A crusher’s discharge chute is under a lot of stress for the majority of the machine’s run time, and, as a result, requires regular maintenance. To eliminate these extra costs, look for the specially designed discharge rock box that reduces the need for wear-liner replacement.
Self-diagnosing a health issue can lead to incorrect treatments, prolonged recovery and perhaps an even more costly outcome. The same applies in the crushing industry. Operators shouldn't try to select a crusher without carefully sorting through the options and thoroughly evaluating what they need.
Surprisingly, more than half of our customers don't know what they need when they start looking at new crushing equipment. Things are further complicated when you consider the relativity of the industry — what one person considers hard rock might be medium to another. Choosing the right crusher comes down to examining each unique application and the desired output.
A short visit, a couple of questions and thorough evaluation of an operation can save an operator from the turmoil that comes with selecting the wrong crusher. Here are a few things to consider when it's time to add a new crusher to your operation.
#1: Evaluate your Application
The most critical factor here is the level of hardness of the material you're processing. This is typically measured in compressive strength, or the maximum force that material can withstand before breaking.
Primary jaw crushers process hard, abrasive materials such as granite, ores or recycled concrete. Cone crushers are known for their ability to crush hard, abrasive ores and rocks, but they are best suited for secondary crushing applications. Impact crushers are ideal for contaminated materials. They easily handle clay, dirt and metal mixed in with the material. While they can handle hard material, they are ideally suited for soft to medium rock.
#2: Determine Your Desired Output
If an operation can sell 450,000 tons per year, its crushers need to produce 37,500 tons each month. If the crusher is set up to run two days per week for nine hours per day, the operation will require a machine capable of processing just over 400 tph.
Proper production capacities are critical to the success of a business. A crusher that is too small fails to produce the desired tonnages, which limits yields and profits and caps the organization's growth potential. A machine that's too large carries extra expense with no added value.
#3: Consider Mobility
Stationary crushers offer the benefit of a custom, heavy-duty design. However, mobile crushers allow operators to move the unit closer to the face of the crushing activity.
Wheeled mobile crushers can be hooked up to a truck and hauled to different locations or relocated on a job site. These units are commonly self-contained, eliminating the need for additional diesel engines.
Tracked mobile crushers are ideal for applications that require movement within a job site. They are easily transported from one job site to another by simply loading them on a trailer. Because they're built for constant relocation, they're more compact and weigh less than wheeled crushers.
#4: Attention to Detail
Your crusher needs to withstand daily abuse. Investing in quality equipment and components up front will save money in the long run. Before making a purchase, evaluate the quality of some of the crusher's components.
• Be sure the engine has a good reputation and can meet the operation's output needs.
• Note the hopper size. An oversized hopper can accommodate larger equipment used to feed the unit.
• Look for AR-400 liners, which increase durability and product life. Abrasion-resistant transfer points will provide the extra strength needed for certain applications, greatly reduce costly replacements and prevent downtime.
• Be sure other components such as conveyors, bearings, rollers, shafts and drives are robust and built for high wear.
#5: Compare Apples to Apples
It's easy to get caught up in price. While saving money is important, so are the extras that will save time and money in the future. Take, for example, a crusher's discharge chute. This area of the machine is under a lot of stress for the majority of the machine's run time, and as a result it requires regular maintenance. Most machines need wear-liner replacements on a regular basis. Some machines, however, have a specially designed discharge rock box that eliminates wear-liner replacements. The specialized design uses a shelf system with an abrasion-resistant wear bar that allows crushed material to build up and act as a wear liner. The result is dramatic savings in labor and wear parts.
Quality production at a low cost is everyone's goal. Just be sure to consider all elements of the crusher and your operation's needs before making your selection. After all, the right machine will make every job easier and more profitable — just what the doctor ordered.
Sean Donaghy is the national sales manager at IROCK. He has more than 20 years of experience in the crushing business and has been with IROCK for seven years.