Challenging quarry application resolved by first-class service and screener combination
A tough clay quarry requirement for material separation has been answered by a combination of experience, problem-solving, and investing in a Tesab Screener supplied by Stewart Plant Sales...
Raeburn Brick Ltd is the last remaining clay quarry owners in Scotland, flying the flag for the centuries-old industry on this side of the border. Based on the outskirts of Glasgow, the business has a proud tradition of brick production, and now they are now the last brick producer in Scotland. With over 20 varieties of brick to choose from, Raeburn provide a comprehensive range for many industries.
We spoke with Tommy Campbell, Quarry Manager at Raeburn, about the new machine and the challenges it was brought in to resolve. “There is only one Quarry Manager here, I am a unique animal now,” he told us, and how for now he is ‘the last of his kind’.
Unique Material Challenges
“People often associate quarries with rock quarries, aggregate quarries, material like that, we have a unique challenge with our material,” Tommy explained. One of the main challenges facing Raeburn is the handling of the clay material. When first extracted, the clay has many contaminants including ironstone which must be separated during the screening process.
Those in the industry will be aware that as the material becomes wet, it becomes very plastic like, which makes the contaminants difficult to separate. Tommy told us about the exact requirements needed to form the bricks, and how it’s his responsibility to “source the material, dig it out the ground, and produce it into a condition that can be used in the brick making process.”
He added “we had tried many solutions, the quarry is all mudstone, and so the material turns to mud when wet. We had tried various systems and machines; nothing was doing quite what we needed.” With the continuous production requirement for Raeburn and Tommy, having a machine that would work well with the material was crucial. Additionally, with some frustration from previous machinery, the company was looking for their issues to be resolved with simplicity and honesty.
Tommy told us that he reached out to Materials Processing Manager at Stewart Plant Sales, Paul Toulouse, due to his experience and knowledge within the industry. “If someone’s going to know something, its going to be Paul, someone with that kind of experience” he told us. Speaking about what success would look like when first speaking with Paul, Tommy added “We had the exact parameters for our problem, which meant we knew exactly what solution we were looking for.” It meant for Raeburn, there was an exact idea of successful application or machine. Unlike some previous interactions for Raeburn, his experience working with Paul felt more genuine, as he tried to understand his unique problem and all its pain points.
“We said, If you make the tea, I’ll bring the biscuits. He didn’t come here to sell me a machine, he came in to help me resolve a problem, and did, and that’s the biggest difference with this.” Quarry Manager Tommy with SPS Materials Processing Manager Paul
Tommy told us about his appreciation of the way Paul conducted himself, and how he approached the situation to help resolve the challenges faced, rather than simply to sell a machine. He said during his initial conversations with Paul, it was then he suggested using a recycler as an option, with some adjustments to fit the specific requirements.
Difficult Conditions, Excellent Results
Starting at the worst time of the year for screening, in the cold wet conditions of January, Paul brought the Tesab TS1340 screener to the quarry and adjusted it to handle the material. Speaking on the performance of the machine, Tommy told us “It performed well in the toughest time of the year, and in the summer, actually performed better than what we had hoped.” One of the most significant factors in the enjoyment of the machine was the simplicity of operation. “A lot of issues that we face here can be caused by overcomplexity, and this [machine] made things really simple, in a good way.”
Tommy also spoke of his pleasure at Paul being hands on and providing what he called “pre-after-sales.” Having a vast career working with the machinery, he used this experience to work with the operators and provide the best possible screening results. With excellent feedback from his operators about the machine and the service to Tommy, this provided excellent justification for the investment into the machine.
Raeburn also opted to invest in a service plan from Stewart Plant Sales, eliminating potential grey areas with machinery maintenance. With expert trained engineers and the promotion of a first-class service culture, the machine will be looked after throughout its lifetime of productivity. However, Tommy explained how he felt a sense of aftersales being completed before the purchasing of the equipment was finalised. “I know that If I have a problem that I can be fixed, I’ve already seen that happen.”
By understanding the difficult challenges faced by Raeburn at the quarries Tommy manages, a true first-class experience was delivered. For Raeburn, a machine which will be able to handle both wet and dry applications, to meet their goal of a consistent production year-round. With the wealth of experience from those inside SPS, and the commitment to delivering a true customer focused approach in the industry, Raeburn have found the perfect solution for their tough clay requirements.