Payne & Dolan quarries utilizing cloud-connected belt scales

By |  September 13, 2021
Payne & Dolan managers can now see what their crushing operations are doing in real time through the Trimble Insight dashboard. Photo: Trimble

Payne & Dolan managers can now see what their crushing operations are doing in real time through the Trimble Insight dashboard. Photo: Trimble

Payne & Dolan, a Walbec Group company, produces construction materials and provides construction and engineering services.

The company owns and operates pits and quarries in Wisconsin, Michigan and northern Illinois. Recently, Payne & Dolan leaders sought technology solutions that could provide more actionable data to improve processes and increase throughput at processing plants.

Kyle Bosch and Spencer Johnson, managers within the manufacturing department at Payne & Dolan, had a visible problem when they approached vendors to help them meet the goal of improving production and reducing downtime at three Wisconsin quarries.

“In the stationary crushing operation, it appeared we had a lot of material that was recirculating,” Johnson says. “It was going on conveyor belts, through screening plants, into various crushers and then coming back onto that conveyor belt.”

All of this reduced throughput while increasing wear and tear on machinery and consuming more energy than was necessary. The company’s scales, at this point, were not integrated or cloud based.

“We had no way of connecting it all,” Bosch says.

Installation process

Payne & Dolan selected the Trimble Insight operations reporting portal to help connect its scales and aggregate its operations data in one place.

The company prepared for installation by developing a plan and getting its IT group together with Whitmore Sales, the local Trimble dealer. Everyone got together to ensure all the pieces could communicate with each other and identify issues they might not have considered.

“We also had Whitmore on-site to help identify the locations and make sure we were going to get the best return for where we installed them,” Bosch says.

From there, Bosch says it was a matter of putting the Payne & Dolan fabricators, electricians and welders to work alongside Whitmore employees to install the scales and wire and network all of the interfaces.

“It is pretty seamless,” Bosch says. “A bigger site like our Franklin (Wisconsin) quarry took three days, start to finish.”

Brains of the operation

The Insight dashboard connects the hardware and serves as the brains of a Trimble “connected quarry.” With it, managers can see what crushing operations are doing in real time, anytime.

“It’s pretty simple and well-laid out,” Johnson says. “Each belt scale comes up on the dashboard and shows your current and average tons per hour throughout the day, which is critical because that’s really the bottom line. It will take that roller coaster of different volumes going across that conveyor and show it to us in a format that’s actionable and easy to understand.”

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