Metso Insights Case studies Aggregates Higher-quality aggregates and better work safety at NCC Roads’ crushing plant
May 7, 2014

Higher-quality aggregates and better work safety at NCC Roads’ crushing plant

How to improve the quality of aggregates? How to boost work safety? These are some the main challenges that all crushing contractors face today. NCC Roads, the largest aggregates supplier in the Nordic countries, chose a Metso DNA automation system for its portable crushing plant in Southern Finland to ensure consistent-quality end products and a safe working environment.

In this article you will learn: 

  • How a crushing contractor was able improve the quality of aggregates and work safety with an advanced automation system 
  • How maintenance software contributes to fewer machine failures 

"With Metso DNA we have a plant that is easy to use and control. When new crusher operators are recruited, our challenge has been how to quickly teach them the basics of the crushing process. Metso DNA is now an excellent tool for ensuring that basic level of knowledge," says Jan Liimatainen, Regional Director at NCC Roads. “We also wanted to improve work satisfaction and safety with the help of a dust-free control cabin featuring air conditioning and wireless camera screens showing real-time material flow images from all four crushers.” 

Metso’s delivery included comprehensive plant automation: a plant-wide automation system for crushing and screening process control and monitoring, a control cabin, electricity installation and process data collection with a reporting system. Maintenance software for keeping track of both planned and conducted maintenance actions was also included. 

The new unit is one of the most advanced NCC crushing plants in Scandinavia, and it produces different types of aggregates. 

Optimized crusher performance

"We have optimized the plant’s performance thanks to Metso DNA," Liimatainen adds. "The operational crusher power range is now more accurate, which eliminates power peaks that are harmful to wear parts or bearings. Automation ensures more consistent end product quality than when using a manual adjustment. That is more important to us than a capacity increase."

 NCC Roads' three-stage production plant comprises Metso’s NW125 jaw crusher for primary crushing, NW500GP for secondary crushing as well as GP300 and NW550GP fine crushers for tertiary crushing. Fine screening is carried out with Metso’s portable NW FS353 screen and an older Lokomo B38OT screen. Each stage can be used independently, which minimizes production downtime during maintenance and repairs.

Secondary crushing is handled with a track-mounted NW500GP equipped with Metso’s largest cone crusher for aggregates production.

Maintenance software decreases machine failures

Maintenance software in Metso DNA provides advance notice when a maintenance checkup or service on the crushing plant is required. "The maintenance solution keeps us updated. Knowing when maintenance work will be carried out means that production is disrupted as little as possible. We have had fewer sudden machine failures, since servicing is carried out on time and entered in detail in the maintenance log," remarks NCC’s Production Manager Ari Kumpulainen.

The automation also features remote monitoring; staff at NCC’s Ohkola office are able to monitor the plant’s operations and production volumes at different quarries in real time. The remote connection reduces telephone traffic.

NCC Roads’ Production Manager Ari Kumpulainen (left), Site Engineer Tapani Nikkilä and Regional Director Jan Liimatainen are pleased with the benefits of plant-wide automation.

Cameras provide extra eyes

Plant operator Jouni Penttilä also praises Metso DNA’s wireless camera screen. "The cameras provide us with 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, a camera showed that a steel object was about to go into the cone crusher cavity. We were able to prevent potential damage."

He continues: "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 adjust every crusher separately."