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New HMA Plant in NJ Opens with DuoDrum Technology

Tue July 13, 2004 - Northeast Edition
Rochelle Craig

A 35-acre (14.2 ha) industrial property in Burlington Township, NJ, that had never been developed was purchased two years ago by American Asphalt Company and now houses a 400 ton/hour duo-drum hot mix asphalt plant.

“This is the first Dillman DuoDrum plant in the south Jersey area,’’ said American Asphalt President Bob Brown. “”We erected it to satisfy our company’s increased volume needs.’’

Dillman Equipment Inc. (DEI), the inventor of the duo-drum process is located in Prairie du Chien, WI. Through Sales Agent Jeff Meeker, Meeker Equipment Company, Dillman also provided the plant’s three 200-ton hot mix storage silos.

American Asphalt Company, a paving contractor and road material supplier, was founded in 1903 as a family business, under a different name. Brown purchased it in 1986 and changed the name.

“The business has grown twenty-fold since I purchased it,’’ he said. “There were five employees and now there are 100. This is the third asphalt plant I’ve erected, and each time it has been bigger because sales always reached the maximum volume we make.’’

The company’s other manufacturing plant is in W. Collingswood Heights, NJ. The Gencor plant produces 340 ton/hour of hot mix.

“When I bought it, they had a one-ton plant,” Brown said, “so I bought a two-ton batch plant, then a Gencor four-ton. I kept taking down the old, but I was on only three acres so now I had to buy new real estate.”

Based on the investment in the new plant, his projection is for sales to be up 25 percent in the next two years.

The new Burlington plant stockpiles sand, stone and equipment for the company, and it produces material for one or more of its seven crews in addition to making asphalt for other contractors.

An equipment fleet of more than 120 pieces owned by the company includes Komatsu bulldozers; John Deere road graders; Case backhoe/loaders; Cat loaders; milling machines, rollers and graders; Bomag, Ingersoll-Rand, Dynapac and Cat rollers; Link-Belt excavators, and Ford light-duty trucks.

American Asphalt also uses Cat pavers, and maintains a fleet of 20 Mack triaxles, all painted bright red with “American” lettered boldly on the sides.

“Our trucks advertise for us,” Brown said.

With the opening of the new facility, Brown purchased a new Cat 980G wheel loader and two 2005 Mack Granite tractors to pull the liquid asphalt from the refinery to the Burlington site.

The plant includes a modular scale house and quality control laboratory (a double-sided modular trailer) from Williams Scotsman Trailer Co., Cherry Hill, NJ. Millville Iron Works, Millville, NJ, custom-made the cold feed bins designed by Meeker Equipment Company, and the gathering, calibration, and main-feed conveyors.

Millville Iron Works also custom-fabricated the steel embedments in the concrete foundation on which the equipment sits and to which it is welded, as well as the plant’s piping, including the pipe bridges, and the cat walks.

The DuoDrum allows for RAP to be mixed with virgin materials separate from the rest of the manufacturing process. It isolates the mixing process from the drying process to maximize drying and combustion efficiency. The mixing is done in an inert environment and escaping emissions or odors are captured and incinerated through the burner path.

Dillman’s DEI DuoDrum technology offers many beneficial features while continuing to meet EPA regulations, according to independent studies. Some of these features include:

• more volume, which allows better evacuation of steam and volatile;

• higher mix quality, which is a result of increased drying and mixing times;

• easy access to mixing section;

• ability to verify virgin aggregate temperatures; and

• eliminates recycle collar resulting in no material build-up.

In addition, there are no trunnion adjustments required; varied speeds of aggregate dryer and mixing zone decreases moisture in final mix; non-volatile environment in mixing drum; utilizes existing equipment; provides versatility for the HMA facility.

Other new technology on the Burlington plant that was supplied by Meeker Equipment included a 30,000 gal. (113,562 L) horizontal asphalt tank, a vertical hot oil heater, and a coreolis mass flow meter.

American Asphalt Company is privately held and, Brown noted, “there are fewer and fewer paving companies around because they’ve been bought up.”

As a privately owned company, he said, “It’s a challenge keeping up with the rules and regulations. Also, the cost of energy has gone up and liquid asphalt goes up with the increase in gasoline prices, so we have to operate efficiently.”

The company’s new Burlington plant serves Burlington County, Mercer County, Camden County, and Gloucester County – all in New Jersey.

“The closer the plant is to major customers, which the new plant is, it costs less for trucking, so it costs less to put asphalt down and we can charge the customer less,” Brown said.