Putting faith into one person or one company concerning business matters can be a tricky thing. But that is exactly what J. Melone & Sons Inc., Stow, Mass., did when it needed an almost complete overhaul of its plant over the past five years.
Joseph Melone founded J. Melone & Sons in 1959 in Weston, Mass. His four sons, William, Anthony, John and Daniel, all were part owners of the start-up company with their father. The Melone family’s company began primarily with landscaping and gradually grew into doing site work and ultimately road building. J. Melone still does some roadwork in area subdivisions, but its focus has shifted a few times over the years.
In the 1960s a sand and gravel operation was added and ready-mix concrete was brought on board in the 1980s, which also is when the company moved its office from Weston to its current location in Stow.
J. Melone serves a market within a 50-mi. radius of Stow. Of the five founding family members, John Sr. is the only one still involved in the family business, serving as president, and a new generation has filled the positions once held by his brothers. Peter Melone serves as treasurer and his brother Bill Jr. and cousins John Jr. and Greg serve as vice presidents.
The company prides itself on having a very strong family focus not only among themselves, but also among employees. Many of its loyal employees have worked for the company for as long as 50 years. According to Peter, “Our fathers looked at all employees as family members and they always stressed having a good working environment.”
The aggregate customer base is evenly split between contractors and municipalities. J. Melone & Sons’s fleet of trucks included three dump trucks, two tractors and ten concrete mixers (three rear discharge and seven front discharge). When asked what separates J. Melone & Sons from its competitors Peter stated, “the materials that we sell are commodities. What sets us apart has to be our service and what our customers are looking for in particular is on-time deliveries and that is one of our primary focuses.”
Keeping Up With Demand
To remain competitive and live up to its service standards, J. Melone tapped EESSCO to replace its outdated equipment over the course of several years. Formed in 2001 by experts in the aggregate industry, EESSCO provides New England producers with equipment, parts and consulting. EESSCO represents major manufacturers of aggregate equipment and stocks more than $1,000,000 worth of parts in its 30,000-sq.-ft. facility in Hanson, Mass.
EESSCO completed three significant jobs for J. Melone. The first took place in May 2003 when EESSCO replaced Melone’s old cone crusher with a Sandvik H3000 3-ft. (0.9 m) cone. The old cone was shot, parts were hard to find and reliability was an issue. It could only receive product up to 5-in. (12.7 cm) minus in size. The replacement cone is able to handle materials up to 8-in. (20 cm) minus in size and it operates approximately 20 percent faster than the previous cone.
The next big project that EESSCO took on for J. Melone was replacing its primary jaw crusher in 2006. The jaw that EESSCO replaced was the plant’s original jaw, which was a Rogers 15x24 that was installed in the plant in 1963. The jaw was worn beyond repair and was replaced with a Trio jaw.
Because the previous jaw was so old, production was slower than it should have been. With the new jaw in place, J. Melone expected to increase production and to have steadier production times. The Trio jaw that EESSCO installed exceeded expectations. Not only did it eliminate clogging and repair problems, thus keeping the production steadier, but it also increased the jaw’s production by 300 percent.
As a result of the replacement of the jaw and the cone crusher the plant’s overall production more than doubled. Previous production was between 80 and 100 tons (72.5 to 90.7 t) per hour. Today the company can produce up to 260 tons (235.8 t) an hour. The most significant parts of this increase came from the replacement of the cone.
The only item left in Melone’s production process that was causing a bottleneck once the crusher and jaw had been replaced was the upper screen. The replacement of that screen was completed in 2008. The new screen is a Trio 4x10 double-deck screen. The screening media placed within the screening plants are Durex rubber screens, which will reduce the maintenance costs of the screening plant, according to the manufacturer. The Trio screen also has proven to be a very cost-efficient purchase for Melone, easing labor costs and reducing equipment down time.
After going through such an extensive process with EESSCO, the Melones have nothing but praise for the company, the work it does and the equipment it has installed at J. Melone.
“Over the last several years we have invested in over $300,000 worth of equipment from EESSCO and we have immediately seen returns on each investment. Because service is our number-one focus for our customers, it is also our number-one concern when dealing with the vendors that we need and no vendor has ever shown us service that exceeds what we receive from EESSCO. If we call Mike Southwell or Chris Salafia, our representatives from EESSCO, their response is immediate and the quality is second to none. Richard [Dick] Vining, manager of EESSCO, brings 38 years of experience to the table whenever he consults with us on a new project. Once Dick and his crew start a project, they don’t leave until it’s completed, even if that means working well into the evening.”