Better throughout: Solving a producer’s crusher problems

By and |  August 18, 2014
Phil Haas at one of the company’s operations near Eau Claire, Wis.

Phil Haas at one of the company’s operations near Eau Claire, Wis.

New manganese wear parts and other tweaks help solve a Wisconsin producer’s crusher problems.

Haas Sons Inc. is an aggregate crushing and washing o–peration in central Wisconsin. Phil Haas and his three brothers, Steve, Darrel and Gary, run their father Dave’s crushed stone, sand and gravel business outside of Chippewa Falls. Dave started the business in Thorp, Wis., in 1963.

Today, Haas Sons serves the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, various municipalities and many private contracts. In 2012, Haas Sons purchased A-1 Ready Mix, A-1 Transport and A-1 Materials Inc. A-1 Ready Mix, a 50-year-old business with about 40 employees, operated plants in the Wisconsin towns of Wheaton, Bloomer and Menomonie.

Haas Sons’ multiple locations in central Wisconsin produce 1.5 million tons of aggregate from three stationary and two portable plants. Additionally, the company has five ready-mix plants that produce 160,000 cu. yd. of ready mix, year-round.

The Haas brothers always work to reduce downtime and increase throughput. Keeping equipment running at its peak requires close attention and quality wear parts.

When Phil Haas took over as vice president in 1994, one of the things he focused on was increased production and throughput for the company’s crushers. However, as Phil stated, “There’s more to wear parts than keeping up with change-out and installation.” Phil soon realized he was not getting the value he needed from his jaws and cone crushers and decided to address the problem.

A cone crusher processes material at a Haas Sons Inc. operation.

A cone crusher processes material at a Haas Sons Inc. operation.

Later that same year, Haas Sons found improved productivity with Unified Screening and Crushing. Phil had the company’s crushers and liners reviewed by the Unified team of specialists to see what improvements could be made. Unified found that even though Phil had been buying quality parts, there were specific design elements that were reducing overall efficiency. The tooth profiles of his jaw crushers were not performing and the crushing zones and cone liner profiles were all in need of adjustment.


Initially, Unified sent in Jim Georgantones from the company’s St. Paul, Minn., office for an early performance review. After reviewing plant operations with Phil Haas, Georgantones decided to contact Lynn Williams, Unified’s manganese specialist from the company’s North Carolina office. Williams’ specific engineering expertise for product design and manufacturing enabled Unified to quickly confirm and further diagnose the Hass operation.

Williams examined the jaw dies and found the tooth profiles were holding back throughput and productivity. To address this, Unified designed a more aggressive tooth pattern for the Haas operation. It was discovered that the profiles on the cone liners showed room for improvement, so the crushing zone was redesigned to maximize throughput.

As a final optimization, Unified recommended replacing the existing manganese with Unified’s high-performance 18-percent manganese castings to improve wear life.

Material at a Haas Sons site is loaded into a jaw crusher.

Material at a Haas Sons site is loaded into a jaw crusher.

According to Phil Haas, “All of these changes had a dramatic impact on our operation’s efficiency and improved the longevity of our parts. After Unified tweaked the problems and replaced our crusher parts with their high-performance manganese castings, our throughput increased 20 percent.

“Unified’s product redesigns, unit adjustments and on-time delivery made substantial improvements to the overall performance of our operation.”

Take note

After performance enhancements to the company’s crushers, which included the use of high-performance manganese castings, throughput increased 20 percent.

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