Within the framework of the trade conferences of Heading to PERUMIN, UNICON’s Quarries Manager, Leslie Orams, observed that currently the biggest problems in the construction aggregates manufacturers’ market are their low yields, high operating costs, waste of raw material and large amount of waste disposal.
Another problem in this market is the use of rudimentary machines and techniques that in the long term only contribute to increasing unit costs. In that sense, he compared the performance of a gravity mining screen with that of a modern mining screen facility.
Assuming a freight of USD 2/m3 for both facilities, he concluded that the production in an agricultural mining screen is much lower and has even higher costs than those of a larger vibrating mining screen.
"Using cheap equipment does not guarantee an economical process. It is because the manufacture of aggregates in Peru is not technified, but this problem is not endemic to our country, we can see it anywhere in the world", he revealed during his presentation entitled "Manufacture of aggregates and low-cost granular materials".
But that is not the only problem. Many manufacturers believe that just having a primary crusher, vibrating mining screen and conical crusher is enough to make any type of aggregate. Practices like these are considered a myth. Why? In the words of Leslie Orams, each product requires a plant designed according to the characteristics of the raw material to be processed, so the manufacturer cannot risk purchasing equipment to produce low-quality aggregates that do not guarantee good construction.
"When any granular material is produced, the raw material must be compared with the specification of the requested product; the plant design must convert the portion of the material that deviates from the technical specification to transform it into a product and eliminate possible wastage," said the concrete company executive.
Production efficiency without wastage
Leslie Orams also added that common manufacturers use more raw material to produce aggregates, in addition to requiring almost twice as many hours to meet the desired production and generating more overhead. In contrast, a complex plant is more efficient because it processes less material to produce more, has no waste and low overhead.
"A large mining company asked me about the percentage of waste that our process for obtaining aggregates would have, I replied that it would be zero because nobody entrusts their raw material for the manufacturer to waste it. They did not believe me because they thought it was impossible to produce without generating waste. I had a hard time convincing them that this was absolutely feasible because unfortunately aggregates manufacturers usually have waste, and if it is there, its must be as little as possible ", he said.
On this point, he emphasized that the choice of the aggregate processing method should consider the manufacturing operation expenses that correspond to the project owner, since the manufacturer does not assume those expenses or care how much it is. Additionally, he suggested evaluating the hourly performance to measure the efficiency of the plant and that the percentage of waste should be aimed at zero.