Paul Kerr, Harold’s son, is the managing director of the business and he says the company’s Brisbane base has never been busier, particularly with its local output.
“The factory is in capacity, we’re looking at ways of trying to expand our production,” he said. “After a bit of a market downturn and a turn in the Australian dollar, people have been looking at some of the Australian-made gear and seeing the extra value and longevity of the equipment, and that’s seen a real turnaround in our sales.
“I think more people are looking at doing value add in the marketplace. If you’re a quarry owner and looking to differentiate yourself, you’re really trying to do an additive product, and that really lends itself to our pugmills, precoaters and washing plants.
“That’s where our sales have been. When you get to a commodity market, the best way to make good money is to differentiate your product, so we’ve seen a resurgence in people looking at everything from barrel washers to sand recovery devices, pugmills and precoaters. And that’s been the lead for us, that’s where the factory has been very busy and getting our product out to our clients.”
Notably, Precisionscreen’s homegrown products include the Scorpion range of mobile precoaters and pugmills, tracked screens such as the Super Reclaimer and the Pitbull twin-decks and the triple-deck Trackmasta 2053.
It is also renowned for its portable crushing units such as the Trackcrush vertical shaft impact crusher and Roadmasta 48” x 10”, a stationary trommel, an extensive range of wheeled stockpilers and conveyors, and a series of mobile washing plants, sandscrews and dewatering screens.
Further, the company has in recent years acquired the rights to use the Australian Made certification, with its famous kangaroo logo, on its locally manufactured products.
Precisionscreen has also long been the Australian distributor of mobile crushing, screening, conveying, bulk materials handling and washing plant for a number of multinational companies.
The coup for Precisionscreen this year has been the forging of a new partnership with the Tesab group of companies.
Tesab mobile crushers and screens have been a common sight in quarries across Australia for many decades but in recent years there had not been a dedicated, universal local dealer for its products.
Precisionscreen is now the certified dealer for Tesab mobile crushers and screens, its range of affiliated Trackstack mobile conveyors and stockpilers, and the Screenpod range of tracked trommels and dust control cannons (a first for the company) in all Australian states and territories except WA. (The Western Australian licence has been retained by local company Kelly Equipment Services.)
Paul McGoldrick, Tesab Engineering’s liaison for export sales and distribution, stated that Precisionscreen complimented the Tesab, Trackstack and Screenpod ranges.
“Precisionscreen are a perfect fit for Tesab as they are not just an equipment company,” he said. “They really understand the needs of the customers due to their experience specialising in crushing and screening processing.
“Our partnership with Precisionscreen represents an exciting opportunity for both parties. They have an excellent reputation within the quarrying industry. They are a household name throughout Australia which we are proud to be associated with.”
Paul Kerr said that Precisionscreen had a longstanding relationship with Tesab, as his father Harold had worked with the original equipment manufacturer’s principal Don Smith “in the early days back in Ireland” and had worked on Tesab machinery after he migrated to Australia.
“Being a family company, rather than a public company, Tesab are a good fit for us,” he continued.
“We’re a very family-focused company and we prefer another company that is family-focused as well, so that makes matters a lot easier to deal with. There are people we’ve known working in Tesab for the best part of 40 years.”
Kerr said the Tesab range of mobile crushing and screening plant is an ideal option for quarrying producers, particularly in Australia’s hardnosed environmental conditions.
“There are lots of similarities with the equipment coming out of Ireland but the one thing Tesab excels at – similar to our own branding – is robustness, reliability and simplicity without compromise.
“They build a machine that’s robust and is probably better for a regional and rural environment. It’s designed to be solid, and compared to other products in the market, there are heavier duty larger drums, large hydraulics, triple-sealed bearings, and so on.”
Kerr was excited by the Tesab tracked and wheeled impact crushers in Precisionscreen’s line-up, which he described as “robust and suitable”, particularly as they come standard with “a grind[ing blow bar] path, which is something that has been lacking on previous offerings we’ve had, and will make a big difference for a lot of the applications our clients contend with, particularly when it’s getting down to the bottom end and doing more near size sizing. I think that will be a big advantage on the impactor”.
“The other big advantage for quarries is the very robust, well-priced, next size up crusher – like the 800I tracked jaw crusher. I’ve seen them work in Europe, and one of the things I’m excited about is its combination of value and robustness, and, for that size machine, the best value for money. That ties in what we’ve tried to do too – offering value for production.”
Kerr said dealers need to pay more attention to the value add of their products, as that is precisely what quarry producers are looking for in an effort to offer a point of difference for their own goods and services.
“Most quarries are looking for a little differentiation. They have crushing and screening processes but not all quarries do value added products, and I think value added products or recovery products or reprocessing products is really where the cream is to be made now.
“So I think that’s where a lot more quarries are looking to invest, and they’re willing to invest in high quality equipment. I’m never one to say too much about crushing tonnage,” he added.
“A lot of people read brochures and go ‘Right, this machine is going to do 200 tonnes per hour (tph)’. No, it’s not, this machine can handle 200 tph but it depends on the rock, and I think that more people – and more salespeople – need to talk about the application-specific tonnages.
There needs to be a better partnership between the dealer and the end client – and that’s one thing we want to focus on in the next year, working out a better client, where instead of flying out a brochure and some gross numbers, we really need to work and say ‘Hey, in this application this is what we can achieve’. And the sophistication needs to go back into marketing to make that the case because the days of just talking about rough numbers are over.”
In the field
Precisionscreen has sold several Tesab crushers and screens to quarries. Kerr said Cumner Contracting in Redbank Plains, Queensland, had bought a Tesab screen and at time of writing, was hiring an impact crusher, with a long-term view to purchasing it.
“Cumner are a long-time customer and they have been with us through a few brands,” he added. “They’re very loyal and happy to date with the Tesab equipment – and looking to eventually change out their whole train to Tesab.”
One of Precisionscreen’s first scalpers was also sold to Quarrico Products, which runs three quarries in the Moranbah region of Central Queensland, and according to Kerr, Quarrico is also very happy with the screen.
“I think the one thing that existing clients have wanted is a strong dealer that has a good focus on aftermarket but the feedback on the machines has been great,” he said.
“Every client I’ve spoken to that has had a Tesab has been overly happy with the machine and the only thing that they have been lacking to give them confidence in the past is a strong aftermarket supplier or strong support network, which is what we now offer.
“So for us, I think it’s going to be a good, natural partnership. It’s a premium machine, it’s robust and very well suited to our conditions, and the only thing that’s been a bit shy of it developing in the Australian market until now has been the aftermarket support.”
Kerr said Precisionscreen did not embark upon the partnership with Tesab until it could be sure that it had a sufficient supply of spare parts and components.
“We have always treated spares as an important part of our business,” he said. “At the moment, we have about half a million dollars’ worth of spares to really get started. As a company, we keep around $4 million in spare parts, and as well as that, we can also manufacture at short lead time.
“We build our own drums in-house, so any of the Tesab drums we place will be built locally in Australia, with very quick turnaround. Belts and rollers are obviously something to be stocked for a range of machines that are adjustable, so we will have excellent coverage.”
Kerr said Precisionscreen has been stocking up on its fleet of Tesab plant and equipment because of the brand’s popularity in North America and Europe and it has an extensive array of mobile crushing and screening plant available in its yard now.
“We’ve pretty much brought in the bulk of the range. We have impactors, jaws, screens and scalpers, large-scale Trackstack radial conveyors, big hopper loader conveyors and dust cannons in stock. Over the next year we have a schedule, so we have machines on order right through to April next year.”
Triple-deck incline screen an ideal team player
The Tesab TS3600 inclined triple-deck screen is one of the latest additions to Precisionscreen’s inventory. It is equipped with a heavy-duty 6m x 1.5m (20’ x 5’) high performance screenbox and powered by a 93kW Caterpillar diesel engine on a portable tracked chassis.
An extension of the TS2600 double-deck incline screen, the TS3600 has the benefit of a third deck in the screenbox. The top and middle decks measure 6m x 1.5m on the top and middle decks, and the bottom deck is 5.5m x 1.5m (18’ x 5’). The TS3600 also has a cross conveyor and a fourth product conveyor as standard.
“The main benefit of the cross conveyor is the ability to handle the volume coming off the screenbox,” Kerr explained.
“It means where you’re getting a lot of material coming off that particular deck, the cross conveyor is pulling it away, obviously far quicker than a chute could, and it’s letting it clear it, so it’s reducing the chance of the screenbox being blocked up.”
He said the fourth conveyor offers the option of four discharge conveyors – one oversize, two intermediates and one fines.
“The three-deck machine is obviously where you need extra sizing. It gives you two unique sized products, and an oversized and undersized. With a lot of the crusher trains, it gives you the advantage of recirculating the material back into an impactor while still producing oversized products.
“These days, it’s a bigger move to full trains but it might involve a double-deck and a triple-deck or two triple-decks. One of the advantages is that you can use the TS3600 as a recirc control screen and then you maximise the impactor.”
Kerr said the TS3600 is ideal as part of a mobile crushing and screening circuit.
“I’ve never been a big fan of recircs built onto the equipment. I think it’s better putting it onto the screen and putting a bit of extra money into a triple-deck and having a full-sized deck to screen and recirc to the crusher.
“So one of the advantages of a triple-deck over a double-deck is a client is always better for long-term production to move to a full-sized triple-deck and recirc with their impactor or cone than they are to work with the recirc, which I consider a ‘stop-gap’.
“Recircs serve a purpose but the advantage of putting a triple-deck into someone’s circuit is that you’re getting a full screening size.
“You’re getting a proper screen size, you’ve decided not to screen and decided not to fit in an envelope, and you’re using that to recirc. You get much better quality and cleanliness of product and you’re feeding your material back into your crusher, and reducing that rebuilding/recirculating load.”
However, he added, even as a standalone machine, “a triple-deck is perfect for doing your final production, as it’s giving you options of multiple sizes. It’s fine working in a sand recovery application, for example”.
Kerr said the TS3600 can work with all brands of mobile equipment and “fits in with mid-size or larger volume impactors on the market. It will work with anything but obviously we’d prefer it was working with our machines. Ideally, it’s working with a 1012 Tesab impactor or 1000TC, 1150TC or 1200TC cone crushers”.