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.
With drought in South Australia’s northwest region threatening the viability of a producer’s sand washing operation, a supplier has come to the rescue with a series of advanced water management solutions.
Persistence by an aggregates producer in the heart of the US for a modern machine that could produce a cleaner end product from secondary fill has been rewarded accordingly.
The large pile of by-product sat in the corner waiting to be sold, though not at a profit. The goal of the aggregates producer was to simply sell the by-product as fill, even though it was not optimistic it would break even on it.
In May 2017, H&H Stone, located in Bolingbrook, Illinois, USA, began using the McCloskey SandStorm 620 3D1S. According to Dave Hamman, the owner of H&H Stone, it has turned the by-product into a “profitable item”.
Hamman has been in the quarrying business since the mid-1970s, and he followed his father into the industry. Over the years, the Hamman family has had a limestone quarry and a sand and gravel operation in Kendall County. The entity known as H&H Stone began in 2013. At that time, Hamman and a partner purchased the limestone quarry in Bolingbrook and a sand and gravel pit in Boone County, Illinois. The purchase was from an old Chicago mining family that was selling off its entities.
The facility in Bolingbrook, which employs up to 12 people, including crushing personnel and drillers, makes a high quality sand product out of a waste by-product by wet screening all of the +4 mesh off the top of the sand product, then using cyclones to wash out the silts and clays
from the bottom end of the sand product. They end up with a spec sand product used in concrete manufacturing. According to Hamman, “Some farmers put it on fields to control the pH level. But in our area, due to the lack of farmland, we wash it and use it for manufacturing.”
H&H Stone’s industry is very much tied to the economy, particularly real estate.
When the US economy tanked in 2007-08, the Bolingbrook facility was shut down. Hamman and his team reopened the quarry in September 2014. The materials from the Bolingbrook plant are sold to either readymix companies or pre-cast companies.
The readymix companies use it for foundations in homes and driveways while the pre-cast companies use it to manufacture pre-cast panels for distribution centres and other pre- cast buildings.
With the American economy humming along, business has improved for H&H Stone. Challenges, however, remain. Hamman cites two challenges in particular that he and H&H Stone face. “The Illinois economy has not recovered fully – it’s way behind the rest of the nation,” he said.
In addition, the material the quarry produces is relatively low priced, so there’s a limit on how far it can be shipped. Also, margins are low and like every other business/industry, there is competition.
So, how does H&H Stone rise above the challenges? It’s about cleanliness.
Affordable, clean product
“I went to customers and told them ‘I have a good clean product that is affordable,’” Hamman said. “The product that H&H Stone produces is cleaner than that of his competition. They [the competition] are trying to do the same thing we do but with older technology, so they end up with material that is usable but not for all applications.”
Over the years, Hamman has rented, but never owned, various pieces of McCloskey equipment, including crushers and dry screening plants. That all changed when McCloskey representative Craig Rautiola met with Hamman at the end of 2016. “I gave him samples of my raw materials and told him the cleanliness level I needed on the finished product,” Hamman said. “He guaranteed he could produce materials as clean as I requested.”
That guarantee is what ultimately convinced Hamman to buy the SandStorm 620 3D1S plant. Prior to being delivered to H&H, the SandStorm 620 was on display at CONEXPO in Las Vegas in March of 2017. From there, it was moved to H&H Stone’s quarry in Bolingbrook.
“Building a traditional wash plant on-site takes longer and is more expensive,” Hamman said. “This plant was built in a factory and therefore was easy to get up and running. They hauled it in on trucks and set it up in less than a week.”
The delivery was in May 2017, and the equipment has been up and running since. The SandStorm 620 has delivered on Rautiola’s promise. Hamman said, “I’m very satisfied. It’s doing an excellent job, better than any type of equipment I’ve used in the past.”
Billed as a modular, mobile wash plant, the SandStorm 620 is 45m in length, 34m in width and eight metres in height, according to the specs. Hamman appreciates the size: “It’s relatively small.” The mobility of the equipment — which he explained is part of the reason H&H Stone bought it — gives the company the option to move it. Hamman said they might consider doing that some day.
One crucial component of the equipment is its speed. “It’s about tonnes per hour, and we are very satisfied with its production,” Hamman said. “The Sandstorm 620 can produce up to four wash products at once. It’s powerful and durable and offers a variable speed belt feeder and an adjustable hopper door for consistent material feed and has dual and single sand options for up to 400 tonnes per hour.”
According to Hamman, the SandStorm 620 is also operator-friendly. He points to the fact that it is touchscreen-operated as proof of this. The fully automated machine is radio- controlled and has an advanced automated control system. This makes it easy to use. Hamman appreciates that the machine is a “very quiet, clean plant with very little spillage.”
When making a major purchase, such as the one for the SandStorm, relationships come into play. After all, challenges are bound to occur and it’s then that people want to work with others whom they are comfortable with and respect. “They [McCloskey] have addressed all of our issues and have been there when we needed them,” Hamman said.
In addition to simply being there, Hamman remarked the McCloskey people are “cordial, easy to work with and nice people to do business with”. Business does not end at 5.00pm either. “The McCloskey rep who oversaw the set-up gave me his home number,” Hamman said. But Hamman has never had to use Rautiola’s home number. “He always answers his cell phone.”
These days the pile of by-product is being sold instead of piled. After all, it’s now a money-maker and helps H&H Stone and the Hamman family continue to prosper in the business of quarrying.
In Australia, sales inquiries about the McCloskey Sandstorm 620 can be directed to the national distributor 888 Crushing & Screening Equipment, headquartered in Perth, WA.
Smarter washing solution
888 Crushing & Screening Equipment (888CSE) has taken delivery of another Sandstorm 620 sand and aggregate washing system from McCloskey Washing Systems (MWS).
With the MWS Sandstorm, MWS Compact Washing Systems and MWS Tracked Mobile Rinser Screens in stock in Australia, 888CSE offers nationwide coverage for one of the industry’s most comprehensive sand and aggregate washing portfolios.
There are already several MWS Smarter Washing System units successfully operating in Australia.
The Sandstorm was assembled in a centrally located site in New South Wales for viewing by any potential customer.
The whole plant can be loaded and delivered to site within days. Commissioning of the plant can therefore take place within a couple of weeks of an order being placed, once both water and electrical supply are connected.
Polyurethane screen decks are selected and fitted to suit the exact site specifications required.
The Sandstorm has been developed with leading features for optimised production, easier maintenance access and reduced servicing intervals. The plant is fully electric- powered for efficiency with the control panel designed and built to meet Australian Standards.
This MWS Sandstorm modular washing solution can typically handle up to 450 tonnes per hour* (tph) of mixed sand/ aggregate, with 150 to 200 tph of sand production. A large 6m x 2m (20’ x 6’) triple- deck screen with five conveyors allows the production of up to three aggregate sizes as well as one or two sand products.
With the option to provide a split sand product, the MWS Sandstorm can make a coarse and fine sand product if the feed material is suitable. Alternatively, the plant can be set up to provide high capacities of a single-sized sand. Smaller Sandstorm plants are also available with lower capacities.
A complete water treatment package with a thickener tank, an automated floc dosing system and freshwater storage can be added to the Sandstorm, if required. With the addition of a filter press, water requirements can be reduced by up to 90 per cent in some cases.
*The capacity of the Sandstorm 620 varies depending on feed material and required product sizes. 888CSE personnel can assist in the selection of equipment depending on performance requirements.
Source: McCloskey Washing Systems and 888 Crushing & Screening Equipment
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Over the last two years, Inenco Industrial Solutions has made significant improvements to their supply chain, bringing better responsiveness and reliability to customers in the mining segment.
According to Crispin Dobson, General Manager Operations with Inenco, these improvements have translated to shorter order lead times and increased delivery reliability to Inenco businesses.
“We manage our supply chain with a planning and forecasting system that bolts on to our ERP. We’ve customised this extensively in the last couple of years to provide more focus on localised customer usage, and by doing so, we’ve been better able to forecast the product types and quantities that we need to have available,” Crispin explained. “This means customers can be confident that we have the right parts, at the right place, at the right time.”
In a mining context, essential components such as bearings, electric motors, drive shafts, pulleys and belts, will all need to be serviced or replaced periodically. Most customers have preventative maintenance programs in place to replace these parts at regular intervals. In such cases, parts are ordered to be stocked in advance. However, unplanned, emergency breakdowns, can and do occur.
“If a mining operation experiences a breakdown, then that’s time lost in production. Whether it be crushing or grinding ore, or extracting the minerals, a breakdown can have devastating consequences – we’re talking tens of thousands of dollars for every hour lost,” Crispin said. “So, it’s absolutely critical that we can get the right parts to those customers when they need them. Our challenge is having the correct mix of parts, and in the right location, to be able to provide this emergency service to customers.”
In terms of customer reach, the Inenco network is unparalleled. Crispin overlooks the distribution of parts from four distribution centres (Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth) to over 80 stores nationwide. He said: “Whether customers are in metropolitan, rural, regional or remote mining towns, we’ve got them covered.”
Importantly, the relationship that Inenco has fostered with its suppliers has been essential to improving their performance and delivery times. Crispin and his team have implemented a supplier continuous improvement program whereby measures such as DIFOT (Delivery In Full On Time) are used to assess and improve performance. Since the program started, Inenco have managed to double the delivery performance of their main suppliers.
“We may have thousands of items on order from each supplier and until the last couple of years, the lead times for some of these have been up to six months, making them very difficult to plan. Under this program, we’ve focused in on certain product ranges to be able to reduce the lead time, and we hold our suppliers accountable to their quoted delivery times,” Crispin explained.
The collaboration goes both ways, as Inenco provides their main suppliers with a rolling 18 month forecast of purchase order recommendations. This forward visibility allows suppliers to plan their own supply chains better thereby resulting in better order fulfilment for Inenco customers.
“The forecast is not a commitment, but it is a strong indication of our buying intentions. We’ve also been able to achieve 70% accuracy with our forecasts which is just about as good as you can get without a crystal ball,” Crispin said. “Many of our suppliers manufacture their wares overseas so this forecast makes a big difference – as even if we haven’t finalised the exact product mix, we’ve got time booked on their production lines already.”
The supply chain team at Inenco have also been working to improve other processes to help suppliers. For example, with some suppliers they’ve modified the way that they put in orders, placing them by sub-groups or product type, rather than just sending in an order with a long list of various parts.
Achieving these results – and working to improve processes – has taken a lot of collaboration and face-to-face time between the formal quarterly review meetings that Crispin and his supply chain team have with key suppliers.
“It’s worth celebrating the fact that we’ve managed to double the delivery performance of our suppliers in the last two years. This is the result of a lot of work from my supply chain team and also the supply chain teams of our suppliers,” Crispin reiterated. “Of course, these benefits translate directly to our customers.”
Read more articles like this at: www.lets-roll.com.au
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