Sep 27, 2019
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Calwer Quarry doubles production with new Metso MX3 cone crusher

The company was the first in Brazil and one of the first in the world to adopt the new Metso MX3™ Multi-Action cone crusher launched at Bauma 2019. Since then, they have doubled the production of manufactured sand, from 30 tons per hour to 60 tons per hour, and they’ve seen a significant reduction in crusher energy consumption. The high quality of the manufactured sand makes concrete production cheaper for their end customer.

Manufactured sand production doubled

Calwer Mineração adopted the MX3 to produce manufactured sand at the Botuverá plant in Santa Catarina. The equipment is one of the first in operation in the world, and it was introduced at Bauma 2019 in Germany last April. Installed in February 2019 (as a pilot), Calwer's MX3 operates in tertiary crushing, offering great advantages in replacing the previous Barmac VSI crusher.

"We doubled the production of manufactured sand, going from 30 tons per hour to 60 tons per hour. We have had production peaks of up to 78 tons per hour already," explains José Augusto Werner, director and founder of Calwer. Another advantage, he notes, is the significant 70% reduction in crusher energy consumption. In addition, the MX3 has reduced the monthly running hours by 10 hours. "We have been able to produce more manufactured sand in less time and with lower energy costs," summarizes the director.

The choice of equipment was strategic for Calwer. With the reduction in construction works, the company decided to reduce the production of gravel and to focus on the production of higher quality manufactured sand to meet the needs of the region.

With the MX3, the quarry delivers manufactured sand with a chemical and physical composition that allows their customers to reduce their concrete production per cubic meter costs by EUR 5.5 (R$ 25 reais). In addition, manufactured sand increases the resistance of the concrete from 5 to 7Mpa. As a result, Calwer has been able to sell the manufactured sand for a higher price.

Optimizing production according to demand

"Our conventional sand competitors are, on average, 30 km from concrete industries, less than half the distance from our facility," explains José Augusto. "But even though they are closer, we are more competitive within a 100-kilometer radius of our plant," adds the director of Calwer. Higher productivity and reduced energy costs, he says, outweigh the value of freight delivery. For José Augusto, the margin may be higher when the market heats up.

"Automation is another great benefit of the MX3," says the director. In the unit of Botuverá, Calwer has only one operator to configure the daily operation and to establish working standards. Adjusting the daily or weekly production according to the demands of the market is now easier. Another great advantage is the bigger feed opening of the machine, which amplifies the production and allows the peaks of up to 78 tons/hour already reached. "The automation of the MX3 is so perfect that you do not even realize it's working. You turn it on and almost forget the operation," he adds.

José Augusto Werner also points out that in addition to feeding the secondary crusher – a Metso HP200™ – the MX3 has been fed with pre-selected material in the primary crushing through a grizzly, optimizing production. This process allows the quarry to direct the gravel, which has low demand, to higher priced manufactured sand, which serves the heated market. In terms of layout, Calwer only made changes in conveyor belts, getting better feed distribution to the equipment.

Commitment to the environment and community

Replacing the VSI with the MX3 also eliminated the need for water that was previously needed to lower the internal heating of the bearing assembly, which, however, had some undesirable side effects, such as increased fine particle adhesion to grains and increased product moisture. This, in turn, impaired the screens and, consequently, the quality of the final product. The elimination of water in the process has also brought the important benefit of additional sustainability, which is a crucial factor nowadays and one in which business and citizens, in general, are paying more attention to.

"Calwer pays attention to sustainability. In addition to saving water and energy, we do environmental restoration in the area where we operate. When we started the operations, the banks of the river that passes next to our quarry were barren. Today, we recover the riparian vegetation and we can see the return of the fauna and flora around here," comments José Augusto.

Another important action is Calwer´s commitment to the community. Every year, a local school spends a day in the quarry, giving students an opportunity to learn about mineral extraction. The company opens its doors and welcomes the students into their facilities, especially at the mine to see the flow of the process. This opportunity awakens the students’ curiosity and gives the quarry the opportunity to contribute to local education.

Preparing to acquire the second MX3

Because of the good performance of the first MX3, the Calwer quarry is studying the purchase of a second machine for the production of sand for the glass and ceramic industries. The new crusher will be installed at the Lajes facility, also in the state of Santa Catarina, and will replace three hammer mills.

"The equipment we currently operate must be well monitored to produce sand with a maximum of 500 ppm of iron contamination, due to the wear of the hammers in the comminution process. This is not acceptable for the production of glass and ceramics," explains José Augusto. He notes that not only would a new MX3 reduce this problem, it would also help in optimizing the plant's operating costs.

Another justification for the new machine is the lower consumption of wear parts and the MX´s energy efficiency per ton produced compared to hammer mills, remembering that the hammers mills are more indicated and more efficient in processing low abrasive materials.

Calwer quarry operates in the agricultural limestone, civil construction market and serves concrete, ceramics, glass and mortar factories in the Santa Catarina region. The company has been delivering products that contribute to the State development since 1945.

Handing crushing over to experts
United Infra invested in their own crushing and screening plant, and trusted the operations and maintenance of the plant to Metso experts.

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