Tae-hyung finds a profitable solution for manufactured sand with minimum flakiness
Investing in a Metso Barmac VSI crusher and Nordberg cones has enabled the South Korean aggregates producer Tae-hyung to start making a real profit with manufactured sand. The company is currently selling its sand at 40% higher than market price.
South Korea is a growing nation, and the key for any nation’s growth lies in its infrastructure development. But in Korea, the lack of high-quality raw materials is limiting the development potential of its infrastructure, such as the railroad network, commercial and non-commercial buildings, and industrial hubs, and thus the growth of the entire nation.
Tae-hyung Enterprise Co., established in 1976, entered the quarrying business after securing a big order from Hyundai Engineering and Construction in 1984. The company expanded its operations and the quarry business was made an independent unit in 1995. It is currently headed by Ho-joong Yoon, who is also the CEO of Tae-hyung Enterprise. The company operates in four locations across South Korea and has its own asphalt plant, a ready-mixed concrete plant, quarrying business, industrial recycling business and architectural stone works. Its major products comprise asphalt concrete and ready-mixed concrete. The company has an annual turnover of around USD 0.1 billion and employs 200 people at its four plants.
Tae-hyung is one of the companies producing and supplying not only aggregates and crushed sand for the Korean market, but also ballast for high-speed railways. Tae-hyung adopted a new method to produce aggregate by crushing because the extraction of gravel from rivers was banned, and transporting raw material from the sea escalated the cost by many-fold. The raw material the company uses to produce aggregate is one of the hardest stones in Korea. The abrasiveness of the raw material is around 1,340g/ton, so it is a challenge to manufacture aggregates from this material.
Improved end-product quality with Metso crushers
“The local equipment failed to give us the desired result with the raw materials we were using, so we decided to go with Metso’s Barmac® B9100SE™ VSI crusher. The market buzz about the solution was very compelling,” says Tae-hyung’s CEO Ho-joong Yoon.
The installation of the first Barmac VSI immediately cut the flakiness of the material by half to a mere 20%. Soon after, this positive experience encouraged Tae-hyung to place an order for Metso’s Nordberg® HP300™ and HP400™ cone crushers. The Metso cone crushers enabled Tae-hyung to further reduce the flakiness down to 10% and to increase the overall production, which gave the company the opportunity to earn more.
The reduction in the flakiness to <10% changed the course for Tae-hyung and put an end to the poor response for their product. No customer has since turned down their products, thereby paving a path of success for Tae-hyung in the aggregates business. The most surprising outcome, however, was the increase in production, which more than doubled after installation of Metso’s equipment. Earlier, the company was producing about 700 cubic meters of sand and about 1,500 cubic meters of gravel per day. But the installation of the Barmac VSI and the HP cones enabled the company to double the output. It now produces between 1,600-1,700 cubic meters of sand per day, and it easily surpasses 2,000 cubic meters of aggregates per day.
“The rocks we crush have very high compression strength – ranging from 121 to 141 MPa – so machine wear increases the downtime. However, the robust quality and strength of the Metso equipment is much better than that of the local machines, we can are reducing operating costs by 10% to 15%,” says Ho-joong Yoon.
The increase in production combined with the 0% rejection rate from customers has helped Tae-hyung to earn more and to increase its overall profitability by 15%. The company is now able to sell sand at $14 per cubic meter ton, compared to the industry average rate of $10 per cubic meter ton, i.e. 40% more than market price. Even though the local machines were available at a lower price than the Metso equipment, Metso’s solution proved to be more profitable.