Ace Plant keep Queen Mary Quarry dust free.
Recently the HUB team visited an operation which is slightly different to the norm and found out how they have successfully controlled any dust issues…
Located at Laleham near Staines-upon-Thames, Queen Mary Quarry is leased and operated by Brett Aggregates. In a previous life the ‘quarry’ (although it’s a reservoir) was operated by Reservoir Aggregates with the reservoir being owned by Thames Water. Built before the second World War, the reservoir is one of many in the locality and is one of the largest of its kind in the South East. Over the years in excess of 50-60 million tonnes of aggregate has been excavated from the reservoir which has been a substantial benefit to the local community in terms of aggregate and essential building products. Today it’s an operation with a bespoke plant producing high quality aggregates making it a very successful operation for Brett with the whole operation being committed to the supply of concreting and essential building materials.
Aggregate is removed from the reservoir by a large clamshell dredger that digs and drops the aggregate into one of two barges which bring the materials over to a recovery dredger which then releases the material beneath itself onto the bottom of the reservoir. A recovery grab then loads the material into a hopper with the aggregate then delivered onshore via conveyor to stockpile adjacent to the washplant, where it is left to dry.
Gary Langton – Operations Manager – LHC, commented, “The Queen Mary operation is a little different to most quarries as most of the material is dredged from the reservoir. In addition, we bring in material from a variety of local sources which we process on-site into various sizes.”
A dust suppression system was required in and around the site for health and safety and planning compliance and a dependable suppression kit was soon identified in the form of Ace Plant (Adams Cundell Engineers Ltd). Ace Plant have in excess of 40-years’ experience and have developed a wealth of experience in several specialist areas. They offer a wide range of Dust Suppression Units with attachments such as splash plates, rain guns, road wash systems, pressure washers and their innovative F1 inspired carbon fibre spinning disc water applicators. Their extensive dust suppression range also includes their self-contained Dustfighter, fan-based mist blowing equipment.
Gary points out, “It’s our duty as a responsible neighbour to control dust around our operations and it was obvious that Ace could offer a ‘one stop solution’ for all our requirements, which was exactly what we were looking for.”
Keith Whitlock – National Sales Manager for Ace Plant, takes up the story, “What we did a few years ago we looked at threes sites all of which had a tractor and a dust suppression unit and how to make it cost effective and justifiable. We look at what the requirement is and supply the equipment which is suitable for that specific application, not just this is what we have available.
For Queen Mary, Ace supplied a John Deere 6115M 4wd, 115hp tractor which featured a 4-cylinder turbo engine, 420/85R38 rear & 380/85R24 front wheel equipment, 24 x 24 power quad plus (40kph) transmission, 2 speed PTO 540/1000 rpm. This machine was specified with 3 x deluxe remote spool valves, air conditioning, corner post exhaust, 6 x 300kg front end weights with 70kg base weight. A flashing amber beacon, green seat belt light, white noise reverse alarm, common return fitting, hydraulic pump 80 litre per min., hydraulic extendable pick-up-hitch and front fenders completed the specification.
Alongside this an Ace Plant 7200 litre (1600 gallon) Single Axle Dust Suppression Unit which featured the following:
- Barrel size 3.6m length x 1.5m diameter with 550/60 x 22.5 flotation wheel equipment
- Swivel ring hitch
- Sprung drawbar
- 8,000 litre per minute hydraulic driven vacuum pump
- Quick hitch fill attachment
- 5m of suction hose
- 660mm rear door
- Carbon fibre spinning disc
- 150mm hydraulically operated discharge
- 50mm side mounted wash down port
- Implosion valve
- Pressure relief valve
- Overfill protection valve and drainable ball valve
Both Brett and Ace had discussed at length the discharge of water and the efficiency of a carbon fibre spinning disc application vs. the splash plate.
Traditional dampening systems use pressure to discharge water from a bowser or vessel onto a splash plate which disperses water outwards. On average, this type of system uses 2000 gallons of water in approximately 8 minutes. To minimise water usage and maximise efficiency the hydraulically driven carbon fibre spinning disc was utilised for the Brett operation. This system gravity feeds water onto a spinning disc which atomises water into a fine mist. This method ‘dampens’ an area instead of ‘soaking’ an area un-necessarily. Furthermore, this method (on average) can make 2000 gallons of water last up to 90 minutes, instead of 8 minutes using a splash plate and fully pressurised vessel.
Gary, commented, “It’s essential for us a business to have the right equipment scoped for the duties required. Another aspect was a desire to offer an ‘operator experience’ making occupational health a key area in the pursuit of a great operator experience. Items such as seat covers, air conditioning feature heavily in the supply of an appropriate model for the industry which Ace were able to provide. Again, service was an important issue in the decision as Ace again covered all the bases making it again a ‘one stop shop’ for Gary.
Keith, added, “Its all done in house, we get the call, we respond quickly and remedy the issue. With a summer like last year it was a long hot summer and dust issues grew in number in all industries, so we understand the need is constant and if there is an issue the response has to be quick!”
It has worked very well for Brett and it’s a solid partnership that is resulting in further investment in Gary’s area of operations.
Currently Ace are preparing a unit for delivery in April and another two units which will be delivered Q1 – 2020 and in the pipeline is another which may be required quickly at another site depending on a contract that is still to be finalised.
It’s certainly a working partnership with an effective planned dust suppression agenda.