Increasing production, efficiency from your wash plant

By |  August 19, 2019

Washing and classifying equipment manufacturers offer tips to producers to increase efficiency, minimize downtime and increase production.

Removing contaminants essential to elevating efficiency

Duncan High_Haver & Boecker


Haver & Boecker’s Duncan High stresses the importance of effective washing in producing a saleable product

Consider that you may need high-pressure water to remove contaminants, such as clay, or to wash fines out of the layer depth.

Advanced washing systems offer a high-pressure solution. A vibrating screen equipped with spray bars also helps to ensure clean material as it rinses the last of the contaminants.

A rinse screen equipped with dams on the screen media helps slow material down and increase the washing efficiency by allowing extra time to deagglomerate or wash fines through.

It’s also important to look at how a rinse screen’s spray nozzles penetrate the layer. Material is stratified on a vibrating screen to cause the finer materials to go to the bottom and the larger particles to rise to the top. If spray nozzles have too much violent action, then the material layer can be mixed up, possibly causing fines to go back to the top of the layer and end up in the oversize chute as contamination.

Duncan High is processing equipment technology division manager at Haver & Boecker.

Tech key to avoiding significant losses of fines to ponds

Headshot: Eoin Heron_CDE


Minimizing this loss will maximize your revenue, says CDE’s Eoin Heron

Tackling the loss of valuable fines to settling ponds offers the most potential for immediate boosts to profitability and production efficiency.

Settling ponds are often inadequately sized, often due to a lack of available space or to prevent reserves from being covered. This, in turn, leads to challenges in keeping water clean for the washing process.

Much of the washing equipment utilized on the market today has not evolved to meet growing demands for more efficient operations. Traditional wet processing equipment, while robust in nature, lacks the ability to efficiently process sand in a way that captures all saleable product, enabling the producer to maximize revenue over the weighbridge.

It’s common to see operations where the waste discharge to settling ponds contains anything from 10 percent to 50 percent sand. In the worst cases, the overloading of settling ponds leads to the wash plant being shut down for periods of time until the ponds are excavated.

The industry demands more efficient technology to reduce downtime and maintenance, while increasing yield to maximize profit per ton.

Eoin Heron is business development director for North America at CDE.

Why monitoring your plant is so critical

Headshot: Alan Bennetts_McLanahan


Automation and data logging can improve uptime and efficiency, says McLanahan’s Alan Bennetts

Stability is a highly overlooked area because it requires an operation to incorporate a couple of important practices.

The first part of achieving a stable process involves monitoring and interaction. The monitoring can be achieved through automation with data logging or dedicated operators with the proper training. Monitoring your plant ensures upset conditions are found sooner and fixed faster.

Once armed with a good understanding of what is happening and what the equipment can do, the improvements can begin. Every piece of equipment has a sweet spot where it runs best. By getting to a stable operation, the equipment can be tuned to offer the highest efficiency.

Operating a stable plant pays off not just in higher production, but it causes other parts of the operation to fall into place. Preventive maintenance becomes more effective and decreases downtime. Production goals are easier to determine and meet because of predictable product yield. Stability should be the goal of any process.

Alan Bennetts is global product manager at McLanahan Corp.

Maintaining equipment is crucial to success

Headshot: John Bennington_Superior


Regular inspections can go a long way, says Superior’s John Bennington

It sounds simple, but achieving maximum production from your washing or classifying equipment comes down to practicing regular maintenance.

When you receive your equipment, review the owner’s manual for recommendations. Also, you will be amazed what you find by simply walking around your equipment at least weekly.

John Bennington is director of washing equipment at Superior Industries.


Maximize production with technology, automation

Headshot: Trevor Park_EIW


Eagle Iron Works’ Trevor Park discusses the positive impacts of utilizing modern technology

Not using the highest possible level of automation available for classifying tanks prevents aggregate operations from maximizing their production efficiency.

While many operators still use and purchase new units with basic percent-type control systems, software exists that allows the maximum yield of sand products with minimal non-spec sand generation.

This software is available to monitor the classifying tank’s operation and make changes or adjustments to the opening of the valves to produce the highest yields of specification sands.

It is important to work with a manufacturer who understands your goals and can match the correct software to achieve these results.

Trevor Park is director of sales at Eagle Iron Works.

Why understanding the ‘big picture’ is vital

Headshot: Kevin Glendenning_Masaba


Masaba’s Kevin Glendenning explains how knowing your costs can impact downstream decisions

One of the most commonly overlooked items may not necessarily be in the mechanical process itself, but moreso in the overall scope of the entire process.

The ability to accurately track and monitor operating costs is crucial in obtaining a true cost per ton. By knowing your costs, producers can make good business decisions when it comes time to replace or upgrade equipment, change a process or properly price their products with a comfortable margin.

The aggregate industry remains one of the most competitive industries. Jobs or contracts that used to be awarded with a 10- or 15-cent difference per ton are now won or lost by a penny or fractions thereof. The only way to stay in the game and maintain profitability is to provide a good quality product and know what it costs you to make it.

Kevin Glendenning is regional sales manager of the Midwest at Masaba.

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