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Electric power, digitalization shaping portable plant offerings

By |  May 25, 2020
IRock’s RDS-20E all-electric plant was on display at ConExpo-Con/Agg. Photo: P&Q Staff

IRock’s RDS-20E all-electric plant was on display at ConExpo-Con/Agg. Photo: P&Q Staff

The latest tracked and wheeled plants for crushing, screening and washing were on display in and around the Las Vegas Convention Center at ConExpo-Con/Agg 2020.

Aggregate producers and contractors had a variety of options to see, and a number of portable plant trends emerged as ConExpo-Con/Agg attendees explored the trade show floor. Here are three trends P&Q identified as it visited with suppliers during press conferences and booth visits:

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1. Electric power is making its push. Between diesel-electric hybrids and fully-electric plants, it’s clear diesel power is making way for a counterpart.

IRock Crushers was among the manufacturers to showcase an all-electric plant, displaying the RDS-20E that’s marketed as ideal in environments where engine use is limited. A diesel option is also available for this particular plant in the RDS-20 C13 Cat diesel, reflecting the realization that the market still very much covets traditional technology.

IRock was far from the only portable plant manufacturer to highlight electric power at the show, though. At its press conference, Terex Materials Processing touted Powerscreen’s Chieftain 1700X – a hybrid machine offering dual power, leaning on diesel yet designed with an electric option.

“We’re investing heavily in electrification,” says Kieran Hagerty, president of Terex Materials Processing. “More customers are becoming environmentally aware. To get a permit to work one of our machines on the jobsites in California, large corporate companies must [use] hybrids.”

2. Plant digitalization continues. More manufacturers are also taking steps to give customers the ability to monitor their plants remotely and more fully understand what’s going on within machines. This concept was discussed at several ConExpo-Con/Agg press events, including at Sandvik Mining & Rock Technology’s.

Sandvik My Fleet, for example, allows customers to take control of their assets through remote monitoring. With easy access to a wealth of machine data, operators can plan, run and service equipment more efficiently.

Eagle Crusher is another manufacturer to roll out a real-time monitoring system, introducing EagleConnect as an option for all new plants. EagleConnect allows operators to keep tabs on engine performance, production rates, generators and more.

Screen Machine’s 90TS tracked 3-ft. x 8-ft. double-deck screening plant is one of several plants in the SMI Compact line. Photo: Screen Machine

Screen Machine’s 90TS tracked 3-ft. x 8-ft. double-deck screening plant is one of several plants in the SMI Compact line. Photo: Screen Machine

3. Machines are getting smaller. Screen Machine Industries, which introduced its SMI Compact crushing and screening line in 2019, is one such company that’s identified the opportunity to provide significantly smaller plants.

According to Screen Machine, its SMI Compact units are about 20 percent the size of a standard Screen Machine plant. The line presents opportunities for aggregate producers who also take on contract crushing and screening jobs in urban areas where full-size plants aren’t feasible.

CDE drove home the compact concept during its ConExpo-Con/Agg press conference, as well. Launching the X900 all-in-one wet processing system at the show, CDE’s latest modular plant is designed on a single chassis that makes the Combo X900 portable and rapidly deployable to remote locations and compact quarries in urban settings.

Astec Mobile Screens, meanwhile, introduced its new Ranger line of jaw crushers, cone crushers, impact crushers, incline screens and trommels that’s comprised of compact, track-mounted units.

“The new Ranger line will help us reach a wider range of industries and customers,” says Patrick Reaver, inside sales director at Astec Mobile Screens. “The compact units are going to be a great tool for contractors, quarry operators and many more.”

Kevin Yanik

About the Author:

Kevin Yanik is the editor-in-chief of Pit & Quarry magazine. Yanik can be reached at 216-706-3724 or kyanik@northcoastmedia.net.

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