M odesto, CA-based asphalt producer/contractor George Reed Inc. has been a diehard batch plant operator for most of its 60-plus years in business. Starting out as a driveway paving contractor in 1944, serving the Greater Stanislaus County Area, the company acquired the Beerman & Jones Co. in 1960, and in doing so acquired its first hot-mix batch plant. The plant is still used today.
In 1985, the company acquired its second batch plant operation through another acquisition. Along with its concrete and aggregates businesses, George Reed acquired a third batch plant as it continued to grow over the years.
So when evaluating future growth opportunities in 2007, along with the potential of significant Caltrans' contracts, the company knew a fourth plant would be needed; and while the batch plant operations have served George Reed and its customers well over the years, it was decided that a modern drum facility should be the next addition to the company's asphalt producing capabilities.
"We were awarded a $24 million overlay on I-5 and we felt the demand from that one job alone would require drum plant technology," says Jeff Reed, president and CEO of Basic Resources Inc., parent company of George Reed Inc.
With future growth opportunities and a major highway contract in the wings, George Reed purchased and installed an Astec Portable 500-tph Double Barrel Drum/Mixer this past fall. The 8' x 37' drum has an expanded end and is fired by a Phoenix 125 MBTU/hr natural gas burner with lean burn capability achieved via a 100-hp blower.
The plant package also included portable 10' x 14' five-bin cold feed system, a portable 36" x 60' conveyor with 5' x 16' screen. It's also equipped with a portable 52,264-cfm express baghouse with inertial dust separator and a variable frequency drive on the exhaust fan. The plant has a 330-ton New Generation Storage System and a 10' x 60' low-profile truck scale. It's also set up with a portable 8' x 14' single-bin recycle feed system.
One of the unique features of the plant, which Reed points out as a favorable option in California, is the 12,000-cfm Blue Smoke Collection System with Fiberbed Filter.
Blue smoke is the leading cause of odor complaints at an asphalt facility. Reducing fugitive blue smoke emissions decreases the level of detectable odors from a facility and improves the work environment, as well as the surrounding environment.
Astec's Fiberbed Mist Collectors are designed to filter out blue smoke emissions from batching and mix transfer operations by routing those emissions through ducting to the collector, where the gas stream enters the enclosure and passes through pre-filters.
After passing through the pre-filters, the gas moves underneath the tube sheet and into the candle filters of the coalescing section. The Astec coalescing section design collects hydrocarbons on the inside of the filters.
As the hydrocarbon particles collect on the inside of the filters, they coalesce into droplets which drain off into the bottom of the enclosure for collection. The cleaned air moves through the filter walls and flows out through the stack. The exiting air has less than 5 percent opacity. Cleaning efficiency of the system is as high as 99.5 percent based on particle size.
The portable plant is operated from an 11' 6" x 26' 9 1/2" Pilot Control Center, which houses the Astec Total Control 2000-HMA PLC Control System. The plant is also equipped with a portable 30,000-gallon Heatec Heli-Tank liquid asphalt storage system with all the piping, pumps and metering required to control and supply AC to the mixing drum.
When George Reed purchased and installed the new plant this past fall, the asphalt producer/contractor did so with the intent of installing Astec's Green warm mix technology. This spring, an Astec Multi-nozzle Device, used to foam AC during the mixing process in order to produce mix at a lower temperature, was installed at the facility.