Hanson’s Shap Beck million tonne/year limestone quarry near Penrith, in the county of Cumbria, North West England reports big gains using Trimble Loadrite’s InsightHQ quarry management system for web browsers and mobile devices.
Since 2012, the quarry has saved $45,000 annually using Trimble Loadrite’s InsightHQ to manage onsite excavator to hauler material loading.
Robin Gillespie, manager, Shap Beck says the system “showed our excavator was under-loading the haulers before by 10—15%, something that was not obvious to the human eye.”
“It led to us adding some side extensions onto our dump trucks, allowing us to maximise the carrying potential of each truck.”
Gillespie says he and his Shap Beck colleagues were first introduced to InsightHQ in 2011 by Hanson’s parent company HeidelbergCement’s Competence Centre Management team, who asked Gillespie if he’d like to trial it.
“Now we also use it to measure daily production output through average tonnes an hour readings at ten minute intervals. These readings are taken from material on our three most important conveyor belts situated around the quarry,” he says.
“With InsightHQ, I can see how much material is being put into the primary crusher, how much saleable product I’ve got left after the scalping and waste removal process, and I can also learn how much of this saleable product is kiln feed limestone, that we can supply to Tata Steel, our biggest single customer, who operate the Shap Fell processing plant nearby.
“Around 650,000tonnes of our annual production is kiln feed limestone for Tata Steel, with one of our three key conveyor belts dedicated to handling the product.”
The material-processing performance reports e-mailed to Gillespie and management colleagues at the start of each day enable them to take action to tackle problems and to obtain current product inventory data. InsightHQ can also offer “Snapshot” reporting on performance.
Gillespie says that since May 2016, and following discussions with Julian Athawes, director of Halomec, Trimble Loadrite’s UK distributor, he and his team have used InsightHQ to access Shap Beck’s primary crusher kilowatt usage per hour data, conveyor running time figures, and conveyor black belt time data (how long the conveyor is not carrying any material).
“Having this tool and other things we do at Shap Beck is light years ahead of any other quarry I’ve worked in,” Gillespie says. “Having the ability to analyse kilowatt usage of the primary crusher means we can link it back to the fragmentation of the blasted material. The better the fragmentation from the blast, the less energy is used by the primary crusher to process material.”
First published in Aggregates Business Europe.