Aggregates Manager

February 2014

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Page 38 of 51

EQUIPMENT MANAGEMENT Proper care — and application — will keep your primary jaw crusher properly feeding the production cycle. by Michelle Cwach W hen it comes to maintaining a jaw crusher and securing the most uptime possible, the key is to develop a proactive preventive care program and become properly trained on the equipment, according to industry expert Wade Lippert. Lippert, a field service representative for KPI-JCI and Astec Mobile Screens, has been servicing aggregate equipment for 25 years. In his years of experience, Lippert says he often comes across tunnel-visioned producers who are solely focused on one specific part of an operation — like how large material can be and still be fed into a crusher. What they should be concerned about, Lippert says, is how much production can be achieved and the best way to achieve it. That all boils down to maintenance and education. "There has to be investment in a comprehensive maintenance and training program," Lippert says. "Too often, I am told how much downtime a producer is experiencing and how much that downtime is costing them, and yet I find they are not taking care of the equipment. Investment in maintenance is considered an operating expense that can affect your bottom line, positively or negatively." But maintenance is far more extensive than just greasing bearings and miscellaneous "housekeeping," Lippert says. "If you purchase a piece of equipment, you expect a certain amount of longevity in the equipment," he says. "This applies to anything you buy. If you purchase a vehicle, you need scheduled maintenance like fluid changes, tire checks, and, yes, housekeeping. If these basic practices are not performed, the vehicle will fail you, as well as affect the resale value dramatically. These fundamentals in vehicle maintenance are understood by most and considered common sense. The same fundamentals can be applied with crushing equipment, but with much more attention to detail." Because of the violent nature of a jaw crusher, the equipment — regardless of application or manufacturer — will fail at some point without preventive care. But a proper maintenance program can help producers avoid costly breakdowns by repairing problems in their infancy. This could be something as minor as a loose or missing bolt, a broken weld, a loose belt, or a buildup of material that is allowed to remain, Lippert says. When taken care of daily, they remain small issues that can be immediately resolved to avoid downtime, but, over time, they can affect the longevity of the equipment. Factory training and education goes hand-inhand with a preventive care program in extending the lifespan of a piece of equipment. While new technology can greatly enhance the efficiency of an operation, it can also add a challenge to those who have not been exposed to it. AGGREGATES MANAGER February 2014 37

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