An Inspiring Story About How Automation Can Remove Limitations Beyond Your Imagination
Case Study: Energy Savings in Aggregate Mining
Market: Construction + Aggregate Mining
Equipment Type: VFD
Project Scope: Eliminating the need for fuel trucks through automation and renewable energy
Geneva Rock Products is the state of Utah’s largest company for concrete construction and asphalt paving, and the business relies on aggregate mining to source materials for its daily operations. The aggregate mining material that is used in the concrete and asphalt operations is quartzite, and over 75% of the product is sourced from a single location. This location is the Point-of-the-Mountain site found in Draper, Utah. Geneva Rock had been successfully sourcing the quartzite for decades, but faced the cost dilemma of spending excessive resources in collecting and moving the product. The operation included using large haul trucks to transport the quartzite from the mountain to the base pits to be processed. As the mountain is dug into, the distance from the base becomes further and the gradient of the mountain becomes steeper. Continuing to operate like it had before was quickly becoming inefficient for Geneva in terms of cost and safety. The company used Energy Management Corporation (EMC) to assess the situation and determine an innovative solution to reduce costs and maintain profitable.
Geneva Rock Products Using Energy Management Corporation to Transform Mining Site Efficiency
With the assessment from EMC VFD technician Barry Christiansen, it was determined that the Geneva site could install a state-of-the-art overland conveyor system to drastically improve the efficiency of operations. Upon inspection, several of the hauling trucks would be replaced by three downhill conveyor belts controlled by PLCs (Programmable Logic Controls) with Ethernet communication. With this implementation, hauling trucks could load the quartzite into the highest conveyor belt and no longer need to carry the product to the base. In turn, Geneva Rock was able to save millions in operation cost annually.
The three conveyor belts were powered with two 400HP panels (3300mW each) and a 600HP panel (5000mW) which resulted in a total of 11,600mW of power savings. The gravity from the slope of the conveyor belts provided the renewable energy by moving up to 3,000 tons of material per hour. Using these panels specified and installed by Energy Management Corp. allowed for the $11 million investment to pay for itself within 2 years of operation. Following the result of the return on investment, the power generated through the overland conveyor will be able to provide a majority of power for the entire Point-of-the-Mountain site. Because of the professional inspection and installation of the panels from Energy Management, the transportation of the quartzite was automated by variable speed and resulted in clean energy production.
Energy Management Corporation professionally assessed the needs of Geneva Rock Products and transformed the operations of the plant to become profitable. The three PLC panels with Ethernet connectivity running the conveyor systems generated a tremendous amount of savings for the company, allowing for operations to remain possible. After the installation, other significant benefits were achieved at the site. Geneva Rock Products eliminated the need to purchase nine additional hauling trucks, saving substantial purchasing costs along with fuel and wear & tear. With the panels powering most of the transportation, safety was also increased by mitigating scenarios of employees operating machinery at a steep slope.
Energy Management provided the expertise and equipment necessary to transform a cost ineffective operation to an efficient, energy generating system through using Variable Frequency Drive panels to replace slow and outdated trucking options. Using the expertise and automation options from EMC helped the construction business innovate and increase production to remain profitable.
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John is a marketing specialist working out of EMC’s Salt Lake City office. He oversees the articles and blog content for Energy Management Corp. On the weekends, you can catch John skiing at the resorts in Little Cottonwood Canyon.