Case Studies, Crushing, Features, International News, Management, Materials Handling, News, Plant & Equipment

Tertiary cone circuit delivers more output, less recirc


A US quarry operation has recorded some very strong results since it upgraded its tertiary plant to incorporate a late model cone crusher.

Maintaining optimum yield from any cone crushing circuit is ultimately achieved by combining the latest cone crushing technology with solid application expertise and highly responsive equipment life cycle management. The latter is essential when finetuning a crushing circuit for peak performance – and it’s best driven by an ongoing producer/equipment manufacturer “partnership” that ensures the highest production capacities and the lowest percentage of recirculating loads.

Circuits with high recirculating loads eat up more capacity and horsepower in the crusher, while also increasing wear – and unnecessary recirculating loads send saleable material back to the crusher rather than to the finished product stockpile.

Minimising recirculating loads is an imperative for producers such as the RiverStone Group, which operates 15 active quarries throughout Iowa and Illinois in the United States. As a family-owned business since the late 19th century, the company prides itself on pushing the envelope in productivity and innovation. RiverStone is known for its abundance of Class A quality stone products which meet stringent US Department of Transportation and Federal Aviation and Administration quality assurance standards.

At its Colona, Illinois-based Cleveland Quarry, RiverStone upgraded its plant with higher capacity primary and secondary crushers. For an optimum yield of finished product at its tertiary circuit, the company installed a P600 Patriot cone crusher manufactured by Superior Industries. The result has been greater plant uptime, long-term efficiency, reduced wear costs, minimal recirculation load, and increased production capacities at lower costs per tonne. Delivering a speedy return on investment, the site has nearly doubled its tonnes per hour (tph) output since the installation of the new crushers.


RiverStone’s vice president Mike Ellis has calculated the circulating load ratios of the Patriot cone. He reported that at a closed side setting (CSS) of 25mm (or one inch), the cone processes finished product at a 78 per cent throughput, and at a 13mm (or ½-inch) closed side setting (CSS), the throughput percentage reaches a high of 83 per cent.

“We’re getting maximum efficiency, and very little recirculating load, while averaging 80 per cent of our crushed material going directly out to the finished, saleable product stockpile,” Ellis said. He attributed this efficiency partly to the cone’s spiral tooth bevel gearing system, which “engages more gradually, giving an efficient transfer of horsepower to the rock, rather than to the structure of the machine”.

As a result, the cone is proven to perform at higher speeds with less noise and vibration. “With its uptime and availability at more than 97 per cent, the Patriot Cone maximises our production of Class A quality concrete stone and asphalt chips,” Ellis added. “Before we added all the new crushers, we ran at just over 400 tph. Now we’re running steady at 800 tph due to our crushing advancements.”

For an optimum yield of finished product at its tertiary circuit, the company installed a P600 Patriot cone crusher.


Ellis said the design improvements on the Patriot cone crusher make it far more durable, reliable and user-friendly than older style cones. Unlike most crusher models, he observed, the Patriot cone’s counter-shaft spins in a counter-clockwise rotation, which causes the crusher to open if clamping pressure is lost, and reduces the risk of catastrophic failure. 

“This feature literally saved us last production season when a simple solenoid valve failed and would not reset the clamp pressure,” Ellis explained. “The counter-clockwise rotation allowed the cone to open, preventing any damage to internal components. When older style cones lose clamp pressure, the bowl tightens down, often snapping the shaft and leading to machine failure.”

Another feature that prevents costly damage to the Patriot cone’s crushing chamber is a unique tramp relief system. “First, it’s designed with fewer accumulators for minimised maintenance, but most important is the inclusion of a secondary pressure relief valve that ensures the crusher will open if a tramp event occurs,” said Superior Industries crushing product champion Mike Schultz. “This means that even if an accumulator fails, the secondary relief valve will provide immediate pressure relief, allowing the crusher to open.” 

Schultz also pointed to the inverted design of the tramp release cylinders where the hydraulic cylinder rod seal is not exposed during operation, greatly reducing the potential of contamination and failure.

Schultz, who brought more than two decades of crushing industry experience to the Superior Industries team of crushing application engineers and service technicians, added that the Patriot cone is more robust than the typical cone. “It’s beefed up to increase the strength of the unit with a heavier duty adjustment ring, base frame, eccentric and clamp ring, and bowl castings. We’ve made sure it will withstand the toughest applications,” he said.

The site has nearly doubled its output since the installation of the new crushers.


An in-house cone crusher automation package – Vantage Automation – is also a significant part of the Patriot Series. “It’s completely built in-house by the Superior Industries team with no third parties involved, allowing one-call service and support, and offering a complete automation package that is far more affordable than competitive systems,” Schultz explained.

Vantage Automation monitors all of the crusher’s vital functions. “Operators can track or trend just about anything,” Schultz said. “An automation package should be simple and easy to use. Importantly, it acts as a warning system that alerts operators to conditions such as bowl float, excessive amperage or temperatures, and lubrication or low-flow oil issues. 

“Our mission is sharing hands-on expertise and partnering with producers throughout the life cycle of the plant and its components,” he added.

“It’s such an advantage to rely upon the knowledge of the equipment manufacturer,” Ellis said. “The product and parts support is excellent, and the Patriot Cone does just what it’s designed to do.”. •

For more information about Superior Industries’ Patriot cone crusher range and Vantage Automation, visit

For further inquiries in Australia about Superior products, visit and

Send this to a friend