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Mobile VSI promises reliability for Queensland quarry

 

At an operation 400km north of Brisbane, Booyal Quarries adds value for its customers thanks to the reliability of Precisionscreen’s latest innovation in VSI crushing. 

Booyal Quarries has laid many a foundation upon its history in quarrying and construction materials. 

The independent, family-owned business has supplied councils, road contractors and all-comers with high quality Main Roads-certified gravel, road bases, aggregates and drainage rock for a lifetime.

That is, the lifetime of Booyal Quarries owner Bruce Evans, who began in the quarry game at 14 years of age, over five decades ago. 

Evans told Quarry that Precisionscreen had provided plenty of reliable machinery for his business over the years. 

Most recently, this included the Trackcrush PV380 VSI (vertical shaft impact) crusher for extra fines at the heart of Booyal Quarry. 

“We were trying to produce fines for roadbase. Our rock is a very fine grain and it’s very hard so you can have trouble getting fines out of it,” Evans said. 

“Our plant produces both 2.1 and 2.3 spec at the same time, so the PV380 was used for the 2.3 and it was making the grade just fine.”

The PV380 provided Booyal with some extra reliability on top of its current machinery, as a growing Queensland infrastructure sector demands more out of its suppliers. 

Booyal has tried and tested a range of equipment from a range of brands, and recognised Precisionscreen as a suitable back-up when its primary machines went sour. 

“I looked at the PV380 for a back-up machine because with dust and electrics on-site we had some trouble with our other plant,” Evans said. 

“I thought if we’ve got a machine we can use while we’re fixing other ones, we can keep the plant going.”

Evans’ other purpose for the machine was to crush at the face of the quarry rather than loading and hauling out to stockpile.  

This ability is enabled by the machine’s tracked and mobile nature, as well as its in-built spirit level. 

Evans said both were major drawcards in the selection of the PV380. 

“What I like about it is the self-levelling features. If you’re working on an uneven surface, you can walk it into an area and level it up,” Evans said.

“This meant we didn’t have to spend as much time preparing the base for it. You could have it a little bit off and just use the little spirit level to bring it even.

“It’s just little things like that which they’ve thought of which some other manufacturers don’t offer.”

Booyal Quarry, located in Queensland’s Bundaberg region, runs on mobile crushing plant and equipment.

DIRECT DRIVE SYSTEM

Also rather unique to this machine in today’s crushing market is a direct drive system, owing to Precisionscreen’s mantra of ‘simplicity without compromise’. 

Precisionscreen general manager Paul Kerr explained the purpose behind the design of the PV380.

“Similar to all of our machines, the PV380 is designed to be easy to service,” Kerr said. 

“It’s based on a direct drive system which makes for less componentry. It has a hydrostatic drive directed to the VSI chamber, making it simple. 

“The overall design has been done to meet stringent Australian standards which leads to a machine designed for robust markets like the Australian environment.”

And a harsh Australian environment calls for tough and trusty crushing power, which is well afforded by the PV380. 

Building on the previous model – the PV350 – this model welcomes a Caterpillar C18 engine with 600kW (or 800 horsepower).

Evans said his unit was easily managing 300 tonnes of material per hour and hardly broke a sweat. 

“There are no belts to burn off like some others might have. Plus, you’ve got all the horsepower you really need,” he said. 

“At this rate, too, it’s still only using 50 to 60 litres of fuel per hour, compared to others these days which push past 100 litres per hour.”

These figures are all assured by the PV380’s new PLC (programmable logic controller) and on-board computer for remote or on-site monitoring.

These additions to the machine will report key metrics such as engine, oil, and lubricant temperatures, emergency stops, and belt speeds and slippages.

HOMEGROWN PARTS, COMPONENTS

Kerr said integrating new technologies into traditionally standard machines helped owners and technicians to understand what’s working and what needs further development. 

“These offerings mainly assist with remote service and support while providing a better understanding of the machines for clients and our team,” Kerr said. 

“This information comes through on an app which involves a SIM card and remote assistance from the Precisionscreen team.

“We’re working into this space to enable our clients better remote assistance while they’re stuck over state borders during COVID restrictions, and we expect this will continue to be a trend into the future.”

Another trend Kerr expects to continue until at least March 2022 is a significantly impaired global supply chain. 

This has led companies like Precisionscreen to stock up on six months’ worth of parts rather than the usual two or three. And when every company is thinking in a similar vein, delays will inevitably occur. 

To mitigate this, Precisionscreen already manufactures all its equipment in Australia, removing shipping times for entire machines. 

But Kerr said the company was taking things one step further to supply its partners as soon as possible. 

“We are redesigning our machines to take commonly available parts in Australia into consideration,” he said. 

“So, where we’ve had parts imported, we’re making a conscious effort through our supply chain in the redevelopment of our machines to select items that we think will be more readily available for our machines.”

This means almost everything, down to the wiring for the on-board computer will be sourced locally, subsequently enhancing Precisionscreen’s ability to support the product. 

“For a lot of people, the PLC is a fairly complicated item that can be hard to troubleshoot as they’re usually built overseas,” Kerr said. 

“But at Precisionscreen, where the PLCs are built in our own facility, we can troubleshoot it, we can source componentry and we can get our team out to site for any teething problems a client might have.”

Such is the support afforded by Precisionscreen, Evans attested to the team’s ability to solve any issues he had with the PV380 – or any of his other units from the Queensland manufacturer. 

“We had no problem asking the Precisionscreen team to come out for back-up service,” Evans said. 

“For any teething problems we’ve ever had they were up here talking it all out, even on weekends, so we weren’t ever waiting around for them.”

Booyal Quarry produces two grades of roadbase, certified gravel, aggregates and drainage rock.

FUTURE INVESTMENT

Of course, one should expect nothing less when opting for an investment like the PV380. 

Which is exactly what Kerr saw in the PV380 for Australian quarrying businesses – an investment. 

He said there is good reason to take advantage of the market conditions as they are, so long as the investment is one that is well supported and Australian-made.

“Accounting for expenses, labour, parts and componentry, running a business is becoming increasingly hard with supply issues,” he said. 

“So, if you can afford the capitalisation, which I think most can with historically low interest rates, that should be a big driver. 

“The government’s structure is leaning towards cheap borrowing in a lot of ways so there’s a big advantage in buying bigger, more productive, newer machines which guarantee reliability for an ongoing period. 

“It’s more of a safe bet buying a new machine, obviously, and that’s a similar benefit to buying Australian-made equipment. 

“If it’s made in Australia, it’s easier to support in Australia and current supply issues are affecting everyone these days.”•

For more information about the Precisionscreen Trackcrush PV380 VSI, visit precisionscreen.com.au

This article appears in the November issue of Quarry Magazine.

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