Metso DNA plant automation increases product quality and work safety for NCC Roads crushing plant
The main challenges facing crushing contractors today are the quality of the aggregates and safety in quarrying operations. The Metso DNA automation system supplied to NCC Roads portable plant ensures a consistent quality of the end products and safe working from a dust-free control cabin with air-conditioning.
Metso’s delivery included comprehensive plant automation: DNA plant-wide automation system for crushing and screening process control and monitoring, control cabin, electricity installations and process data collection with a reporting system.
For the first time in Finland, the automation delivery also included Metso’s maintenance software for keeping track of both planned and conducted maintenance actions on process equipment.
Thanks to Metso DNA plant automation, plant operator Jouni Penttilä can adjust all crushing and screening details with the click of a mouse from his dust-free control cabin.
“Safe and easy to operate”
“With Metso DNA automation we acquired a plant that is easy to use and control. When new crusher operators start working, our challenge has been to quickly teach them the basics of the crushing process, and Metso DNA is an excellent tool for ensuring that basic level of knowledge. We additionally wanted to improve work satisfaction and safety with the help of a dust-free control cabin and wireless camera screens,” explains Jan Liimatainen, Regional Director for NCC Roads.
“We have had good experiences,” he adds. “We have optimized the plant’s performance thanks to Metso DNA. The operational crusher power range is now more accurate, which eliminates power peaks that are harmful to the wear parts or bearings. Automation ensures a more consistent end-product quality than that of when using a manual adjustment. That is more important to us than the increase in capacity.”
According to Liimatainen, the new unit operating in the south of Finland is one of the most advanced NCC crushing operations in the whole Scandinavia. Other segments of the NCC Group have also begun to show an interest in the automation solution.
|Secondary crushing is handled with a track-mounted NW500GP equipped with Metso’s largest cone crusher for aggregates production. |
Portable plant produces a wide range of end products
NCC Roads’ three-stage production plant comprises Metso’s NW125 jaw crusher for primary crushing, NW500GP for secondary crushing, and GPE300 and NW550GP fine crushers for tertiary crushing. The fine screening plant used is Metso’s portable NW FS353 screen and an older Lokomo B38OT screen.
The decision to acquire Metso DNA plant-wide automation system was made in the summer of 2012, and it was started-up in early 2013. In addition to the operator display, the delivery also includes a camera display showing real-time material flow images from all four crushers.
In December 2013, aggregates at NCC Roads’ quarry in Sipoo were crushed and screened using the portable Metso plant. The same plant is also used for crushing at the company’s Ohkola quarry.
The plant is used to produce different types of aggregates to meet the needs of various customers. After primary and secondary crushing, the aggregates used in roads and building foundations are screened and separated, which also results in coarse gravel, for example, in fractions ranging from 16 to 32 mm. Oversize from the secondary screen is directed to storage, from where the tunnel conveyor feeds it automatically to the tertiary crushers.
The tertiary crushers are primarily used to produce smaller grades for sanding, drainage and concrete production. When required, they can be used to produce asphalt grades.
Each stage can be used independently, which minimizes production downtime during maintenance and repairs.
Maintenance software works as a reminder
The maintenance software that comes with Metso DNA offers an advance notice of when a maintenance action (check or service) on the crushing plant is required:
“The Metso’s solution for maintenance really keeps us updated now”. Knowing when the maintenance work will be carried out means production is disrupted as little as possible. There have been fewer sudden machine breaks, since servicing is carried out on time and entered in detail in the maintenance log,” says NCC’s Production Manager Ari Kumpulainen.
The automation also includes remote monitoring, which means that NCC’s Ohkola office will be able to monitor the plant’s operations and production volumes at different quarries in real time. It is hoped that the remote connection will reduce telephone traffic and driving between the office and the quarry.
|NCC Roads’ Production Manager Ari Kumpulainen (left), Site Engineer Tapani Nikkilä and Regional Director Jan Liimatainen have a coffee break at the company’s Ohkola office.|
Plant operator Jouni Penttilä also praises Metso DNA’s wireless camera screen.
“We welcome cameras – they are extra eyes and ears, and are especially useful when it’s dark. Recently, in the early hours of the morning, as the plant was starting up, the camera showed that a steel object was about to go into the cone crusher cavity. We were able to prevent potential damage,” says Penttilä.
“Managing the end products is now easier than before, and any adjustments can be made in the control room with the click of a mouse. It is now easy to find the right balance for the plant, whereas before we had to run to adjust every crusher separately,” he adds.