Strategic alliance partners Sandvik Construction and Dyno Nobel held their annual Quarry Academy Nov. 12-15, at the Omni La Mansion del Rio Hotel in San Antonio. More than 130 producers from all over the country took advantage of the program. Rock Products Editor Mark Kuhar was the only quarry industry editor to attend the event.
The three-day technical course addressed current best practices in unit operations with a focus on systems integration, economic sustainability, process improvement, cost reduction and the use of practical safety as a part of daily work behavior.
“Our goal is to stress post-recession process improvements,” said Sandvik Construction Vice President Jeff Heinemann. “It’s a tough situation in today’s market. We want to give you the tools to address these issues.”
“The objective of Quarry Academy,” commented Dyno Nobel Vice President Industry Development /Stone E.J. Burke III, “is to help our customers, safely and efficiently, optimize their operations throughout the value chain.”
Quarry Academy addressed critical processes within the quarry. It focused on the relationship between each process, how they systematically interact with one another and how they can be linked to improve overall operational improvement.
Topics include improved safety, drilling, blasting, fines and boulder management, load and haul, fleet management, crushing and screening, the quarrying process, quarry management and unit operation efficiency.
One of the highlights of the academy’s program was a trip to Martin Marietta’s massive Beckmann Quarry. Attendees were treated to a close-up view of the company’s gigantic O&K processing plant; given a demonstration of blasting initiation systems; and viewed a production blast.
The keynote address was presented by Corrie Pitzer, of Deep Lead, who offered a sometimes offbeat but always entertaining view of safety and health issues, from his experiences working in an underground mine to his consulting work with major corporations.