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California quarry gains efficiency and uptime by upgrading crushing circuit

Jackson Valley Quarry installed a new jaw crusher in just three days – a great result of efficient teamwork with Metso and the local distributor, Compass Equipment.

Jackson Valley Quarry is owned and operated by George Reed, Inc., a family-owned company that has been in business in the Central Valley of California for more than 60 years. The company has two key areas of operation. The construction division builds local projects like roads, bridges, shopping centers and other developments. The aggregates business makes materials like asphalt and ready-mix concrete for the construction division. In addition to Jackson Valley, George Reed also owns the Table Mountain Quarry in Jamestown, as well as materials processing and hot-mix plants in Clements and Escalon, California.

Located in northern California near the city of Ione, Jackson Valley Quarry has enjoyed steadily growing demand for its aggregate materials in recent years. According to Kenny Benson, Aggregates Manager for George Reed, 55 to 65 percent of the aggregates from the quarry is used in asphalt production. The Jackson Valley Quarry supports George Reed’s Clements plant, the company’s largest hot-mix plant. The quarry produces approximately 350,000 tons per year for asphalt, as well as additional material to supply emergency levee repair projects. “With the bad weather over the last 5 years during the winter and spring, our business has been different because of all the flooding,” says Benson. “We have produced tons of rip rap, facing rock, and ballast material used for levee repairs every year.”

Operating challenges

George Reed has worked closely with Compass Equipment, Inc., Metso’s distributor in northern California, since 2001. Compass Equipment President Steve Appleby, along with Victor Abreo (VP Parts and Service), and Ron Moras (VP Operations) have partnered with the team at Jackson Valley to minimize costly downtime and make the plant more efficient. “We are proud of our ability to supply both new and existing equipment at a customer’s site, fine-tune a customer’s process, and make their plants more efficient,” Appleby says. “We can rapidly remove and replace machines by doing a pre-job analysis, then designing and building equipment that we are confident will fit before the work is started.”

Operators at Jackson Valley are challenged by the rock mined for aggregates. Known as greenstone because it contains chlorite minerals, the hard, volcanic rock is notoriously tough on the crushing equipment.  “It’s just the nature of the stone,” says Benson. “Sometimes we get into a vein that just likes to sliver. Metso helps us beat it most of the time.”

Another challenge for the Jackson Valley Quarry is their operating permit. By local ordinance, the quarry can only run 12 hours a day, five days a week. The limited operating hours put a premium on efficiency and uptime. “Late in the season last year, we had a mechanical issue with the Nordberg® HP400™ late Friday afternoon, and called Victor at Compass,” says Kenny Benson. “He had a crew here early Saturday, and when we got in Monday morning, the repairs were made, and we were running. That’s the kind of consistent service we get from Compass Equipment.”

Rapid installation

“During the last eight to 10 years, we have replaced all of the cone crushers at the Jackson Valley Quarry,” says Steve Appleby. “They have had other brands and over time, ave replaced all of them with Metso crushers.” In addition to the Nordberg® C140™ jaw, the Jackson Valley Quarry has three Metso cone crushers: a Nordberg® GP500™, a Nordberg® HP400™, and a new generation Nordberg® HP4™.

Jaw crusher in place in California

The most recent upgrade at Jackson Valley was the replacement of a 1960s vintage primary jaw crusher with a new Nordberg® C140™. With the help of George Reed’s experts, Metso and the team from Compass Equipment, installation of the new C140 was accomplished in only three days. “The modular design of the C Series™ jaw crushers makes them easy to install and an economical choice for plant upgrades like Jackson Valley,” says Nayles Bakke, Metso Distributor Manager, Southwest USA.

Thanks to the integral design of the C140, we now have the capability of making crushing adjustments in minutes instead of hours.
Cory Turney

The C140 processes blasted rock from the quarry to create an 18-inch minus product, which is either conveyed to the GP500 to produce 3x5 inch rock, or to the quarry’s surge pile to feed the secondary crushers. The new jaw has met production goals with an output of approximately 600 tons per hour. The crusher has also cut downtime for crusher setting adjustments. “Thanks to the integral design of the C140, we now have the capability of making crushing adjustments in minutes instead of hours," says George Reed Plant Engineer Cory Turney. “The design of special rubber dampers and stoppers allow the crusher to run more quietly and reduce wear and subsequent damage to the crusher’s foundation,” he adds.

 “We’ve been happy with all of the Metso equipment we have purchased,” says Kenny Benson. “Our GP500 went a solid ten years without sticking a dime into it. We did our first major rebuild on the GP500 two years ago. The Metso equipment is great.”

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