Cutting costs

01 May 2008

Most sand and gravel quarries operate below the water table which means that dewatering pumps are essential to maintain efficient ‘dry’ extraction operations but rental and operation can be a major overhead. Nonetheless, Hanson Aggregates has managed to cut its pump operating costs by -35% at its Earls Barton Quarry near Wellingborough, UK by switching to a smaller pump following a successful on-site trial.

The company had been using a rented 8 in (200 mm) pump to extract 225 m3/h (62,5 l/s) of water, with a variable sand content and a static head of 20 m, from the working area and transfer it to a settling lagoon 850 m away. Hanson Aggregates unit manager Joan Hughes was looking for ways to improve overall efficiency at the quarry and contacted Pioneer Pump for help.

Pioneer Pump general manager Simon Ruffles suggested down sizing the quarry's pump to a 6 in (152 mm) centrifugal Pioneer PP66 pump to reduce rental and operating costs and maintain flow rates. The PP66 uses a Stage II naturally aspirated four cylinder Perkins 1104C-44 diesel engine which, combined with Pioneer's pump casing, reduces sound levels to 65 dB(A) at 7 m.

After trialling the new pump for a month, Hanson found that it had not only cut fuel consumption and noise levels but was also pumping more flow that the original pump.

According to Ms Hughes, monthly operating costs of the new Pioneer pump are expected to be up to UK 1000 (€ 1456) lower than with the older 8 in (200 mm) unit.

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