Saturday, February 7, 2015

Size Equipment for your needs

I had a demonstration recently with a Portable Star Screen. The customer asked to see the largest size available and because I did not have one close by, I used a smaller unit for the demonstration. This was fine for showing product features and benefits. Production capabilities were obviously lower than the requested larger unit, but it was easy to see that a larger unit would be able to produce more. While running our demonstration, it became clear that with the support equipment used in the operation, the smaller unit was more than capable of handling the daily production needs:
·         The wheel loader bucket was not large enough to keep the hopper full.
·         Travel time between piles was too great
·         Finished Stockpile area was limited.
This happens quite a bit in other equipment like grinders. A 1000hp grinder needs a machine to feed material into it, another to push material to it and usually another to move material away from it. Without these pieces of support equipment, the grinder runs empty and sits idle along with the machine used to feed material into it and your operator. A 1000hp grinder obviously does more production than a 750hp grinder but it also uses about 30-40% more fuel per hour.
Take the time to look over your operations:
·         Are you maximizing each machines usage?
·         Is your site layout slowing production?
·         Can you use a larger bucket to load equipment or trucks?
The best way to evaluate your grinder or screen is to simply divide the number of machine hours by volume sold or produced. You can do this on a daily, weekly or any other time basis. If the production rate per hour is less than 80% of maximum production per hour, it is obvious that other issues and responsibilities are reducing production, such as loading trucks or travel time. You could assume a loss of 20% is due to start up, warm up and cool down time. Any overage from that, there is an issue.
Before buying your next piece of production equipment, evaluate your support equipment and determine the capabilities of production first. You may find that you need another piece of support equipment along with the unit you were planning to purchase. That also means another operator too.

Questions? Dave Whitelaw