Cone crusher boosts production at Cossatot Rock

By |  August 4, 2017

Plant productivity gains are imperative with the current uptick in aggregate demand. Productivity these days is driven by a number of factors, including near-record-high construction contracts; a healthy homebuilding market; and the potential of considerable infrastructure investments over the next five years.

Consequently, many aggregate producers are focused on improving all aspects of their mining operations while building substantial inventories of key products.

One such producer is Cossatot Rock, a 400,000-tpy sand, gravel and crushed stone producer located on a 900-acre site along the scenic Cossatot River in southwest Arkansas.

The operation ramped up its strategic crushing circuit upgrades nearly three years ago with the installation of a new REMco 4510 PROcone crusher. Prior to the installation, Cossatot Rock had experienced a costly production bottleneck with the operation of an older-style cone.

According to Cossatot General Manager Bobby Young, his team is consistently evaluating crushing efficiency and performance. The benefits of Cossatot’s new cone are significant, he says.

Young describes the PROcone as “a super user-friendly unit” that offers ease of maintenance and safe operation while delivering major increases in production capacities and plant uptime.

Since its installation, the operation is realizing a much-desired 150 percent increase in the production of its biggest selling product: its high-quality #57 concrete aggregate.

Efficient material flow

The PROcone is engineered with a large feed opening that remains consistent throughout the life of the manganese liners. Photos courtesy of REMco

The Cossatot plant uses the cone as a primary crusher much of the time, according to Young.

“We do have a jaw, but we don’t operate it during every shift as we found that would slow production,” he says.

Young explains that from the feeder hopper, oversize material (plus-6 in.) is scalped off and stockpiled to be crushed later in the jaw when needed. All minus-6-in. material is sent to wash plant screens, where it’s sized and separated into 1 in.; 3/8-in. pea gravel; and sand product stockpiles.

All plus-1-in. (and up to 6-in.) material is fed to the new cone.

“When we were operating our previous cone, we had to reduce the feed size as any material exceeding plus-4-in. would slow it down,” Young says. “The PROcone gives us our desired output of approximately 400 tph, and it easily accepts a coarser feed and produces a finer product.”

Next, in a two-stage crushing process, material is fed from the PROcone to a REMco Model 300 SandMax VSI (vertical shaft impact) crusher before being sent to a finishing wash screen.

“We’ve operated the VSI for more than 12 years,” Young says. “Its reliability is one of the reasons we turned to REMco to find the right cone crushing solution for our application.”

User-friendly operation

When acquiring a new cone, Young lists the hot buttons as maximum plant uptime; production capacity; ease of maintenance; ease of setting adjustments; a user-friendly design; and greater safety.

“Reducing downtime is critical,” Young says. “I need maximum production to meet the demands of our 200-mile market area radius. I need a cone that’s as maintenance-free as possible.

“With the new PROcone, changing out liners takes less than three hours,” he adds. “Alternatively, turning the bowl of the older-style cone requires pulling it apart, unscrewing it, putting a cable on it and manually cranking it. It was always a costly two-plus-day event just to get our previous cone ready to accept a new bowl and liner.”

As for ease of adjustments, Young says the new cone features push-button, hydraulic controls designed to provide fast and accurate adjustment of the closed-side setting.

“We’ve eliminated the safety hazards associated with time-consuming manual intervention in older-style cone adjustments,” he says. “Currently, we adjust our cone each morning, or when we run oversize. In seconds, we can achieve a 1 1/2-in. closed-side setting, which is perfect to efficiently feed the VSI and to maximize liner wear life.”

Engineering and design

Photo courtesy of REMco

Posing here in front of the REMco PROcone are, left to right, Mike Howell, REMco’s Central Region manager, and Bobby Young, Cossatot general manager.

According to REMco, the PROcone is engineered with a large feed opening that remains consistent throughout the life of the manganese liners. This provides a consistent feed acceptance, even when liners are worn.

Changeouts are fast and efficient because no backing is required on the wear liners, REMco says. The unit also features hydraulic tramp iron relief to prevent damage from uncrushables, as well as field-changeable eccentric throw to ensure flexibility and reliability in rugged applications.

Young especially likes the simplified, maintenance-friendly design of the PROcone.

“Many cones feature components typically located on the outside of the machine, such as baffles and cylinders,” he says. “On our unit, all components are internal, which eliminates the excessive wear and tear that’s common to external components.”

Most importantly, Young emphasizes the need for crushers to be designed with greater safety in mind.

“Our cone crusher is the safest unit I’ve ever operated – and that’s due to its engineering and design,” he says. “While even some newer cones are quite a chore to take apart, the PROcone is easy to disassemble. Other cones often require many hours of being ‘dangerously harnessed’ over, in and around the machine while completing maintenance tasks.”

Young adds that the cone is mounted on “a well-built, well-engineered modular installation kit, which allows plenty of room for maintenance workers, and well-designed catwalks keep the crew safe.”

Maximum performance

According to Mike Howell, who serves as Central Region manager for REMco, the PROcone is another tool his company offers to optimize the crushing circuit for maximum performance.

REMco’s headquarters, North American manufacturing operations and materials test crushing facilities are based in Livermore, California, but Howell and the REMco parts and service support team work closely with Cossatot Rock on an ongoing basis.

“After thorough analysis of the application, we can provide a very affordable crushing solution that easily tackles coarser material while delivering ease of operation, higher production and lower operating costs,” Howell says. “Cossatot processes the highest-quality base products by utilizing the PROcone and SandMax VSI crusher in combination – and they have dramatically increased sales due to the quality and particle shape of the finished material.”

Industry forecasts indicate that the next five years look good for total aggregate demand. Considering that, Cossatot Rock has made significant strides in crushing performance and efficiency, positioning it to continuously supply customers with all of the quality products they need, when they need them.

Carol Wasson is a veteran freelance writer for the aggregate and construction equipment industries.

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