First publishedin Aggregates Business Europe
Customers are demanding more capacity from new screens.
Call for higher performance is driving demand for both static and mobile screening plants
While the fundamental process of screening has remained unchanged for many years, tweaks in design have helped to deliver higher capacities and easier operation. Systems used to operate screens - both static and mobile - are increasingly being automated to improve function and give consistent productivity, while the move to mobile machines has added flexibility.
Although sales of mobile screens have been growing rapidly over the last decade, there is still very much a need for both these new comers and the larger static machines. So it is no surprise that calls for higher capacities, reduced maintenance and lower operating costs from customers applies to both types of machines.
"Static and mobile machines both have an equal market share these days," said Sandvik
Mining and Construction business development manager Arvid Svensson. "But they are two different applications. Static machines are big capacity process plants that are vital to meet the aggregates demand from large centres of population and with product requirements becoming tighter and tighter such plants are essential.
"Mobile plants do not always have the same specification but offer more flexibility and add the option for contract crushing and screening operations. Customers want more capacity so these demands have been met and the new technology is delivering higher quality materials.
"Some of the larger mobile screens can now equal that of a static plant but there is still a need for both types in the market. Demand for mobile plants is growing faster than static plants but there is a big difference in investment costs. Large urban areas need static plants to meet volume demands but in more remote locations, mobile units offer more flexibility." Metso Minerals product manager for vibrating equipment Denis Pradon's team are usually involved in delivering turn-key projects to fit new static screening equipment into buildings within the quarry. His team have recently completed construction of two big screens within an existing Belgian quarry but the demand is mainly in the Russian and Ukraine regions. "Although we are seeing a slowdown there is still strong demand in some regions but the split between static and mobile machines is still very regional," he said. "Traditionally the Scandinavian region uses mobile units due to the remote locations, where as in Western Europe the high population density means that static units are more common." According to Maskin Mekano managing director Calle Smedenmen, mobile machines are very important in the Scandinavian market because of the smaller scale of some quarries and the remoteness of some sites. "Mobile plants give quarry operators the ability to move machines from site to site," he said.
This growth in contract screening is enabling operators to move to where demand is highest. As an extreme example of this, McCloskey sales manager Seamus Doyle explained that some Irish crushing and screening contractors have found work in Romania and transport their equipment there by road. "The Irish market is very quiet so they have gone to where there is demand," he said.
Mobile machines offer more flexibility.