New MX3 crusher enables close to Eur 300,000 more turnover per year for Emipesa
Emipesa, located in eastern Spain, was experiencing a challenge with the lifetime of crusher liners, due to the very abrasive nature of the rock they were crushing. After Metso experts investigated the problem and conducted laboratory testing, some adjustments were recommended. Later, Emipesa bought its first MX series crusher, convinced that the automatic adjustments and the multi-action technology would be beneficial. “We have achieved more production capacity than we expected from the MX3. It’s been trouble-free and produces a good quality end product,” says Carlos Pérez, Managing Director & Co-owner of Emipesa.
Emipesa SA is a Spanish aggregates, asphalt and concrete producer that mainly works in the province of Teruel, the south zone of Castellón and other neighboring provinces.
It has three quarries within 100km along the A23 highway. The ‘San Blas’ and ‘Ventorrillo’ quarries produces limestone and the ‘El Poyo del Cid’ quarry produces siliceous ballast.
Ventorrillo is Emipesa’s oldest quarry, operational since 2000, and El Poyo del Cid, where the initial building works started just two year ago, in 2017, is the youngest. In 2019, the company became the proud owner of the newest Metso MX3™ Multi-Action cone crusher, the first in Spain.
Longer lifetime to crusher liners
Back in 2013, Emipesa started operating a primary Nordberg® C125™ jaw crusher with a Metso Rockbreaker MB352™ boom & hammer and a secondary Nordberg HP200™ cone crusher. In 2014, they bought an additional Nordberg HP300™ secondary cone for a big contract, to produce aggregate for a 15km-long road to be built between Zaragoza and Soria.
The extremely abrasive quartzite aggregate that Emipesa processes led to shorter liner lifetimes and Emipesa having to stop production to adjust the crusher settings seven times a day (every 1.5hr). Each stop represented 15 minutes of lost production time, adding up to about 100 minutes of downtime every day and, in Emipesa’s case, 16 days per year.
Knowing that the site produces 2000-2200 tonnes of aggregates a day and a tonne of aggregates is sold for around Eur 9, the cost of this downtime represented close to Eur 290,000 per year.
Knowing about Emipesa’s adjustment problem and the short lifetime of the liners, Metso started laboratory rock tests at the Metso factory in Mâcon, France; the liners of the HP200 should have a wear life of 180 hours. As a result of the tests, Metso recommended Emipesa to reduce the speed of the crusher from 850rpm to 700rpm.
Now the lifetime of the HP200 liners is around 180-190hrs and the crusher’s capacity is even higher. The laboratory estimates made by Metso are hereby confirmed and have even been slightly exceeded, but the problem of having to adjust the settings 7 times a day remained.
When the time came for the company to start producing 4-10 for the road construction project, they called upon Metso and competitors to fix the adjustment issue. This is when the conversations started around having a technology that could combine the operating principles of Nordberg HP and GP cone crushers.
Emipesa was convinced that they wouldn’t have the problem of having to adjust the crusher every 1.5hrs if the adjustment were to happen automatically. Metso wasn’t quite ready to launch the new multi-action technology, but told Emipesa that it was coming soon.
Enabling continuous aggregate production without stops for crusher adjustment settings
Emipesa finally decided to buy the first series MX in 2019. At the time of the visit to the quarry, it had been using the machine for about 4 weeks (100 hours). The crushing operation is now running free of unnecessary stops, as the setting adjustments can now happen while the machine is running. The overall capacity of the MX3 is higher than expected. Next on the list is to determine the best setting for producing as few unwanted fines as possible.
Working alongside the MX3 cone crusher in the ultra-modern plant setup with Metso equipment at Cantera el Poyo Quarry is a Nordberg C125™ jaw crusher, the HP300 cone crusher and a Metso CVB2060™ screen. Two-thirds of the quartzite aggregate product produced at the site is subsequently used in concrete and asphalt for regional construction and highway infrastructure works, with the final third is turned into ballast for national and regional railway projects.
On the side of the new plant, Emipesa El Poyo is still running a separate small crushing operation for specific products. That operation contains a Barmac® B8100™ impact crusher and a HP200, both bought second-hand. They are used to produce 0-4mm manufactured sand and other specific aggregate fines and both will soon also be integrated in the modern plant setup. With all machines in the same plant, they will be able to reduce the amount of unsellable fines currently produced.
Well-thought-out and compact footprint for complete crushing, screening and washing plant
The design and engineering of the El Poyo plant was done completely in-house by Emipesa. Their expert engineer and aggregates manager, Mr. Pablo Perales, really thought about every aspect of the crushing and screening process and was able to install this high-performance plant in a very small surface area.
“The new plant project was created in 2011. Its design is based on our experience of working with the specialty rock we have and the latest Metso plant technology,” says Perales. “This completely tailor-made plant incorporates all my thinking and wishes, such as good plant access, height of the conveyors and ease of transporting aggregate products around the site. Metso fully supported us as we were making our choices.”
The new plant is controlled by an iPad or smartphone using software co-designed by Emipesa and a software design firm based in Teruel. This allows Perales and his colleagues to monitor production very closely and to easily adjust throughput speeds and levels to cater for changing demand. It also enables a swifter response to any production problems.
MX3 exceeded initial expectations
“We have achieved more production capacity than we expected from the MX3. It’s been trouble-free and produces a good quality end product,” says Carlos Pérez, Managing Director & Co-owner of Emipesa. “I called Metso and requested a cone crusher that was easy to adjust without stopping production. After a couple of months of conversations, they said they had a prototype MX3 that they could give me to try. I liked its multi-action technology, with the automated piston and rotating bowl. We established a mutual trust that the machine would work. It did, so I bought one.”
“We could have bought a competitor machine that was cheaper and available sooner, but I didn’t want that because I’m extremely happy with the Metso machines and support that I get; and I knew the new technology was coming soon,” Carlos Pérez concludes.
The next challenge involves enclosing the whole building with insulated walls and the necessary dust-handling systems in order to protect the employees and the people living in the nearby village.