Quality Control is Everything
| March 21, 2012
Every aggregate operator spends time and money sampling, sizing, and checking aggregate to make sure it meets requirements. Here are products that can help operators achieve that goal.
Digital sieve shaker
Endecotts says its D450 digital sieve shaker is fitted with a unique clamping system that ensures the sieves are held firmly without over tightening and allows them to be removed and replaced quickly. The company says the shaker is totally operator controlled, can be easily set to maximum efficiency, has no mechanical moving parts, is suitable for wet or dry sieving, and accommodates sieves up to 18 inches in diameter. The shaker is powered by an electromagnetic drive with no rotating parts to wear, which the company says makes it virtually maintenance free and extremely quiet during operation.
Computerized particle measurement
W.S. Tyler says its computerized particle analysis (CPA) system offers more precise particle measurement beyond traditional sieve analysis. The company says its CPA technology uses a digital line camera to measure particles up to 10 times faster, with up to 20,000 scans per second, and analyzes particles as small as 10 microns, capturing particle shape and size and recording the quantity. This eliminates manual calculations and operator error while reducing quality assurance costs. The equipment is available in multiple sizes and can be used on site, in traveling labs, online, and inline.
Automatic sampling system
Intersystems’ model RS (rotary scoop) mid-belt sampler is designed to take representative samples from moving belts. The company says the sampler provides a safer process with more representative and repeatable samples than hand-sampling methods. The RS is said to eliminate the need to have an individual assigned to the sampling process, thereby eliminating time-consuming production stops and lockouts and the wear and tear caused by those stops. The sampler meets ASTM specifications for automatic sampling.
Verification for sieves and screen trays
Gilson says it now offers verification for sieves and screen trays to ASTM and ISO specifications. The company’s ASTM E 11 standard offers three grades of sieve verification. For users who require increased confidence above Compliance grade verification, there are now Inspection (99-percent confidence level) and Calibration (99.73-percent confidence level) grades to provide that confidence.
Quality control software
Stonemont Solutions aggQC software provides aggregate quality control, blending, and plant modeling. The company says aggQC can scale from the single plant operator to the largest producers with centrally managed systems for real-time access, analysis, and reporting. The software includes a user-friendly interface and provides a full suite of charting and statistical tools. Aggregate blending tools include visual (drag-and-drop) blending, mathematically optimized blending, and mix risk assessment. Automated features include data entry from scales, failure e-mail alerts, and analysis and reports automatically sent out via e-mail. aggQC supports the aggregate DOT reporting requirements for several states.
Material testing service
Rotex offers confidential laboratory services to provide companies with the information needed to achieve screening efficiency. Fully equipped laboratories conduct free, confidential material testing services, comprehensive separation analysis, and in-depth studies and sieve analysis. The company partners with customers to determine optimum machine sizes, screen openings, and machine settings.
Overall equipment effectiveness
Kruse Controls has expanded its KrusePlant-Info to include the increasingly popular OEE (overall equipment effectiveness), which gives a real-time and historic view of complete plant throughput with quality. OEE is a hierarchy of metrics that focus on how effectively a manufacturing operation is utilized. It quantifies how well a manufacturing unit performs relative to its designed capacity during the periods it is scheduled to run. Three metrics make up OEE — Availability, which accounts for downtime losses as a function of the total planned operating time; Performance, which captures speed and micro-stop losses; and Quality, which quantifies the losses from quality rejects.
Extracts samples from moving conveyor belts
McLanahan says its HSS Quarry-Duty Cross Belt Sweep Sampler is designed to extract samples ranging in size from 12 inches down to 200 mesh particles from moving conveyor belts. The sampler incorporates a belt contouring system known as an HSS Cut Zone System, which consists of one multi-segment impact cradle with height adjustment for direct support beneath the sample cutter and two multi-segment roller cradles with height adjustment positioned directly outside the inbound and outbound sides of the sampler housing. This belt contouring system is said to provide precision sampling by contouring the conveyor belt to the same radius as the sample cutter bucket. Each sampler is custom designed.