Aggregates Manager

September 2013

Aggregates Manager Digital Magazine

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OPERATIO 1 2 An examination of old… Portable Plant Setup T here's no doubt that portable aggregate and recycle plants have evolved over the years. Hydraulic run-on jacks have replaced the need for cranes and cribbing timbers. Slim electric lines now provide power, where heavy electrical cables were once the norm. Onboard conveyors have reduced the need for separate transition and stacking conveyors that add to transport loads, setup time, and space requirements. Where a portable plant move once required numerous workers and took up to two weeks or more, it now can be completed in a matter of days, with far fewer personnel. More importantly, while efficient transport and quick setup are always goals worth achieving, the features of today's portable plants also contribute to safety for workers. "The old-fashioned way of moving plants meant a lot of people, a lot of time, a lot of sweat and muscle," says Dave McLaughlin, director of major accounts for KPI-JCI and Astec Mobile Screens. "Our customers today want plants that move and set up efficiently, but they also tell us, 'Build us a plant that is safer for our employees.' And when moving a portable plant doesn't requires as much time, muscle, and personnel, when hydraulics position auxiliary equipment in place, when smaller electric lines replace worker exposure to heavy, high-voltage cables, then you can start to answer both requirements." Paul Brandt, territory manager for Power Equipment Co., based in Denver, Colo., agrees. He says that manufacturers understand their customers' need for efficiency, combined with simplicity. "Some companies set up and tear down six, eight, or more times a year," he says. "The more single pieces you move in the spread, the more money it costs. The more time it takes to set up the plant, the more downtime you incur — which translates to lost production and lost revenue." Brandt says portable plants now offer simple "plug-and-play" setup and performance, which address the need for plant uptime, employee safety, and ease of operation. Ultimately, organization is the key to a successful move, says Chad Ferguson, operations manager for Cessford Construction, an Oldcastle Materials company based in Burlington, Iowa. At least a week prior to any plant move, he recommends a manager sit down and create a plan that includes site preparation, a listing of loads, and the proper order in which they should pull onto the site, along with scheduling maintenance as part of the move. Ferguson, Brandt, and McLaughlin all agree that, while the hydraulic features available on today's portable plants can reduce the time spent in plant setup, it still is imperative that employees slow down and make sure they are following the proper steps for safety. Portable plant setup used to mean days of work, with extra manpower and auxiliary equipment, such as cranes and cribbing timbers. It was a cumbersome, time-consuming, expensive operation — made more costly by the production time that was lost during transport and setup. Issues with setting up these traditional portable plants also included bulky, high-voltage wiring; truckloads of conveyors to erect; and assembly of handrails and walkways. 4 5 Like clockwork Prep and level the site before the plants arrive. If you are shooting material, it can help to drill and shoot prior to the plant's arrival. Ensure drivers know the proper rotation for the plants to pull onto the site, where their loads are intended to set up, and in what order they should enter the new site to reduce the handling of the equipment. Once a plant is unhooked, if it has to be hooked up and moved again, you are losing time and efficiency. AGGREGATES MANAGER OperationsIllustrated_AGRM0913.indd 16 8/15/13 3:31 PM

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