In one of the broadest feature covered in International Construction throughout the year, quarrying covers a wide-range of construction equipment. This is anything in the aggregates production sector, from crushing and screening and to earthmoving equipment – not to mention the rest.
It’s fitting that the Hillhead, Buxton, UK show was held last month, with thousands of construction machines taking to their natural habitat in a quarry.
Starting in the crushing and screening sector, Sandvik came in handy for Chinese company Zhongshan Xinlong Aggregate, based in the Guangdong Province, which operates the largest quarry in the area, with total annual sales of more than CNY 10 billion (US$ 1.54 billion).
To cope with increasing demand, the company recently made plans to upgrade its 2,000 mtph aggregate.
Zhongshan Xinlong contacted Sandvik, which offered the solution of four CH870 cone crushers to produce end product fractions of 28-24 mm 24-11 mm, 11-5 mm and 5-0 mm.
The CH870 crusher has a large eccentric throw and high eccentric speed, resulting in more rock-on-rock crushing in the crushing chamber and improving the shape of the end product.
Operational downtime is also greatly reduced, adding low cost per tonne production to the benefits of the new equipment.
The machine has a robust design, with a hydraulically supported main shaft, supported at both ends. Its constant intake adds to its sturdiness, while delivering operational flexibility, and the crusher is well suited to high-reduction tertiary applications.
The crushers were supplied to Zhongshan Xinlong as a complete package, with a Hydroset system providing safety and setting-adjustment functions, while ASR could automatically adapt the crushers to feed conditions.
Sandvik says it was also able to offer a wide selection of crushing chamber options for the CH870. This has given the aggregates company the ability to rapidly optimisation its crushing process, allowing for changes in future crushing specifications.
Elsewhere in this sector, a new cone crushing plant for aggregate and mining companies has recently been launched by Terex Minerals Processing Systems (Terex MPS), one of the world leaders in materials processing technology, based in the US.
The MC380X modular cone plant features the Terex Cedarapids high performance MVP380X cone crusher and promises a combination of higher productivity and ease of use.
Enhancements to the new machine include high speed clearance of jammed material, quick crusher separation capability for faster manganese changes, and user friendly computer controls, enclosed in a robust weather-protected control panel.
The MC380X also comes with an extra-heavy duty I-beam frame, and a galvanised steel structure, including walkways, stairs and guard rails as standard.
The modular structure of the machine is bolted together on site which, according to Terex MPS, makes setting up easy and reduces the need for any complicated tools.
Pre-wired with a plug and play design, the modules require minimum on-site wiring.
At the launch of the plant, Terex MPS’s Mark Crooks said he was proud to see the MC380X “improving our application capabilities between 150–450 mtph and, in particular, showcasing the innovative design and modular plant controls created by our experienced engineering team.”
Another machine from the Terex family that promises both flexibility and durability is Terex Finlay’s new I-140 impact crusher.
Variable speed options give it flexibility across a number of different operational environments, including recycling, mining and quarrying applications.
The standard hopper capacity is an impressive 6 m3, and the flow of material has been improved by an increase in the widths of the machine’s components, compared with previous models.
With an advanced electronic control system and a fully hydraulic apron setting assist, operators will certainly see the benefits of the I-140’s convenient and efficient adjustments.
Furthermore, there is an optional by-pass conveyor, allowing material from the integrated pre-screen to be diverted to a stockpile.
Looking back, and proving that size and mobility are not mutually exclusive, Metso produced the world’s largest fully mobile jaw crusher plant – the Lokotrack LT200E.
Given its mammoth size, the machine is incredibly versatile and manoeuvrable, with turntables speeding up the relocation of the crusher and its conveying system.
Once delivered to the mobile apron feeder by excavator, the aggregate is lifted to the mobile jaw crusher, where the vibrating grizzly separates the undersize aggregate, while the oversize is crushed.
The main conveyor system carries the primary product to the mobile stacker, which transfers it to the field conveyor, before finally arriving at the stacking conveyor.
This all-electric machine weighs in at 850 tonnes, making its mobility a real feat of engineering. The LT200E’s nominal capacity is 2,500 mtph, with feed size up to 1,200 mm.
Moving along to articulated dump trucks (ADT’s) Volvo Construction Equipment (Volvo CE) has launched its new A60H articulated hauler, a 55-ton (50-tonne) capacity machine, set to do battle with Bell Equipment’s equally impressive B60D ADT.
The question is, why has Volvo chosen this moment to produce its biggest-ever hauler? While the 40% payload increase on Volvo’s A40 model will reduce the per-tonne cost and increase productivity, manufacturers have previously resisted the temptation to go big and enter such a niche market – literally between the natural territories of the two types of hauler.
Volvo says it is responding to increasing demand among its customers for haulers with larger payloads. It adds that the A60H is a viable alternative for customers currently using rigid dump trucks operating on soft, uneven or steep roads.
Along with optimising production, Volvo says the new hauler helps reduce costs, as the need for maintenance of haul roads is minimised.
As a further selling point, the A60H comes nicely equipped with technology to ensure optimum performance, including intelligent monitoring systems, such as MATRIS, CareTrack, and the Volvo On Board Weighing System.
The operator experience also promises to be good; within the Volvo Care Cab design, a centrally-positioned seat offers good all-round visibility, while comforts include climate control and low noise levels, as well as enhanced steering and suspension.
Bigger, stronger ADTs
Speaking of Bell Equipment, it first introduced its own 60-ton-class ADT, the B60D, at Bauma Africa in 2013, where it was hailed as being in many ways an improvement on rigid haulers of the same capacity, given its ability to perform well on variable haul road surfaces.
At its launch, it signalled a blurring of the lines between rigid and articulated machines, with Bell confident the B60D would win the argument with South African mine and quarry owners, due to its manoeuvrability on difficult terrain. Haul roads, therefore, require less maintenance, significantly lowering costs.
The B60D has two driven axles, giving it a 4x4 capacity. Its rigid truck frame style, adds to its strength, both literally and as a unique selling proposition.
While the biggest articulated machines do battle with rigids, the lower-capacity ADTs are largely having things their own way, with sales of rigid haulers in construction falling away over the past three years.
Scottish firm McFadyens Contractors have been using the Bell B30D ADT for five years and, after signing a contract to work on a forestry roads project, opted to buy a second used B30D, as well as a new B30E.
The company’s managing director, Billy McFadyen, said, “Our existing Bell dump truck has proven its reliability, while operators have confirmed that they like the comfort and functionality within the cab.”
Caterpillar is another of the major players in the hauler market, and is currently promoting its C2 Series ADTs, ranging from 26.5 tons (24 tonnes) to 31 tons (28 tonnes). All of these smaller machines feature powerful engines and advanced transmission control, along with all axle wet brakes and automatic traction control.
In terms of engine design, all three of the new Cat models are available in US EPA Tier 2/Stage II equivalent, Tier 3/Stage IIIA equivalent, or Tier 4-Final/Stage IV configurations, to meet worldwide emissions standards.
The new C2 Series models feature field proven major structures that ensure long-term durability in severe applications, said Cat. The front frame incorporates box section longitudinal beams, and the rear frame uses a four-plate box construction to reduce stress points.
The hitch retains its durable two-piece construction, using a cast-steel head bolted to a hard wearing, forged steel tube that maintains a tight, trouble free connection between the frames.
Three-point, oil/nitrogen front suspension and walking-beam rear suspension are said to effectively absorb haul road impact to allow safe, high speed travel. The newly design dump body, using high strength Brinell HB450 wear resistant steel for added resistance to impact and abrasion, features a diverging flow design that promotes clean dumping and minimises material carry-back.
Caterpillar said the body top rail design reduces material spillage in the loading area, and a fully welded front bumper and full-width belly pan provide enhanced machine protection.
Technology is a key part of Cat’s work, and its Product Link system wirelessly connects owners to their equipment, providing access to valuable machine data, it claims. This includes location, hours, fuel consumption, idle time, events, and diagnostic codes for analysis and reporting via the online VisionLink user interface.
Cat said that LINK information assists with fact-based decision making to help increase efficiency and lower owning and operating costs.
Finally in the ADT world, John Deere says it listened to its customers’ feedback on safety, efficiency and productivity before updating its E-Series ADTs with a raft of additional features. To a best-in-class differential lock and powerful transmission retarder, John Deere adds ground-level access for all daily service requirements, as well as a tyre pressure warning system and optional onboard weighing system.
Again, the cab is upgraded, allowing for enhanced operator concentration and efficiency. Sealed and pressurised to keep out both dust and noise, the controls are low-effort and the air-suspension seat is heated and high-backed.
With the E-Series, John Deere also offers operators its Ultimate Uptime package, which includes inspections, both pre-delivery and as a follow-on benefit, as well as three years of telematics, machine health prognostics and remote diagnostics and programming capability.
In the excavators sector, meanwhile, Hitachi Construction Machinery Europe (HCME) has launched its Zaxis-6 range of medium and large excavators.
Firstly, its ZX490LCH-6 large excavator is designed for use on large-scale construction projects and quarries. It includes two pumps and control valves to reduce fuel consumption, and the hydraulics help improve productivity, with its efficient swing, boom lowering, arm, and bucket roll-out, said Hitachi.
This new technology also lowers the emissions and reducing noise, with its diesel oxidation catalyst (DOC), urea mixing pipe, selective catalytic reduction (SCR) system and silencer.
The excavator also has a boom reinforced with thicker plates, with robust components in its undercarriage, including the track link, master pin, idler pedestal and bracket.
Hitachi is also launching a larger medium ZX300LC-6 excavator, with similar technological advances and a new six-cylinder 186 kW Stage IV-compliant engine, featuring the highest engine output in its class.
Komatsu, meanwhile, produces lots of equipment for the quarrying sector, including its recently launched Dash-11 excavators, new wheeled loaders with an auto-digging system, and fuel saving features for all machines. Most of its excavators, said Komatsu, highlight the range of Lehnhoff buckets and quick couplers.
The WA470-8 wheeled loader is described as a utility performer with a Stage IV engine and fuel consumption claimed to be up to 8% lower than for the WA470-7. Komatsu said the new WA470-8 offered “an outstanding combination of stability, breakout power and tractive effort”. The machine attachments available are said to extend the machine’s versatility to waste handling or quarry applications.
Among the excavators, the new PC138US-11 short tail swing hydraulic excavator has an operating weight range of 13,400 to 14,467kg.
Komatsu’s PC170LC-10 excavator, meanwhile, claims to have a Low Ground Pressure (LGP) undercarriage. Launched on the European market in 2015, the PC170LC-10 is said to provide improved performance and up to 5% more lift capacity with a standard counterweight when compared to the PC160LC-8.
The optional heavier counterweight provides up to 15% more lift capacity. In an LGP configuration, the wider tracks on the PC170LC-10 are said to make it particularly suitable for work on softer surfaces.
With operating weights ranging from 18,900 to 22,000kg, the PC170LC-10 (LGP) claims to be up to 10% more fuel-efficient than its predecessor, depending on the application and conditions. Komatsu said the improved efficiency came in part from a variable-flow turbocharger that provided optimal airflow under all speeds and load conditions.
The Komatsu PC210LCi-10 excavator was first presented at Bauma 2013, and then officially launched on the European market in November 2014. It integrates Komatsu’s intelligent machine control technology. It said the control function meant the operator did not have to worry about digging too deep or damaging a target surface.
The power of adaptability
With its diesel-electric drive, the Mobicone MCO 11 Pro crusher from Kleemann can process up to 470 mtph. Efficiency, high on the agenda of most aggregates companies, can also be increased with the use of an optional external power supply.
A useful feature of the MCO 11 Pro is its adaptability in terms of obtaining optimal material flow, using a hydraulically driven movable feeding unit.
The conveying capacity of the feeding conveyor is adapted depending on the level of the crusher, which always reaches its optimal filling height.
Other benefits include a touch control panel, clearly displaying machine status, plant functions and fault locations.
In terms of that all-important mobility, the 48 tonne plant can be transported in one piece, without the need to disassemble machine parts and is therefore quickly ready for operation.
Atlas Copco has brought to the market a new generation of BC bucket crushers, designed for carriers from 22-38 tonnes.
The BC 2500 and BC 3700 crushers are designed for ‘small’ demolition, recycling and road construction applications, where, according to Atlas, they can be an efficient alternative to a mobile jaw crusher.
With a capacity of up to 110 mtph, the crushers’ circular crushing cycle improves performance, with up to 80% higher output than previous BC models.
The system, which comprises two hydraulic motors, provides good torque and full loading capacity can be used without risk of blockages.
Atlas Copco says the intuitive functionality of the crushers eliminates the need for craftsman-like operators, and simple controls and easy adjustment can improve efficiency and reduce costs.
Loads of innovation
In the loaders sector, Liebherr’s new XPower wheeled loaders are described as a comprehensive, innovative machine concept with the new power-split, Stage IV/Tier 4 Final compatible XPower drivetrain at is heart.
Available across the range of large wheeled loaders from the L 550 to the L 586, the new machines were introduced earlier this year.
Martin Gschwend, sales director at Liebherr-Werk Bischofshofen in Austria, said, “Innovations of this scale come once every 20 years at most, so this represents a significant milestone in the technological history of Liebherr wheeled loaders.”
He said the XPower concept offered greater reliability and a longer lifespan than previous Liebherr wheeled loader generations.
“Each XPower wheeled loader is equipped with stronger axles than previous machine generations, partly being fitted with axles from the next model up in the earlier range.”
He added that component layout had also been improved “to increase strength and reliability, and the safe and versatile use of the components”.
In addition to the axles being reinforced, other core parts were said to have been strengthened, including larger bolt diameters and an optimised lever ratio designed to increase the lifespan of the lift arm.