Quarrying with a colossus from Indeco
First publishedin Aggregates Business Europe & International
The Indeco HP18000 FS breaker operating at the Pozzelle quarry near Canosa di Puglia in southern Italy
Five Indeco HP18000 FS hydraulic breakers working in Italy and India show that maxi reakers can meet the challenge of extremely hard rock masses. Lucio Garofalo reports.
Designed for demanding quarrying applications when the job calls for a very high output of material, the Indeco HP18000 FS (Fuel Saving technology) is extremely productive in situations where drilling and blasting is not a viable solution.
Indeco says it is the only company manufacturing a breaker with 25,000 joules that maintains the versatility and rapid striking rate of smaller models.
Despite its large size and performance, the HP 18000 also offers the advantage of coupling to 90tonne excavators, a feature that is said to translate into greater mobility in the quarry and reduced fuel consumption, leading to higher profitability.
HP 18000’s ballast challenge The Pozzelle quarry containing Ambrato marble is located near Canosa di Puglia in southern Italy, and has been active since the late 1980s. However, it has only recently been shown to have potential to produce crushed stone used for railway ballast, meeting the stringent standards UNI EN 13450 of RFI (Italian Railways).
Laboratory tests on rock samples indicated a strength of 140–160 MPa and a Los Angeles coefficient (resistance to fragmentation) of LA <16.
The proximity to provincial road 181, and the need to reduce the quantity of dust from the intensive agricultural activities taking place around the quarry’s perimeter, precluded the use of explosives, usually considered more suitable for the production of large quantities of ballast.
Given the rock’s high compressive strength, an Indeco HP18000 FS breaker attached to a Hitachi 870 DA 90tonne excavator was required. This set-up proved capable of producing, on a regular basis, 700-800m³ (1100-1200tonnes/day) of material over an eight-hour shift.
This is hardly a secondary factor for general productivity, since by the end of the year 50,000m³ of material must be ready for delivery to meet RFI’s need to have ballast available at a moment’s notice.
High output in India The Chittorgarh quarry in, the Indian state of Rajasthan, contains enormous quantities of Nimbahera limestone, and is managed by the cement production division of Birla Corporation.
The limestone supplies the cement factory of Chanderia, some 7km from the quarry, which is owned by the same company.
Birla Corporation is part of MP Birla Group, a multi-national conglomerate with over 120,000 employees that operates in 40 countries across a broad spectrum of industries.
For over 20 years the quarry was excavated using the drill and blast method, but in 2011 the Supreme Court of Rajasthan ruled that the technique could no longer be employed because it risked damage to the nearby Chittorgarh Fort, a national monument dating back to the 14th century.
The court’s decision, consequently, had an impact on how the quarry organised production, requiring it to reconvert to a method using mechanical systems.
The limestone has compressive strength values ranging from 120-150 MPa with a variable level of fracturing according to its colour.
Currently, 16 excavators are operating on a rotating basis over three shifts (Hitachi 1200; Komatsu 1250, and Liebherr 984) attached with seven breakers (four of which are Indeco HP 18000s, soon to be six).
The Indeco breakers are said to have proved highly productive (800-1,000m³/day or 1200-1500tonnes/day) and reliable, given the heavy application, and have quickly racked up a high number of hours in weather conditions that see temperatures exceed 45°C.
Impressive output With a striking rate that can reach 460 blows/minute and a 250mm chisel, the Indeco HP18000 FS ensures an impressive output given the sheer quantity of rock broken up and demolished.
It, like all Indeco FS breakers, also boasts a favourable ratio between input and output power resulting in optimum energy efficiency.
The breaker is installed with the ABF (Anti-Blank Firing) system, a patented technology exclusive to Indeco that is said to significantly improves efficiency and extend the life of the breaker.