Haver & Boecker enters the portable plant market

By |  January 21, 2019
The launch of the Tyler F-Class screening plant makes Canada-based Haver & Boecker a true player in portable plants. Photo courtesy of Haver & Boecker

The launch of the Tyler F-Class screening plant makes Canada-based Haver & Boecker a true player in portable plants. Photo courtesy of Haver & Boecker

Haver & Boecker launched the Tyler F-Class portable plant late last year, positioning the company to more firmly compete in the portable plant space in 2019 and beyond. To learn more about this venture into portable plants and what the future may hold at Haver & Boecker, P&Q connected with Duncan High, division manager of the company’s processing equipment technology.

P&Q: What was the opportunity Haver & Boecker saw to venture into portable plants last year?

High: Our sales force drove a lot of it. They brought to our attention the opportunity to take our product line and essentially make it portable.

Particularly on the West Coasts of Canada and the United States, there are a lot of people who are custom crushing or who own various pits. If there’s an interstate or highway going in, they’ll follow those projects and have a pit nearby to crush and screen. That’s kind of what drew us into this.

We used to have portable plants years ago – I’m going back to the 1980s. We worked with some suppliers, and there are probably a few still out there. I won’t say it took over our whole product line, but there were some [screens] that were made portable. We have some customers in the Quebec area who have been very loyal in purchasing the F-Class screens and putting them on chassis. The F-Class lends itself to it.

P&Q: Where is the F-Class portable plant being made, and what steps did Haver & Boecker take to prepare for the manufacturing of a portable plant product?

Headshot: Duncan High

High

High: We’re still making the vibrating screens in St. Catharines, [Ontario]. We’re working with a chassis manufacturer in Scott, Quebec. It’s been a good relationship. Depending on production and how much this ramps up, we’ll have to see if we need more suppliers or expand with our existing one.

The first step was figuring out what we needed. There’s portable wheeled and tracked. Wheeled seemed to be the best place for us to get involved.

We could see having a portable on-the-ground screen [be] wheel mounted. There are often customers who have opportunities for projects that they’re bidding on. They may not have enough screening capacity, so they purchase or lease a portable plant. Depending on whether it’s a lease or purchase, they’ll send it back when the lease is up or sell it off as excess equipment.

[To have a] stock [plant], you have to figure out what the best bang for the buck is. Too many bells and whistles and it might be a limited market, or it won’t sell as well. We were trying to figure out what that balance was.

For our stock one, we settled on a 6-[ft.] x 20-[ft.] three-deck F-Class. With that, we found talking with clients that they were looking for the feed conveyor to be mounted, [a] cross conveyor and options to mount the first and second deck together.

Run-on jacks were something we thought was beneficial – that’s a hydraulic type of jack that lifts the machine up and you can run on it. A lot of times with portables, they’ll put cribbing or wood blocks on it to hold it up. With run-on jacks, you can roll into a pit and it lifts it up into position. You can run right on those hydraulic jacks without having to put additional wood or blocking underneath. It offers a quicker setup.

Still, we wanted the flexibility to have a stock [plant] and a custom, built-to-order plant. We could’ve just said we’re going to make a 6 x 20 three-deck F-Class. But there are varying customer needs and requirements, so having the stock unit yet also having the flexibility to build to order was our approach.

P&Q: There are a number of portable plant manufacturers present in the North American market, making it a pretty competitive field. Considering this, what will the deciding factors be in an aggregate producer ultimately choosing to purchase a Haver & Boecker portable plant over another brand?

According to Haver & Boecker, the F-Class portable plant can be customized to include a crusher, conveyors or other components for enhanced productivity. The machine is ideal for tough applications, such as scalping and classifying ores, minerals, stones, sand and gravel. Photo courtesy of Haver & Boecker

According to Haver & Boecker, the F-Class portable plant can be customized to include a crusher, conveyors or other components for enhanced productivity. The machine is ideal for tough applications, such as scalping and classifying ores, minerals, stones, sand and gravel. Photo courtesy of Haver & Boecker

High: There are a lot of competitors. Our current approach was to utilize as much as possible the four-bearing screen we have: the F-Class. It’s a screen that’s unique, heavy duty and built with a double eccentric shaft assembly so it gives you minimal vibration into the structure.

There’s a big difference during startup and shutdown. Typically, when you have a machine mounted on four springs, it goes through an uncontrolled phase when you start up and shut down. You don’t get that at all with our F-Class. It’s a smooth startup and shut down.

P&Q: Do you see Haver & Boecker venturing into tracked plants?

High: Tracks are a little bit of a different animal. There are a lot of players in that area. At this point, we’re going to get some wheeled chassis under our belt. If it makes sense, we’re going to look at track-mounted units. If a customer approached us and it was an absolute must, then we potentially could look at that. For now, I think it makes sense to get even better at one thing before we start diverting into a different area.

P&Q: Can we expect to see other Haver & Boecker portable plants emerge that incorporate the company’s vibrating screens?

High: Definitely. The next cousin or sister to the F-Class is the T-Class, which is also an incline screen. It’s very possible to put that on a chassis.

It is possible to put some of the other makes and models on a chassis, as well. But I would say the next potential one would be the T-Class. We’re in a position now where if someone approached us looking for a T-Class mounted on a chassis, we could do it. It’s not like it has to go into a lengthy R&D phase. The same goes for some of our other pieces of equipment.

P&Q: Are there any plans at the moment to venture into new equipment areas or categories?

High: Not at this point. There are no acquisitions in the works. We have a couple of people we could work with on horizontal impactors. Right now, keeping our expertise in the vibrating screens is important to us. If we see a need to work with a crushing manufacturer or an apron feeder, we can pull partners in to help pull it all together for us.


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