Asphalt Producer Increases Production, Improves Customer Service with New Plant

Energy efficient features make Tilcon’s new plant a game changer

Plant is capable of producing 600 tons per hour and storing 2,700 tons of material
Plant is capable of producing 600 tons per hour and storing 2,700 tons of material

Making business improvements has always been the best way to ensure success in an ever changing economy. In 2010, Tilcon New York sought to improve its location in Wharton, NJ, with its customers in mind. With ground breaking features and upgraded technology, the state-of-the-art asphalt plant in the Mount Hope Quarry opened this spring. Not only have the improvements increased production, they’ve also made it easier for customers to get the materials they need.

Faster Turnaround

“One of the key reasons we chose to upgrade this plant was the ease of access for the customer,” says Scott Laudone, Tilcon New Jersey general manger, asphalt.  And since 80% of the customers that visit the Mount Hope facility are government agencies from the New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania areas, time is most definitely money.

Considered one of the largest asphalt plants in the state, the plant at the Mount Hope Quarry sits on 560 acres of land with a Gencor Ultradrum at the center of the production facility. “The new plant is situated close to the entrance to the facility and the scale house, providing customers with convenient, safe and easy access and exit and a fast turnaround,” adds Laudone.

Adding even more convenience is the new intercom systems. Featuring separate COD and Call in Order systems, customers do not even have to leave their vehicles to pay for and receive their order. “COD customers speak their orders through the intercom and send their payments via an air tube, similar to drive-through banking,” says Laudone. A control room is in full view of the nine silos for loading and unloading, and customers can communicate with them via the intercom in case any issues arise.

Quality Control

In addition to the control room, the Gencor plant employs five full-time quality control technicians. These technicians ensure all mixes meet Port Authority and other standards through their Authority Lab Stations on sampling platforms at the truck exit.

“The truck sampling rack is located next to the materials laboratory and directly across from the outbound side of the plant truck scales,” says Laudone. “This provides the QC technicians safe and easy access to trucks for the purpose of inspection and material sampling. This also allows trucks to be away from traffic flow and have easy exit access from plant.”

The plant is still seeing shorter turnaround times due to three truck scales and the proximity of the entrance road into quarry.

Serving Myriad Needs

Tilcon is an approved supplier for the Federal Aviation Agency, Port Authority of New York & New Jersey, as well as the New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania Departments of Transportation. Serving such a diverse customer base means they need to offer a variety of mixes and fast.

The plant has produced 27% more tons year-to-date than three plants combined in 2012 and according to Laudone will produce approximately 600,000 tons per year over a 4 year average. It is capable of producing 600 tons per hour and is warm mix/RAP compatible. The plant also has 2,700 tons of storage available in their nine silos. Tilcon offers conventional Superpave mixes, stone matrix asphalt (SMA), airport mixes, and specialty thin lift mixes along with commercial and warm mix asphalt (WMA).

Additionally, a 120,000-baghouse with 400hp variable frequency drives is on the premise, plus 10 cold feed bins, 10 ‘ x 16’ in size, that can store 100 tons each. Finally there are three 10’ x 15’ RAP bins, four 35,000-gallon vertical asphalt tanks and a 1,000-gallon calibration tank.

Energy Efficiency

As if improving efficiency and safety was not enough of an undertaking for the new plant, they also are using environmentally friendly technology. The plant’s Gencor Ultraplant is designed to be one of the most fuel efficient and environmentally clean designs in the industry. The positive volatile capture and recovery system totally eliminates blue smoke and asphalt odors from the process and feeds them to the combustion process as fuel. The drum and all piping are insulated, and hot oil silos are thermostatically-controlled, making the plant energy-efficient.

Due to a wet summer, energy usage has remained flat for this year over the prior year, but Laudone hopes these changes will continue to benefit the company for years to come. “We want to grow the commercial side of the business. By having the expediency of coming in and out of the facility easily, and with having nine silos and three truck scales, we’re able to better service our smaller customers.”