Sandvik Crusher Saves Day for Westport Sand & Stone

Wed October 09, 2002 - Northeast Edition
Craig Mongeau

It’s hard to say goodbye, but Westport Sand & Stone recently had no choice when it bid farewell to its old Allis- Chalmers cone crusher.

Founded in 1970, Westport Sand & Stone is a heavy highway, concrete, asphalt and aggregate contractor in Westport, MA, and a major supplier to Cardi Corporation, which is based in Warwick, RI.

The company’s Allis-Chalmers crusher, which had been in continuous operation since Westport’s plant opened in 1970, had a major failure and its replacement cost would have exceeded the cone’s actual value.

Keith Cloutier, plant superintendent of Westport Sand & Stone, immediately called Dick Vining, of EESSCO, based in Norwell, MA, to find out what his options were.

“EESSCO worked very hard with us to make appropriate estimates on the repairs of our old crusher, and showed us that it would be to our advantage, particularly with increased levels of production to not spend the money to repair the old crusher, but to make an upgrade,” said Cloutier.

“We had had a long and continuous operation for many years with the people at EESSCO, and we knew that the information and advice we received from Dick Vining, their sales manager, had a lot of credibility. We made much of our move based on our faith in his judgement,” he added. Incidentally, back in 1970, Vining was involved with the installation of Westport’s previous Allis-Chalmers cone crusher.

“Another factor in our decision is that surprisingly enough, it was going to be quicker for us to put in the new cone crusher than it would be for the time that it took to have the old crusher repaired and reconditioned,” said Cloutier. “Also, the timing was not good for us. We were at a point where our stockpiles were very low, and we needed to get in the full-swing operation. Therefore, with these time factors figured in, we really felt that we had to make the move toward this major upgrade with the new crusher.”

The new cone crusher was a Sandvik hydrocone H&S.

“Dick told us that with the new crusher, he could have us up and running in one week, and that’s exactly what happened,” said Cloutier. “Another major consideration in the purchasing of the cone crusher is that we did not want to make major modifications in the structure and configuration of our total processor and screening plant. We only wanted to replace the cone itself.”

The Sandvik crusher’s bolt configuration was exactly the same as the old Allis-Chalmers configuration. Consequently, no major modifications needed to be done to the configuration of the screening plant.

Westport produces various aggregate and also manufacturers processed concrete sand and processed gravel.

Since the arrival of the new Sandvik crusher, Westport has seen a 30- to 35-percent increase in its production levels, which came as quite a surprise because the initial estimate was a 25-percent increase in production.

Cloutier also mentioned that a major advantage is that with this increase in production, the company now is able to run the plant at eight-hour shifts. Workers previously had to clock 10-hour shifts to reach its production levels.

Cloutier also appreciates the Sandvik’s safety features.

“The machine actually shuts down if there are any variances in the oil pressure, or oil temperatures,” said Cloutier. “It automatically goes into a safety mode to protect the integrity of the cone crusher, and shuts the plant down. The lubrication system also preheats oil for cold weather operation, which is an important factor to us because we try to process material as late into the season as possible.”

The company is actually able to make adjustments to make different sized stone while the crusher is in operation.

Invariably, no matter how well a piece of equipment runs, there’ll be a need for service and EESSCO’s free follow-ups and free service after the sale of a machine impresses Cloutier.

“Anytime I call EESSCO, they are right there,” said Cloutier. “They give us good, solid, straight answers. Their employees know the machines that they sell. They know what they’re talking about. It’s obvious when you talk to their staff that they have many years of experience. Generally, if I call looking for parts, I don’t even need to have the part’s numbers, because they know exactly what I’m talking about.

“They took the time to come in and give proper training to all of our employees to make sure that they completely understood the operation of the machine, and anytime that there has been a service call since the purchase of our machine, there has been no charge,” said Cloutier. “When we need parts, the parts are usually in stock and they get them here very briskly.”