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Metso re-engineered solution for Hardrock Aggregates in Philippines

First publishedin Aggregates Business International
2016 November December
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Vicente T. Pulvinar, Hardrock Aggregates
Vicente T. Pulvinar, Operations Manager, Hardrock Aggregates
Hardrock Aggregates is one of many Philippines companies catering to ever-rising national demand for cement and concrete mix by producing quality aggregates, writes Guy Woodford.

The company produces around 2.7 million tonnes of aggregates per annum and is selling approximately 9,000 to 13,600 tonnes a day. One of the main products the company supplies is S1 sand, ranging between 0mm and 6mm and used in concrete batching plants and construction projects. With the demand for quality aggregates increasing by the day, Hardrock is now considering starting production of S3 sand, ranging between 1mm and 5mm, also known as manufactured sand. The fact that very few companies in the Philippines produce manufactured sand increases its demand.

Since 1998, when Hardrock started manufacturing aggregates, shortcomings in the plant design led to poor end-product quality, low production and high costs. To update the plant and convert a non-profit-producing unit into a profit-making unit, Hardrock hired Vicente T. Pulvinar.

“I joined Hardrock in 2007 and noticed a lot of discrepancies in the design of the plant. Having a 42x56 jaw crusher in the primary stage with a Symons crusher in the secondary stage was a clear mismatch, demanding a complete re-engineering of the plant,” says Pulvinar, Hardrock’s Operations Manager.

“I simultaneously started creating the new layout with Metso equipment, without letting production come to a stop in the old design,” he adds.

The old, ill-structured process prompted Hardrock to go all out for the new design and equipment. One by one, all machines were replaced to achieve the targeted production. Presently, Hardrock has two Metso Nordberg C140 jaw crushers in the primary stage, two Metso Nordberg HP400 and four HP300 cone crushers in the secondary stage, along with four vibrating screens to produce 453 tonnes of aggregates/hour.

The installation of the new design is said to have made a huge difference in the quantity and quality of production as well as in the operating and maintenance costs of the plant. The annual production jumped from 907,000 tonnes to 2.72 million tonnes.

“Since we have upgraded our machines to Metso equipment, our production has increased and costs have gone down. There has been a substantial decrease in operating costs. In the long run, we can compete with the very big names in the industry. This is the kind of trust we enjoy with Metso’s solutions,” says Pulvinar.

“Ever since we installed the C140 in the primary stage and the HPs in the secondary stage, we were facing new challenges within our quarry: the pressure to produce enough for us to feed the crushers. The technology is pushing us for the better, and I completely believe this will enable us to attain utmost efficiency in the future,” he added.

The HP’s design and robust quality resulted in lower maintenance costs and less down-time. All in all, it facilitated high production. “The HPs have good speed and shape, which reduces downtime tremendously and leads to easy machine maintenance,” notes Pulvinar.

Hardrock plans to use Metso equipment to enhance the production quality of its current products. The demand for the S1 sand (0 mm-6 mm) currently being produced is low because of the presence of fines and dust in the output, which the customer rejects. Thus, Hardrock is targeting to produce S3 sand (1 mm-5 mm), which is in great demand by the customers as it is free of fines and dust. To get this enhanced quality, Hardrock is considering Metso’s Air Classification technology to separate dust from the sand; it is also considering the Hummer Screen, which is uniquely designed for removing finer particles from the manufactured sand.

It is well understood by Hardrock that using Air Classification and a Hummer Screen will enable them to convert the S1 sand into S3 manufactured sand, which is widely in demand in the Asian markets now. “Hardrock’s huge pile of S1 sand stock is giving them a tough time; on the one hand, S1 sand is no longer in demand and there are no takers for it, and, on the other hand, keeping this stock is costing the company a great deal,” says Pulvinar. “The classification of S1 sand using Metso’s specialised technology, such as Air Classification, can help convert the unsold and undesirable stock into a hot-selling product for Hardrock, allowing them to save on costs and to generate profit from it,” he added.

Pulvinar says Metso machines are not costly and are “premium”. “It’s better to invest a little more today rather than repenting tomorrow with cheaper products and undesired results.”

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