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Family enterprises collaborate on ultra-fine solutions

A partnership between two multinational family companies is expected to give quarrying producers even more scope when making purchasing decisions about sand processing plant and equipment. Damian Christie spoke to Lincom’s Peter Godwin.

In the lead-up to biennial European bulk materials handling expo bauma, in Munich, Germany in April this year, a partnership was forged between US-based wet processing solutions manufacturer McLanahan Corporation and the Lincom Group, the Australian supplier and distributor of extensive ranges of screening, crushing and washing plant and equipment for the quarrying, mining and recycling industries.

At the show, McLanahan launched the UltraWASH, a modular wash plant that can be installed in any quarry site almost fully assembled in containerised modules. The UltraWASH can produce up to three clean aggregates and two washed sand fractions.

On 2 April, Lincom announced it was partnering with McLanahan to bring its entire line of sand and aggregates processing solutions, including washing and classifying, tailings and water management, and dewatering equipment, to the Australian and Papua New Guinea (PNG) markets.

Lincom is a family-run company which this year celebrated 25 years of operation – it was established in 1994 by experienced entrepreneur Roy Watterson. Today it has operations throughout Australia, New Zealand, PNG and the Pacific Islands. The company’s head office is in Narangba, about 35km north of Brisbane, while it has other offices in New South Wales, Victoria, Western Australia and North Queensland.

It also has representatives operating in Tasmania, South Australia and the Northern Territory.

McLanahan’s next generation of modular wash plants – including the likes of the UltraWASH, the UltraSAND and the UltraFINES – were always intended to be

the first of its products to be introduced by Lincom to the Australian market. At time of writing, Lincom has received its first working modular plant – the UltraWASH – and has set it up at the Narangba headquarters for inspections by existing and prospective customers in the quarrying and sand mining space.

Peter Godwin, Lincom’s environment and process manager, said senior management at Lincom and McLanahan had been doing business with one another for more than a decade and as successful, family-owned companies, there were many similarities

in “their focus on long-term customer relationships, with service and customer support being key to their successes”. He said the timing for the partnership was ideal.

Godwin is himself a former McLanahan employee, having worked for the Australian arm for five years, before he joined Lincom. He has worked for Lincom for the past two years.

The UltraSCREEN rinsing and sizing module forms part of the UltraWASH fully integrated modular washing plant and can also be supplied as an independent unit complete with supporting structure.

“I’m the common link between the two companies,” Godwin quipped. “McLanahan in the US is a family-structured company; the owner Mike McLanahan is a sixth generation family member [McLanahan was founded in 1835]. Lincom in Australia has been around 25 years; Roy Watterson is the ultimate owner of the whole company. So they’re both family companies and so they’re very similar in their philosophy.”

While Lincom’s focus primarily will be on the new modular equipment range, the company will also handle all of McLanahan’s traditional washing, separation and classification equipment range, including cyclones, dewatering screens, pumps and spares.

Lincom has plenty of experience in distributing other brands of sand washing plant and equipment in the past 25 years.

However, Godwin believes the “combination of Lincom and McLanahan experience in thickening, washing and dewatering equipment in sand, aggregates, construction and demolition wastes, soil washing and water management” will raise the quality of offerings available to the quarrying industry.

“It makes perfect sense to me because McLanahan has so much more than the competitors,” Godwin said.

“McLanahan manufactures the widest range of washing equipment including log washers, fine and coarse materials screw washers, blade mills and aggregates conditioners. These are all variations on a theme but they can afford to be more specific about what they’re putting into a circuit; they’ve adapted them for so many different applications for more than 180 years.”

Modular features

The UltraWASH is available in three models: the MWP 5124 (with an output of 150 tonnes per hour); the MWP 5165 (250 tph); and the MWP 6206 (400 tph). It is available to producers in a “pre-wash” or double wash configuration, and features single process water feed and effluent discharge points. It comprises the following components:

  • A heavy-duty dewatering screen with twin counter-rotating vibratory motors and modular polyurethane media.
  • Hydrocyclones with abrasion-resistant rubber linings and a high centrifugal separation of product from unwanted minus 63 microns (-63μm).
  • The two- or three-deck sizing screen with polyurethane modular screen deck media, fixed isolated spray bars, and a discharge hood for aggregate fraction blending.
  • A standard 9m3 feed hopper, with manual tipping grid, variable speed discharge belt and adjustable hopper door, and a 1050mm wide conveyor belt.
  • Nine metre-long aggregate conveyors and 12m radial conveyors with a 60- or 120-degree slew.
  • Pumps fitted with abrasion-resistant rubber liners and the patent-pending EZE-Riser, which works with the pump service trolley to enable safe, efficient pump maintenance, such as changing impellers or replacing casing liners.

Godwin said all the modular equipment is designed to be robust, with wider walkways and improved maintenance access for quarry personnel. “We have the best laid out equipment, as far as walkways and access to the machine,” he said. “On other sand plants, there is only a walkway on one side, whereas ours has access on both sides. Two people could pass over a walkway side by side, carrying their toolboxes.

“The first comment that everyone makes about the UltraWASH is the space. They can walk around it and see it has access for their maintenance people. That’s been the most positive feedback and that’s what’s always been intended of the design.”

Godwin said the UltraWASH is designed to Australian standards and therefore comes with regulation guarding features. “On other sand plant brands, you may have to install a whole new set of guarding. With this range, that’s already considered. We don’t need to do anything to it. It turns up with guard rails because we exceed all the walkway distances around the machine.

“There’s other clever features on the UltraWASH that reduce maintenance time and effort,” Godwin elaborated. “The other most commented upon feature from customers is the EZE-Riser or ‘roll out’ centrifugal pump that reduces the amount of time and labour for maintenance.

“To pull the pump out no longer requires two guys, it can be done with just one. A foot pedal lifts the discharge pipe from the pump and utilises a locking mechanism to then hold the pipe aloft. This creates the clearance needed for the pump to roll out on rails about 250 to 300mm from the ground. When not in use, the rails fold up to former a barrier in front of the pump. So when it’s time for a pump change, those rails come down and then extend out to the side of the machine.”

Sand applications

Godwin said the UltraWASH is suitable for natural and manufactured sand applications.

“The machine is adaptable to the customer’s needs. As far as the in-feed is concerned, we wash out the clays and the inorganics, and float them off. The rocks we bring down to size through crushing and if someone says they want a 6mm stone and a 20mm stone, we can give them the sizes they want to make into aggregates. With the sands, we can do that too. We can make two different sizes of sands with the UltraSAND component of the UltraWASH.”

The UltraWASH can be relied upon to produce two grades of sand where the feed is clean, or be configured to double wash where the feed is dirty. A functional gate at the back of the dewatering screen can blend the sands to create a ratio of the two.

“If you have a split screen, where you have coarse sand on one side and fine sand on the other, it comes down two different chutes,” Godwin said of the gate.

“What this system does is that it has a divider that is movable, so it will take all of one graded sand, and it might take 30 per cent of the next feed chute. So it’s not an accurate blend but it’s as close as we can get and it’s good enough in most instances. So if someone is doing sports sands or concrete sands, for example, the blending system is ideal for them.”

However, the quality of the materials will determine if the UltraWASH – or another of McLanahan’s modular plants – is best suited to the application at hand. “If you have a lot of clays, the UltraWASH is not the machine, you go for the UltraSCRUB, as it’s based around a logwasher as the central component,” Godwin said.

“If you have a site that is just a sand deposit, then the UltraSAND is basically all you need. The UltraFINES are standalone units for capturing very fine grades of sand, therefore reducing the amount of ultra-fines that would otherwise go to waste.

The Ultrawash MWP 5165 features a heavy-duty dewatering screen, a separate sizing screen, hydrocyclones, a 9m3 feed hopper and aggregate and radial conveyors.

“With an UltraSAND, anything below 75μm goes to waste. The UltraFINES cuts at 32μm. So it means that fines between 75μm and 32μm is no longer wasted, it goes back into the product. It actually recovers more sand and that’s important because it means it’s not filling up your tailings dams. It’s not just about the sand you produce, it’s also about efficient water management.”

The UltraSCREEN and UltraSAND are components of the standard UltraWASH and can be purchased and installed separately as standalone items of equipment. In turn, modules that function independently of the UltraWASH – such as the UltraSCREEN rinser and sizer, the UltraSCRUB, the UltraCRUSH cone crusher and the UltraCLEAR thickener – can be added to
the UltraWASH to create a complete wet processing plant.

Godwin said that it is also possible for the modular plant to be added to existing washing circuits. “This happens on occasions, we have a new plant next to an old one. We can add little bits and pieces all the way through for a customer to change their process and get the desired result. Lincom has the laboratory testing facilities, plus design and process engineering know-how to size, install and commission the correct equipment to produce the desired results.”

The “beauty” of modular plant is that can be assembled and/or dismantled, and relocated accordingly. The basic UltraWASH is delivered in eight 12m (40’) open containers, and can be assembled within two weeks.

Customer feedback

Godwin added that ever since the announcement that Lincom was the new Australian dealer for McLanahan equipment, there had been numerous expressions of interest from quarrying operators in the UltraWASH and other McLanahan products.

He is looking forward to growing Lincom’s aftermarket component as Australian interest in McLanahan’s products grows.

As Lincom brings in new plant and equipment into the country, a stock of spares will be kept at the Narangba HQ. Godwin is also confident that even if demand outstrips supply, there will be the capacity to increase spares coverage to producers through Lincom’s other branches and representatives.

Even if replacements have to be sourced out of Brisbane, producers would not have to wait much longer than an overnight delivery.

“My business card and most documents I put out have ‘Anywhere, anytime’ on the bottom,” Godwin said.

“That’s because I work on projects all over Australia. We’re very well placed with service people around our centres, and that’s pretty big when you consider some of our competitors have just two or three support people for the whole country!

“We have a huge service fleet in the business and we send service and maintenance teams to wherever they need to be. It’s all part of the big picture and about looking after your customers, and between the parts and the service, they’re the biggest things we offer.”

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