Local supplier offers European advancements to the quarrying industry

Brolton Group, which is headquartered in Sydney, with other premises in Brisbane and Perth and a fabrication and machinery assembly workshop in Riverstone, New South Wales, has announced an affiliation with Whitwick Engineering Coalville (WEC).

The association offers an impressive skill set in project management and quarry process plant execution, with extensive experience in materials handling applications including the loading and unloading of trains, storage, conveying and ship loading, including aggregates, coal, animal feed and wood pellet biomass.

With a joint focus on the minimisation of operational costs and labour and energy efficiency, Brolton and WEC’s strategies incorporate numerous features to reduce maintenance with increased productivity/availability, extended operational life, ease of operation, maximum production flexibility and high levels of safety and environmental protection.

Such strategies include the optimisation of conveyor usage, where effective analysis of conveying paths can result in reduced conveyor length, with lower power needs and fewer transfer points. Chute design is also optimised to eliminate the potential for blockage or obstruction, while incorporating provisions to minimise wear and maintenance, and provide ease of access.

In multi-stage crushing circuits, innovative combinations of equipment address the needs for high production, low running costs and operational flexibility. This unique approach to the screening process aims to yield far greater rewards than the client’s original concept, with an appreciation that it is not simply a matter of separating material into different sizes, but providing this function as efficiently as possible.

“There is no such thing as a simple ‘one size fits all’ solution to screening, as every plant has its own specific needs,” said Ed Reed, WEC’s managing director.

“However, by adhering to concepts that we know will succeed, we are able to deliver plants that provide many benefits to our clients. These layouts may, in some cases, differ from conventional thought, but by maintaining our design strategy we can simplify any interconnecting conveyor systems, reducing the quantity used to a minimum and also reducing the numbers of transfer points and blending gates, using accurate load-out equipment for blending, re-crush control and product delivery.”


{{image2-A:R-w:250}}Examples of this design strategy are found at Taff’s Well and Halkyn, two quarries operated by Cemex in Wales.

These plants had been operated for many years before the most recent re-plants, which took capacity potential to well in excess of one million tonnes per annum (tpa) at each, with a core production of eight product sizes. The screening/storage/load-out configuration enables the ratio of products to be readily changed to suit market conditions, while the layout is also suited to any changes required in product sizes.

At present the eight product sizes are discharged into a series of eight storage bins, with capacities ranging from 250 to 700 tonnes. The method of bin discharge varies depending on the product characteristics, with the dust and sand by belt feeders and the coarsest fraction by vibro-feeders. Any of these sizes can be sent for re-crushing in a closed-circuit arrangement.

Both plants are equipped with two-product blending/lorry loading conveyor lines, each rated at 1000 tpa. These are controlled automatically by a sophisticated software system, using smart cards to allow drivers to collect their loads direct from the load-out bays without having to leave their cabs. The accuracy of the bin discharge/load-out system is such that drivers rarely have to top up or tip off material, greatly reducing turnaround times.

{{image3-A:R-w:250}}Where feasible, in particular with high capacity plants, twin lines of screens are incorporated to provide redundancy for continuous production in the event of the unavailability of one screen. In circumstances where the screens are to be mounted above bins, as in most modern high production plants, configuring as two lines also provides an increase in storage capacity for any given screen area, in the region of 15 to 20 per cent, while also reducing the cost of structural steel support necessary for the high dynamic loads generated by very large vibrating screens. Using such layouts also enables height constraints to be complied with more readily, while augmenting storage capacity due to the wider storage bins.


A major biomass importation, storage and rail loading facility at Immingham, on the east coast of the UK, is in the process of a plant upgrade aimed at increasing plant efficiency and reducing operating costs. The plant is capable of handling both coal and biomass importation.

The project involves designing, manufacturing, installing and commissioning complete bulk handling conveying systems, using belt widths up to and in excess of 2000mm (78 inches), and handling in excess of 4000 tonnes per hour (tph).

Also incorporated are a number of below rail, bottom discharge rail facilities that have the unique feature of avoiding the use of in-pit feeder conveyors, thereby significantly reducing the potential for spillage and, by simplifying the mechanical design, reducing wear costs and the level of maintenance intervention, as well as virtually eliminating downtime.


{{image4-A:R-w:250}}Brolton Group is an Australian multi-disciplined engineering solution provider, with an enviable project delivery track record, established more than 15 years ago.

The group provides a complete service that has served multiple industries with projects over a broad spectrum, ranging from conceptual studies through to major turnkey processing facilities.

All projects are managed by Brolton Group’s in-house team of highly skilled professionals, providing the highest standards of leadership, supervision and project management. The dynamic and versatile team has the knowledge, expertise and dedication to deliver the right result on all projects undertaken.

The core capabilities of Brolton Group include:

  • Mechanical, electrical, civil and construction engineering.
  • Automation control systems.
  • General engineering, welding and fabrication.
  • Emergency breakdown support, preventative maintenance.
  • Equipment, plant and factory fit-out, relocation or decommissioning.
  • Design and construction of industrial and commercial building.
  • Comprehensive technical support.

Brolton Group also holds a portfolio of key agencies enabling the provision of internationally backed solutions with in-depth knowledge in their areas of expertise. These brands include fine milling and air classification equipment from Sturtevant,

Ventilex drying solutions, bulk handling systems from Claudius Peters and Coperion K-Tron materials handling applications, including high quality feeders, pneumatic conveying systems and related equipment for the handling of bulk solids.

Numerous examples of major projects incorporating these systems may be seen throughout Australia.


Whitwick Engineering (Coalville) specialises in the design, manufacture, installation and commissioning of aggregate and mining processing plants, ready mixed concrete plants, rail and ship loading and unloading systems, bulk storage and handling facilities, and other specialist materials handling and processing installations.

The company has historically served the British aggregates, ready mixed concrete, cement, steel and recycling industries and is continually adding to its industrial portfolio. Within the UK and mainland Europe, WEC’s major clients include Heidelberg Cement/Hanson, Aggregate Industries (Holcim), Tarmac, Lafarge, Cemex and the British Ports Authority, as well as most large independent operators.

Reed explained how WEC became the supplier of choice for so many of the leading quarry plant operators in UK and around Europe. “Within WEC, we have what is probably a unique in-house expertise in the concepts required for large (in excess of 500 tph) aggregate process plants, as most of our management and senior design team have many years of practical, hands-on experience within the quarrying industry.

“This gives us insight to understand beyond what may be defined within plant tender documents and deliver plants that go beyond these parameters, to give additional benefits that can only be introduced with our in-depth experience.

“By engaging in such a way at all stages of a project and encouraging a mutually transparent philosophy with our clients, we go beyond traditional plant design ideas, ensuring long term operational gains, raising productivity and profits, for our clients.”

In recent years, WEC has been the chosen provider of the majority of major hard rock quarry and sand and gravel projects throughout the UK, and has incorporated a number of innovative solutions, such as innovative crushing and screening solutions and the washing of coarse primary quarry material in order to dramatically reduce waste, all increasing profitability significantly.

While remaining independent of any particular OEM supplier, a factor that WEC considers important to offer unbiased guidance on equipment selection and to optimise the positive characteristics of particular machines, WEC has built up strong relationships with all the major manufacturers, and can rely on effective co-operation to enhance its capabilities.

As well as main items of process equipment, WEC is also in a strong position to provide recommendations on ancillary equipment and cost-effective sourcing of high quality structural steelwork, all under its guidance and control.

The Brolton Group/WEC joint venture offers scope for the best resources, expertise and technology to handle systems of a comparable size and layout for Australian industry and to give competitive advantage to businesses through state of the art design and innovation.

Source: Brolton Group

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