Purchase of the H4e Cone Crusher catapults Taihape construction firm into the future
Byfords Construction are a major producer of aggregates androading chip based in Taihape, Rangitikei district. They are one of the largest aggregate producers in the lower North Island, supplying clients that include Fulton Hogan, Higgins and Downer as well as numerous concrete manufacturers.
New Zealand currently has a number of large roading projects underway including Transmission Gully. And Byfords also supply large quantities of metal for the Manawatu’s Tararua Highway, as well as for river barriers and sea walls.
In line with this, Byfords’ General Manager Richard Apthorp says the business is experiencing an increase in the demand for aggregates andchip year-on-year. However he also reports that material specifications for projects are often left unresolved until late in the process, coming at late notice with restrictions on particle size.
This requires that Byfords have both the flexibility and range of equipment to meet a range of material specifications at short notice. To add more pressure, the increasing price of diesel means they need to maximise their operating efficiency and productivity returns, in order to avoid putting prices up to maintain margins.
Therefore to capitalise on the increase in demand and reinforce the company’s ability to improve productivity, Byfords decided to explore the purchase of a new crusher. However there were a range of factors influencing this decision. To begin with, a number of quarries operated by Byfords are on the Central Plateau.
This terrain is set on hard alluvial rock which is highly abrasive, making impact crushers a less than-ideal option to process the rockinto chip. At the same time, Byfords’ available cone crushers had logged plenty of hours and were starting to require more downtime for servicing and repairs.
This narrowed the decision to a new cone crusher. But which one and from whom? And was the issue merely an immediate productivity challenge or was there an opportunity to take longer term perspective?
Meeting the global challenge for quarrying and construction Industries the world over are facing the same challenge; the need to reduce emissions and moderate overall carbon footprint. The global construction industry faces a significant task, since it accounts for around 39% of C02 energy-related emissions.
The opportunity to respond to this challenge placed additional responsibility on Byfords as a recognised leader in the NZ construction and quarrying sector. In Europe, fully electrically-powered machines are becoming increasingly popular. But siting of most New Zealand quarries away from population centres makes access to the grid unlikely.
Therefore if Byfords wished to respond in an environmentally responsible way, the most suitable choice would be an hybrid diesel electrical cone crusher. Initially the Byfords team reviewed proposals for two different models. Both fulfilled key criteria but a single clear winner emerged.
Why the Keestrack H4e?
Byfords’ Richard Apthorp is very clear on the advantages that led them to select the Keestrack H4e hybrid cone crusher to replace the firm’s ageing machinery.
To begin with, the H4e incorporates a closed-loop pre-screen and post-screen that enhances the machine’s ability to efficiently handle a wider range of particle sizes and produce purer aggregate.
Operating efficiency is further amplified with a pre-warming function, and the fact that the H4e cone’s higher crushing power can add 20% more crushing capacity and process a wider range of materials. With the H4e, Byfords would be able to meet the demands of clients to produce aggregates with smaller particles both quickly and at favourable productivity costs.
In order to present a case for the investment, Equip2 undertook comprehensive scenario planning to show the long-term impact the H4e would have on Byfords’ productivity and operating costs over 5 years.
Projections using Equip2’s quarry plan cost calculator overa range of aggregates showed that with an H4e, Byfords Construction would achieve a net productivity gain as well as significantly improved profit per tonne. These figures were obtained through detailed analysis of annual operating costs, right down to a forecast average daily profit.
This data was supported by the H4e’s operating and environmental advantages including:
- The immediate advantage of producing cleaner, higher quality aggregates and chip at a range of specifications thanks to the H4e’s integrated on-board pre-screen and triple deck post screens.
- Higher crushing power from an electrically driven, advanced pressurised cone. This is filled using an ultrasonic sensor, and includes an automatic release system to prevent damage by any material that cannot be crushed.
- An easily removable Volvo genset running at 1500rpm rated at Euro stage IIIA, that can be located away from a dusty operating environment.
- Superior performance from the hybrid diesel-electric drive motor in the H4e, that delivers 70% superior fuel efficiency than the nearest comparable competitor, resulting in impressive life-of-machine fuel savings.
- The H4e’s electric motors have a longer operating life than hydraulic equivalents, and need far less maintenance.
These benefits are complemented by the flexibility of a removable genset that can be located away from dust and other contaminants, further reducing servicing requirements and increasing the machine’s operating versatility.
Acquiring the Keestrack H4e has helped Byfords Construction boost productivity from 90 tonnes per hour to 140 tonnes per hour.
This is in addition to major fuel savings, reduced maintenance needs and a net increase in profit per tonne of aggregate. On top of this, the business has demonstrated a commitment towards environmentally responsible operation.
In the eyes of Byfords’ management, the combination of these factors more than justified the investment required to purchase the H4e.