Metso Insights Case studies Aggregates Boosting efficiency, safety and profitability with Nordberg® HP4™ cone crushers
Jan 8, 2024

Boosting efficiency, safety and profitability with Nordberg® HP4™ cone crushers

The installation of Nordberg® HP4™ cone crushers, along with other strategic plant enhancements, has ushered in a new era of efficiency for the Harding Street Quarry. By reducing the recirculating load, the production of sellable products has increased, as well as performance, safety and operational efficiency.

In 2022, Heidelberg Materials – formerly known as Lehigh Hanson – identified a crucial challenge with their operation. Alarmingly high recirculating loads were compromising the efficiency at Harding Street Quarry, resulting in the production of suboptimal materials. Faced with this obstacle, the quarry crew took charge and turned to Metso and our distributor, Process Machinery Inc. (PMI), demonstrating their commitment to enhancing efficiency and overcoming challenges head-on.

“We were crushing it, not getting it down to the size, coming back around and recirculating, which just generates more fines every time it went through the old crushers” says Randy Jones, Superintendent, Harding Street Quarry.

Solving the recirculation challenge with cone crusher to achieve target aggregate sizes

“The issues that we were having with our old crushers had to do with the consistency and product yields. We were struggling with keeping up with certain sizes and keeping certain gradation.”

Metso’s trusted distributor, PMI, studied the situation and came up with a plan. To get to the bottom of the issue, significant modifications needed to be done to the plant layout. The core of the plan was to replace two large and inefficient Symons 7’ SH cone crushers with two new Metso Nordberg® HP4™ cone crushers. This would secure reduction of fractions and maximize the limestone that was being crushed.

PMI designed, engineered and installed upgrades to the plant that – together with the new Nordberg HP4 cone crushers – helped in eliminating the recirculating load. This solution meant that materials, once correctly crushed, could continue their journey without the unnecessary burden of being sent back through the processing cycle.

These modifications have enabled Heidelberg to produce more 8’s 11’s and 12’s – which are the target aggregate sizes they need – thus marking a transformative success for Harding Street Quarry.

Since the HP4 units were installed with the variable speed drive unit arms, we cannot only adjust the speed of the crusher, but we can also adjust the closed side setting. We then do a lot of belt cuts, so we can really optimize the final product.
Randy Jones, Superintendent, Harding Street Quarry
Nordberg® HP4™ cone crusher
Latest generation of cone crushing technology.

Nordberg HP4 Cone Crushers deliver enhanced product quality and shape

The implementation of the new cone crushers has not only boosted efficiency but has also translated into enhanced product quality.

“The shape of the end-product has improved as well,” says Jones. “We are getting more cubicle, less flattened and elongated product out of the crushers.”

One of the key advantages of the new HP units lies in their ability to significantly reduce the recirculating load. This reduction results in a decrease in ultra fines, which were a concern with the older equipment. The crushers' efficiency is further accentuated by their ability to control the percentage passing the setting, ensuring a more precise and desirable end product.

“With our old crushers, we didn’t have variable speed drives, so all you could do was just change the close side setting,” says Jones. “Since the HP4 units were installed with the variable speed drive unit arms, we cannot only adjust the speed of the crusher, but we can also adjust the closed side setting. We then do a lot of belt cuts, so we can really optimize the final product. There’s just a lot more flexibility.”

Numbers don’t lie: HP4 transforms operations by reducing shifts, costs and safety concerns

Crushing it right the first pass means more product and less wear and tear. The Nordberg® HP4™ cone crushers introduce a new heightened level of safety, especially when compared to the older seven-foot Symon crushers.

Heidelberg mines three different benches, each with a different crusher setting, and switch from bench to bench on a weekly basis. Before the new HP units were installed, Heidelberg operators were going down into the crushers to manually adjust the hydraulic settings to accommodate each bench. Now, with the HPs in place, operators can safely stay in the tower and adjust settings with the touch of a button.

“Not only are they much more user-friendly, but you don't have miners down in the machine where they would be more exposed,” says Jones. “With the new HPs in place, we can crush it once – 90% of it.”

Due to their smart design, there are numerous features within the Nordberg HP4 cone crushers that enable reduced maintenance downtime. This includes the ability to easily access main components from the top, easy access for liner maintenance, mechanical rotation of the bowl for removal with a simple press of a button, as well as no backing compound on liners.

“What used to take an hour, we can now do in less than five minutes,” says Jones.

Furthermore, the absence of backing material for liners simplifies liner changes. Though Heidelberg has yet to change liners, thanks to extended wear life resulting from equipment efficiency, the new process will be far more expedient.

“When Heidelberg goes to change the liners in the machines, they will not have to wait for the backing to cure,” says Scott Yablonsky, Distribution Business Manager, Metso. “It's a lot safer to change these liners than it is to change the 7’ Symons, that’s for sure!”

In addition to safety and efficiency enhancements, the implementation of Nordberg HP4 cone crushers have yielded an additional benefit: Same production achieved in shorter time. The Harding Street Quarry has transitioned from two 12-hour shifts to two 10-hour shifts. This is an extremely important key factor, as its far-reaching implications include increased energy efficiency as well as reduced labor costs, which has resulted in improved employee morale.



Choosing the right partner for success

Heidelberg's Harding Street Quarry crew have made a big transformation in their operations and the results are starting to show. The journey has required great dedication from all the partners involved in the project and has enabled everyone to utilize their strengths.

PMI's proficiency in applications, products, and plant design – as well as their established operations – made them the ideal guide for Heidelberg for their quarry rejuvenation. Metso provided the core technologies, ensuring a solid foundation for the quarry's future success.

“After looking at other options the Metso solution was the best option for us,” says Jones. “PMI helped Heidelberg determine what size was needed to meet all their solutions, and so far, it’s been flawless.”

“They were very knowledgeable on the units and well-experienced,” Jones explains. “PMI taught everything to our operators and took charge when questions came up. Heidelberg’s operators are exposed and familiar with the new technologies available in the market, so it was an easy transition for them to pick up on the operations of these new units.”

This partnership's success is attributed to several factors, one of which is the shared commitment to sustainability. Both companies are dedicated to creating sustainable value through industry-leading products and solutions that meet global construction needs, while aligning with sustainability and environmental goals. By trusting PMI and Heidelberg, the benefits exceeded not only increased performance efficiency, but environmental efficiency as well.

There’s strength in partnerships, and Metso – along with PMI and Heidelberg – share similar values and goals when it comes to sustainable and efficient operations. Together with our customers, we can take the industry towards a more responsible use of the world’s natural resources. That’s why we are the partner for positive change.

As a leading supplier of cement, aggregates, ready-mixed concrete, and asphalt, Heidelberg Materials boasts an extensive network of over 450 locations throughout North America. Among its operations is the Harding Street Quarry. Centrally located in Indianapolis, Indiana, this quarry has been in operation since 1973, with annual production volumes reaching 3.5 million tons.

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