Ocala, FL asphalt producer and paving contractor, Counts Construction, decided in 2006 to replace its used 1978 Simplicity batch plant with a new Gencor 400-tph Ultra plant; that decision has resulted in company doubling its output this year.
"We still have the old batch plant and it's operable because we want to sell it, and we think it's the best way to show potential buyers that the plant is capable of producing mix," says Toby Counts, company vice president. "But for us, it (the old batch plant) was limited in producing the quantity and type of mix we wanted to produce. In a 10- to 12-hour day we were able to produce 1,200 to 1,300 tons of asphalt, and that really restricted us in the business we wanted to go after. It also prevented us from producing mix designs with RAP (reclaimed asphalt pavement), and we have a lot of RAP on hand and a lot of potential projects where RAP could be used."
With the old plant, Counts produced approximately 100,000 tons annually, using 90 percent of that output to supply the company's own paving operation, which serves commercial, as well as city and county road agencies.
"Our business has been growing and we realized that if we wanted to keep growing and be in a position to take on more work, we had to upgrade our production capabilities," Counts says. "So far this year our production has more than doubled with the new plant and that's not even close to what the plant is capable of producing. We're also producing and paving more projects that allow for RAP in the mix because we now have the capability to do so. It just opened up some opportunities we didn't have."
Window of opportunity
The Gencor plant installed at Counts includes:
- Five Gencor 10' by 14' skidded cold feed bins with eddy current troughing feeders
- 5' by 14' aggregate double-deck vibrating screen
- 30" by 70' skidded aggregate scale conveyor
- Ultradrum Model 400 with Advanced RAP Entry and Volatile Capture System
- Ultra II-135 oil-fired burner
- Primary collector
- Ultraflo 74,092-cfm skidded baghouse with 15,059 square feet of cloth
- 14-inch dust return system
- 12' by 36' stationary operator's control center with Ultralogiks Total Process Control
- Gencor Series IV Recycle System with eddy current troughing feeder
- 4' by 10' single-deck recycle vibrating screen
- Gencor 24" by 70' recycle scale conveyor with 10-hp drive
- Two Gencor 200-ton deluxe station silos with safety gates
- Gencor 400-tph by 81-foot deluxe slat conveyor with electric heat
- Gencor 400-tph by 16-foot two-way top of silo transfer conveyor with 25-hp drive
- Hyway 30,000-gallon vertical AC tank
- Hyway fuel oil pre-heater
The new plant not only supports Counts' two paving crews, but it also has helped to increase private sales. In the past with most of the old batch plant's capacity being used to support the contractor's own projects, Counts was limited in pursuing additional material sales to other contractors and customers.
"Now we're in a much better position to pursue that side of the business because we don't have to worry whether or not there will be mix available for outside sales," Counts says.
The continuous flow drum mix of the new plant has also opened a big window of opportunity for the company to pursue business where RAP can be used.
"The early entry RAP system not only allows us to produce RAP mixes, but it does so in a way that avoids additional emissions (blue smoke) in the production process, and that's pretty important when you operate close to a residential neighborhood," Counts notes.
With a large portion of the company's business tied to municipalities, which are receptive to RAP mix designs, because they help keep the price of hot mix lower, Counts has experienced a favorable increase in that business since firing up the new plant last December.
"The municipalities and other road agencies we work with allow between 20- and 30-percent RAP content in the mixes they specify for their projects," Counts says. "With our ability to screen and mix RAP, we can provide those types of project with a product that performs as well as a virgin mix but at a much more competitive price."