Quarry Academy a success in San Antonio

By |  November 19, 2012

Sandvik and Dyno Nobel teamed up to host their annual Quarry Academy event last week in San Antonio. More than 90 attendees listened to experts discuss drilling, blasting, loading, hauling, screening and crushing. Held at the Omni La Mansion del Rio Hotel, the three-day academy also included a quarry tour and time on equipment simulators.

Jeff Heinemann of Sandvik and E.J. Burke of Dyno Nobel kicked off the event with opening remarks, followed by Jim Caldwell of Southwest Research Institute, who discussed “Lean Thinking Applied to the Quarry Process.”

In total, there were 92 participants and 35 representatives from Sandvik, Dyno Nobel and Volvo, including 20 instructors — and Pit & Quarry was there, too. Participants used electronic devices at their seats to provide speakers with feedback.

The technical courses addressed current best practices in unit operations with a focus on systems integration, economic sustainability, process improvement, cost reduction and the use of practical safety as a part of daily work behavior.

Quarry tour and keynote

One highlight of the event was a tour of Martin Marietta Materials’ Beckmann Quarry, which produces one-million tons of material each month for the San Antonio, Houston and surrounding markets. The site features a “portable” HSI crusher that is fed by up to five loaders at a time and produces 5,500 tons per hour. The O&K crusher, assembled in 1986 and costing $32 million, can “walk” to maintain a close proximity to the quarry face — eliminating the need for haul trucks. Crushed material is then conveyed to the plant.

In addition to the tour, attendees watched blasting demonstrations at the site.

Quarry Academy’s keynote address was given by space shuttle astronaut Mike Mullane. In his program, “Countdown To Safety,” he delivered a message on workers’ roles in keeping themselves and their teams safe in hazardous environments. Mullane used examples from NASA and the Air Force to drive home his points about safety.

Mullane was selected as a Mission Specialist in 1978 in the first group of space shuttle astronauts. He completed three space missions aboard the Shuttles Discovery (STS-41D) and Atlantis (STS-27 and 36) before retiring from NASA and the Air Force in 1990.

Photo: Pit and Quarry Magazine

About the Author:

Darren Constantino is an editor of Pit & Quarry magazine. He can be reached at dconstantino@northcoastmedia.net.

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