"Our long range plan is to have two permanent plant locations and that was another reason why we went with the stationary silos," Eubank says. "If we have to move this plant to supply a large project, we'll leave the silos here (Clarksville), buy the SEBs, and then move the plant back to this location when the project is completed. Silos don't show a lot of wear and Tennessee (DOT) is laying a lot of polymer mixes, so investing in the silos just made sense."
Reclaimed asphalt pavement (RAP) is added to the mixes produced at the plant with a recycle system comprised of single RAP bin with return conveyor and Telsmith 3036 horizontal shaft impactor and Diester single-deck scalping screen. Liquid asphalt cement and additive storage is accommodated by a 35,000-gallon Heatec helical coil split AC tank - one 20,000-gallon and one 15,000-gallon compartment. The Heatec liquid additive tank has a 2,000-gallon capacity. The facility also features an Astec Process Mate 96 control system and an Astec Command III control center.
Keeping up with technology
For Eubank Paving, riding the technology bandwagon has proved to be a sound investment.
"The first Astec plant we purchased was great. It met our production needs and delivered a quality mix," Eubank says. "And every time we traded up for the current technology available, it's been an improvement to our operation. The current technology has been an improvement in how we store our AC and additives, with the tanks circulating the liquid. The recycling system for adding RAP has also come a long way from how it was done with previous plant designs."
But what's been most noticeable for Eubank in the technological advancements of today's plants is the operating efficiency. Pollution continues to be a point of contention for asphalt producers operating in urban areas, especially when trying to obtain a permit for a new plant location.
"When you pull up to our new Clarksville facility, you can't even tell that's it running," Eubank says. "There's no smoke and there's virtually no noise coming from the plant. It's a very fuel-efficient plant and it's a very quiet plant. That was an important consideration when selecting this plant for this location because it's important to the community. People are concerned about air and noise pollution, and so you need to address the issue in order to obtain an operating permit. The emissions this plant produces are well below the acceptable output."
For Eubank Paving, the investment in new plant technology has paid dividends well beyond just adding production to allow the contractor to take on more work. Eubank produces over 500,000 tons annually, with 70 percent used to support its own paving projects, but the quality of mix produced and quality of projects constructed have proven to be the real benefits of the company's ongoing plant investments. Recent awards recognizing "top quality" or "smoothest" pavement are testament to the company's ability to produce and place an HMA product that meets or exceeds the expectations of its road agency customers.
"We keep up with technology advancements and we look at how those advancements can help us deliver a better product and be more competitive in the market," Eubank says. "We believe the investments we've made give us an edge over others in the industry and we'll continue to make those investments to stay on the leading edge."