Orange Crush

Stavola's new Eagle Crusher UM69 impactor reduces overtime costs, improves productivity.

When your company runs the largest impact crushing recycle yard on the East Coast, has 10 asphalt plants that consume large volumes of RAP and operates a highway and heavy contracting business that requires thousands of tons of recycled concrete for its municipal and private customers, then you have to have a big crusher to keep up with demand. Even though Tinton Falls, NJ-based Stavola Contracting had a high-production impact crusher, the company's appetite for recycled material was much greater than its existing impactor could deliver in an eight-hour day.

So Rick Stavola, president of the 50-year-old, family-operated contracting business faced a dilemma. Would he continue to pay large sums of overtime to produce more than 250,000 tons of recycled asphalt and concrete annually, or would he make the investment in an ultra-high production impactor and circuit to keep pace with consumption? "We were running the Tinton Falls crushing circuit 10 to 12 hours per day, five to six days per week just to keep up with demand," says Stavola.

High RAP demands

Feeding a constant flow of recycled asphalt to Stavola Contracting's asphalt plant and paving operations throughout central and northern New Jersey was a primary culprit in pushing the company's previous crusher to its limits. Ten asphalt plants — including the largest batch plant in the state of New Jersey — produce in excess of two million tons of asphalt annually.

The past couple of years have seen a rollercoaster ride for liquid asphalt prices, and today's New Jersey price index stands 30 percent higher than it was just one year ago. Having enough properly-sized RAP is as critical as ever for Stavola Contracting to help control the production costs of asphalt. The company runs RAP in a majority of its mix designs, up to a maximum of 20 percent. "Last year, we used approximately 100,000 tons of recycled asphalt in our mixes," comments Stavola.

A variety of spec sizes are needed to satisfy the company's craving for recycled asphalt. A minus 1/2-inch RAP is mixed with the company's top course designs, while a one-inch minus recycled spec product is reserved for its base mixes. The company also sizes a 1 1/2-inch minus RAP product to be used as road subbase.

The vast demand for a variety of recycled product sizes led Stavola to the conclusion that the company needed a versatile crusher that would efficiently recycle both heavily reinforced concrete and asphalt. In addition, the crusher would have to feature high production tonnages with little recirculating load in order to eliminate the company's high overtime expenses.

Big impact

The company's previous crushing circuit at its Tinton Falls facility included a horizontal shaft impact crusher with a 56-inch x 35-inch feed opening. Although crushing up to 300 tons per hour (TPH), it could just not produce enough spec recycled material in an eight-hour day.

After some market research on mega production impactors, Stavola found a solution to his problem. It was in the form of a colossal horizontal shaft impact crusher from Eagle Crusher Company and its dealer, Capitol Equipment, that would easily crush enough material to feed Stavola Contracting's need for recycled materials and even leave room for expansion.

One of the primary reasons for selecting the Eagle Crushing impactor was the company's long-standing relationship with the manufacturer. "We already have UltraMax 1400-45 impactor circuits at our two other recycling facilities, and we use a portable 1200-25 closed circuit crusher for our contract crushing," explains Stavola. "Eagle Crusher Company and their dealer (Capitol Equipment) have supported our other crushers very well and have earned our trust."

After considering Stavola Contracting's needs, Capitol Equipment recommended the UltraMax UM69 impactor for the Tinton Falls facility. The horizontal shaft impact crusher has an enormous 69-inch wide by 42-inch high feed opening. Although a majority of the asphalt loaded into the crusher comes from the company's three milling machines, Stavola often feeds much larger slabs into the impactor. "We'll load whatever size asphalt that fits into the feed opening," claims Stavola.

The 56-inch by 68-inch solid steel rotor lies at the heart of the three-stage crushing action, and the impactor is capable of producing between 400 to 600 TPH, in which Stavola Contracting currently averages 500 TPH. With the industry's heaviest rotor, the impactor provides optimum penetration and energy to deliver efficient initial reduction, up to a 24:1 ratio, without sacrificing the impact forces necessary for secondary reduction.

Even when crushing RAP to the smallest, 1/2-inch minus spec size, Stavola estimates achieving at least 75 percent passing the 9/16-inch bottom deck screen on the first pass. This is critical when processing RAP, since every pass through the crusher increases the chance of the asphalt binder being broken away from the aggregate.

Two Cat 980 loaders with 7.5-cubic-yard buckets strain to keep the impactor's 19-cubic-yard feed hopper filled with material. "The UM69 keeps our loader operators moving to keep up with it," says Stavola. The all-electric circuit is powered by a 300 hp motor. Once crushed, the recycled material outlets onto a 48-inch by 40-foot discharge conveyor.

Crushed material is sorted by an Eagle Crusher 6- by 20-foot, triple-deck screening plant. Stavola Contracting uses a variety of screen sizes on each deck, depending on the final size of the material being processed. The entire circuit, including the BTI breaker mounted to the hopper to prevent material bridging, is operated by a single person in the control tower.

Efficient operation

Through a collaborative effort between Stavola Contracting and Capitol Equipment, the circuit's design was laid out for efficiency and to lower costs. According to Bob Mrozinski, territory manager for Capitol Equipment, "We raised all of the circuit's major components two feet by using Sona-Tube bases to better keep the crushing area clean."

Since installing the new UM69 impact crusher and circuit, which began operation in June 2004, Stavola's plan has been realized. Significant overtime hours are now history with the new crusher's increased production. According to Stavola, "We now run the crusher approximately 4.5 days a week and only 8 hours per day, eliminating the need for overtime."

Stavola Contracting opted for no grizzly on the feeder to improve the circuit's production. Stavola explains, "In order for a grizzly to be efficient, you need about a three- to four-inch separation between the bars. With our final product, we would have too much recirculating load, which defeats the purpose of a grizzly." He adds that the recirculated material would dump into one side of the crusher, resulting in uneven bar wear and increased wear costs.

The impactor's durability and ability to handle massive slabs of RAP and heavily reinforced concrete has also impressed Stavola Contracting. According to Mrozinski, "We loaded a complete 6-foot-long, 2,500-pound Jersey barrier into the crusher, and the UM69 ate it up in a matter of seconds." With the combination of recycled asphalt and concrete material crushed by Stavola Contracting, the UM69's proprietary N1 alloy steel blow bars from Eagle Crusher are delivering approximately 32,000 tons of finished product per set.

Switching from crushing concrete to a 1 1/2-inch recycled asphalt final product could not be any easier. It takes just a matter of minutes to clear the circuit and move the 100-foot radial stacker a couple hundred feet to begin stockpiling the different final product.

When crushing to smaller RAP sizes, the crew switches out the middle and bottom deck screen cloths to size openings that will deliver the desired gradations. More recently, Stavola has added a second, 5-foot by 12-foot screen to the circuit in an effort to reduce the number screen cloth changes and improve screening efficiency.

Extremely quiet

The UM69 runs surprisingly quiet when devouring feed material, leading the way to a very quiet overall crushing circuit, one that is well within the state guidelines for noise regulations. The NJ State regulations require that continuous airborne sound levels to be less than 65 decibels (dBA) at adjoining properties.

Sound measurements taken next to the impactor indicate that it runs quieter than the average lawnmower. At a 50-foot distance, sound levels generated by the impactor are comparable to that of the dreaded morning alarm clock, and at 100 feet are approximately the same as conversational noise levels. "This is one of the quietest impactors and crushing operations that I have been around. Even in the control room, which is right beside the hopper and impactor, the noise levels register only 74 dBA," says Mrozinski.

More important than quiet operation, the new impactor circuit has surpassed established goals for Stavola Contracting. It continues to eliminate extremely high overtime costs and improves the operation's productivity to keep pace with demand.

If demand requires, Stavola has plenty of room to boost production. "We are extremely pleased with our new Eagle Crusher impactor and crushing circuit. The UM69 has helped us to save approximately $0.40 per ton in overtime costs alone, and its performance has exceeded our expectations."

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Marini MP 1300 Cold Milling Machine

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