Extraordinary, exceptional and eccentric
In the materials production industry, you’d be hard-pressed to find a piece of equipment that works as hard as a vibrating screen. Every day around the clock, ton after ton of material is dumped on them, shafts turn and bearings drive. Although these components endure tough working conditions, they’re still held to the highest standards, and expected to produce a clean, properly sized product every time.
It’s with good reason this equipment is held to such a high standard. Responsible for the primary material production tasks, one could argue vibrating screens are the heart of every processing operation. It can be the difference between uptime where an operation is productive and profitable, or downtime where it is detrimental and costly. One quarry located in the township of Presque Isle, Michigan, adjacent to Lake Huron, would certainly attest to the impact equipment –in particular vibrating screens,can have on an operation.
Acquired in 2000 by Paris-based Lafarge Corporation, the Lafarge Presque Isle (PI) quarry is one of nearly 1600 worldwide production sites under the Lafarge umbrella. As a leading materials producer in the US, offering everything from standard construction and asphalt stone to unique high calcium limestone (HCL), the PI quarry relies on the heart of its operation to ensure uptime remains high. For PI, this heartbeat comes from a fleet of 14 F-Class vibrating screens from Haver & Tyler, which operates on a 24-hours-a-day, five-days-a-week schedule.
To say the equipment has been crucial to the company’s success is certainly a strong statement and is one backed by solid numbers. In just over a decade, PI has become the largest producer inLafarge North America’s family, consistently averaging more than 2400 tonnes per hour, and an average annual production of nearly 8 million tonnes per year.
The PI quarry isn’t an ordinary operation, and didn’t get to where it is by accident. Rather, the entire team, from the maintenance staff to management, go above and beyond on a daily basis. Thisis evident in both day-to-day operations,as well as long-term strategy. A prime example of PI’s tactical planning approach took place back in 2002, when it was going through a scheduled upgrade of its vibrating screen equipment. It was at this time the new fleet of F-Class machines was purchased – but it wasn’t a simple decision based solely on the typical criteria of tonnage output, high production or speed. While Dave Nelson, PI’s manager, did have specific and high expectations for the machines’ performance, the real deciding factor was based on something that wouldn’t be measured by standard production benchmarks.
SETTING THE BAR
Multi-story screen houses are quite common in the industry. Combine their size, capacity and force with the inherent function of a vibrating screen to vibrate, and it’s easy to see that a resulting side effect can be transmitting vibration back into the structure, resulting in major structural concerns for a multi-story building. The intrinsic vibration concerns often result in limitations on the placement of screens within the structure, with a limited footprint per floor. The combination of logistical factors can make screen selection quite complex – exactly the case for the PI quarry. Because his operation utilises a six-story screen house, with machines on the second, third and fourth floors, both vibration concerns and a limited footprint were paramount considerations in Nelson’s decision. Beyond logistics, Nelson had specific goals he wanted to achieve with the new machines. One key goal: improving efficiency in load rates, particularly conveyor load rates. Because of its proximity to Lake Huron, the PI quarry transports material by water, and utilises conveyors to load the shipping vessels. Especially with rising fuel costs in recent years, Nelson points out the distinct advantage PI’s location offers over its competitors.
Marketing Manager Haver Australia
+61 8 6240 6904