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Quarry Academy To Present New Ideas

During ConExpo 2008, Sandvik Mining and Construction and Dyno Nobel Inc. announced that they are renewing their cooperative agreement in North America.


During ConExpo 2008, Sandvik Mining and Construction and Dyno Nobel Inc. announced that they are renewing their cooperative agreement in North America. As part of this initiative, the two companies ó both global suppliers to the aggregates industry ó will conduct the third annual Quarry Academy on Nov. 11-13. Held in conjunction with the Colorado School of Mines, this technical conference will provide attendees with the latest ideas on ìImproving Processes; Instilling Expertise.î

There is a great need for this type of educational initiative in the aggregates industry, which is facing a growing labor shortage. In fact, 23% of the workforce is over 50 years old, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Over the next 15 years, the industry will need to replace 27,000 workers. Along with dealing with a competitive labor market, leaders in the aggregates industry are wrestling with regulatory compliance issues and increasing operating costs due to rising fuel prices.

The challenge for producers is to find ways to offset those increases in their quest to remain competitive. One way they can achieve this is by incorporating greater efficiencies into the production cycle. The goal of the Quarry Academy is to address these needs. Subjects include drilling, blasting, material handling, crushing and screening. Quarry managers, supervisors, executives and owner-operators are invited to attend.

John Remakis, marketing manager, USA and Canada, Sandvik Mining and Construction, recently shared his company's perspective with Rock Products. ìWhile a general drive for cost savings will typically bring benefits to aggregate operations, that alone will be insufficient to secure sustainable profitability in the near future,î Remakis says. ìWhat we need is the ability to measure and manage for true process efficiency across the entire enterprise.î Up to this point, he explains, typical operating models have viewed functions within the quarry as stand-alone tasks. What the Quarry Academy seeks to do, is to provide both the rationale and tools for identifying, measuring and managing the inter-relationship between various quarrying processes to achieve the highest degree of productivity.

The goal of the Sandvik-Dyno Nobel cooperative agreement is the same. ìThis alliance was born out of a desire on the part of both companies to examine current thinking about how production processes are managed and see what could be achieved by bringing together their separate areas of expertise,î Remakis notes. ìGiven Sandvik's long-standing leadership in drilling technology, and Dyno Nobel's in blasting, it seemed natural for us to work together in an effort to refine the science. The Quarry Academy is our vehicle for sharing what we have learned with the industry.î

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