The set-up is key for Catplant.

For the uninitiated, crushing and screening of aggregates looks a simple task. This can be far from the truth. Whilst correct machine selection plays a huge role in obtaining the production figures your quarry requires, the correct set-up of these machines is key to meeting and even exceeding these targets.

Since their acquisition of Finlay Scotland in 2019, Molson Finlay has built up a team with an enviable reputation within the quarrying sector for delivering crushing and screening packages designed and installed to the full satisfaction of their clients.

One of the most recent installations was at the Doncaster quarry of Yorkshire producers, Catplant. Catplant have a long history of providing a range of quality aggregates and block stone from their quarry close to the A1. Whilst many quarries blast the material from the face resulting in a relatively uniform material being fed into the crusher, Catplant’s operation is different thanks to the fragmented and softer geology within the area. Using a 95-tonne excavator the material is pulled from the face before being stockpiled for a 20-tonne machine to load the crushing and screening equipment.

For over a decade Catplant’s crushing and screening requirements have been sourced from the Irish manufacturer’s stable. “We have run Finlay equipment for over two decades now and they have both stood up to the task, delivered what we are expecting in terms of reliability, and they have met our production demands.” Quarry Manager, Bryn Anderson explained.

The quarry has recently taken delivery of a new, frontline material processing train comprising of a Finlay 1170 jaw crusher, Finlay 696 3-deck screen and Finlay 696 2-deck screen. Delivered direct from the factory in Northern Ireland, the machinery joined a team from Molson Finlay headed by Technical Sales Manager, Ben Sherratt. Ben’s role within the company brings his vast operational knowledge from the contract crushing industry to both the sales and engineering side of the business. “I work closely with the sales teams to ensure that specifications for particular applications are correct and that the client’s aspirations can be achieved with the machinery they are wanting to put into service. Once the right machinery has been specified, I will work on site with the client and our installation teams to ensure the equipment is correctly installed, should the client request this service.” Ben comments.

The experienced team at Catplant have requested Ben and his team’s assistance in setting their new equipment up to allow it to perform to its full capability. “We will work a particular bench for a few weeks so getting the train set up right for the first one will allow us to mirror that every time we move the machines along.” Bryn explained.

With a suitable location against the bench identified, Ben positions the J-1170 to allow the excavator to load the crusher’s 9m3 hopper without too many issues. “We like to get the crusher level and put on a slight pad for it to sit on. If the crusher is level and stable, it will operate as it is supposed to. Having it set correctly will ensure it runs as economically as possible.” Ben comments. The J-1170 is a 50-tonne class machine, hydrostatically driven with a maximum Closed Side Setting (CSS) of 150mm and a minimum CSS of 50mm. The quarry’s choice of configuration calls for all of the material passing through the jaws to be passed onto the first screener leaving the side -discharge conveyor redundant. Satisfied with the crusher’s position, Ben and his team move onto the first of the Finlay 696 tracked screens. This 3-deck version has been set up to produce four specific products with oversize from the crusher coming off at the 696’s grizzly before a steady stream of material flows up the conveyor and through the screening media producing +80mm, 80-40mm, 40-20mm with 0-20mm material passing onto the second Finlay 696, this time a 2-deck version. This final tracked screen pulls out three products from 20-10mm, 10-5mm and 5-0mm. Ensuring the discharge conveyor from the J-1170 feeds the material steadily into the first 696 hopper Ben takes his time in tweaking the screen’s position to make sure it is just right. “We have seen incidences where quarries are losing material over the grizzly because the position of the in-feed conveyor is not quite right. It is not just a case of reversing the screen under the conveyor and away to go!”

With the three pieces of plant set up Ben and his team wanted to try the train out. Putting an excavator on the bench and feeding the J-1170 allowed Ben and his team to monitor and adjust the setting firstly on the crusher to get the correct sizing of the material coming out of the jaw and then the screens to make sure their discharge conveyors were keeping the material piles segregated. Following an hour of run time, the entire train was shut down to give the quarry management the opportunity to review the material produced. With the nod of approval from Bryn the final checks and tweaks were carried out for the following day when full production could begin.

Ronnie Harrod, Catplant Managing Director said, “We have been using the Finlay brand for many years with great success. We are always fighting against time every time we need to relocate the crushing and screening train but having Ben and the Molson team here to set everything up correctly helps us in getting it right the next time, we do it.”

“We know the parameters the machinery needs to work in to get the optimum performance and productivity out of it.” Ben commented. “Being able to do this to meet the customer’s requirements is just part of the customer service we provide at Molson. The entire specification and purchasing process is where the hard work is done, ensuring the client’s requirements match our products and vise-versa. What we do not is sell the customer a machine that will ultimately never meet their demands. Not only does that lose you future business, but it gives you a bad reputation within the close-knit industry. If we can produce a quality, reliable and efficient product that meets the clients’ expectations, we know we are doing the right thing.”

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