A New Standard in Material Cleaning

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By Michael Honea

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Haver & Boecker’s Hydro-Clean has only two main wear parts: spray nozzles and valve seals. Its efficient design allows easy accessibility to the wear parts simply by opening the washing drum’s lid for simple, operator-level maintenance.

Water restrictions. Droughts. Increasing energy costs. More and more frequently, state and provincial governments impose water limitations on producers throughout North America – affecting thousands of operations from coast to coast. With obstacles like these, getting the most profit from an operation keeps getting tougher. But thanks to new washing technology, these stressors don’t need to impact your bottom line. Instead, these innovations increase long-term savings and ROI.

Consider five key benefits when it’s time to upgrade or choose new washing equipment: 1) the machine’s design, 2) energy expense, 3) water usage, 4) maintenance and, of course, 5) profits. These aspects, which vary from machine to machine, influence capabilities and overall performance as well as time spent on maintenance. That’s why understanding these five factors contributes toward better efficiency and profits.

Design Differences

When producers consider upgrading washing equipment, it’s natural to look for ways to decrease expenses and increase efficiency. Some log washers, for example, continue operating with the same technology that dates back to the late 19th century – when water conservation wasn’t nearly as strong of a concern. Now, new technologies, such as high-pressure washers, consume less energy and water than previously possible without sacrificing quality. Plus, these washers require minimal maintenance and upkeep, resulting in decreased servicing expenses and increased efficiency over log washers.

While log washers work well for cleaning thick, dense material – such as stones coated with more than four inches of clay – they cannot get deep into the pours of material like high-pressure washers. Washers with high-pressure water nozzles can achieve that level of cleanliness on stones as large as 6 in., while log washers manage only heavier deposits on stones ranging from 2-5 in., depending on the size of the equipment.

Although log washers may handle large clay deposits better, a high-pressure washer helps producers add value to materials that would otherwise be considered waste. Some process as much as 360 tph, removing impurities from deep crevices and pores on stones – areas log washers can’t access. This helps producers get the most sellable product for their operation, which reduces their waste pile and increases profits.

For example, recent trials revealed that a high-pressure washing system effectively removes contaminants from coal refuse in just one pass, which significantly increases its Btu value.

Water and Energy Use

Continued drought conditions, especially in the western United States, brought about severe water usage restrictions. This makes a high-pressure washer more favorable as governments motivate aggregate producers to use new technology to stay within those boundaries.

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Log washers use as much as 800 gpm in a washing cycle. A high-pressure washer trims that down to 26 gpm – just 3 percent of the consumption of log washers.

While water restrictions haven’t been as stringent in the energy sector, they’re still concerning for producers, financially and environmentally. Choosing a new, high-pressure washer rather than a log washer can reduce energy consumption by as much as 15 percent. Part of this is due to the speed at which the new washers complete a cycle. On average, log washers retain materials for three minutes or more while materials stay in a high-pressure washer drum for just seconds.

Beyond low retention time, a high-pressure washer includes sensors that detect the end of each washing cycle to limit wear from unnecessary use.

Maintenance and Upkeep

When it comes to maintaining equipment, a high-pressure washer requires less maintenance than a log washer. A log washer has many parts that require regular maintenance, including bearings and belts. Replacing its paddles each year is expensive as well as labor-intensive – sometimes taking as long as four days to complete.

A high-pressure washer, on the other hand, has only two wear parts: spray nozzles and valve seals. A high-pressure washer is easy to maintain because the operator can access the main wear parts through the lid on its drum.

Producing Profits

High-pressure washers assist companies in producing the most sellable product by removing impurities from deep crevices of the materials – areas log washers can’t access. For example, recent trials revealed that, beyond stone, a high-pressure washer effectively removes contaminants in just one pass from coal refuse, limestone, quartz and iron ore.

Dun-Rite Sand and Gravel Co., an aggregate producer out of Vineland, N.J., installed a high-pressure washer instead of a log washer two years ago because of its compact size and low energy and water consumption.

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Haver & Boecker’s Hydro-Clean helps producers add value to materials that would otherwise be considered waste. Some process as much as 360 tph, removing impurities from deep crevices and pores on stones – areas log washers can’t access.

The company purchased a high-pressure washer to clean their stockpiles of clay-contaminated stone, which contained non-liberated sand products. Initially, the company had little interest in the stone, and sought to reclaim the sand product. However, they found there was a market demand for clean stone. In short, they not only saved resources and expenses, but also became more profitable by selling a product that was previously waste.

Also, a high-pressure washer saves time and labor in cold regions, where washers are dumped daily to prevent freezing. Unlike a log washer, which can take hours to fill and drain due to its large size, a high-pressure washing system fills and drains in a matter of seconds, saving time and labor.

An Alternative Solution

High-pressure washers take producers into the 21st century and beyond thanks to a design focused on lowering energy and water usage. Plus, the minimal maintenance and upkeep fits the schedules of the modern workforce. That all adds up to decreased expenses, increased efficiency and, in some cases, more areas to profit – qualities all producers seek.

Ready to change the rules and not let regulations impact the operations bottom-line? When it’s time to upgrade or choose new washing equipment, remember these factors to see increased productivity and profits with a new purchase. 

Michael Honea is the process engineer at Haver & Boecker. He received a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering and a minor in business administration from Clemson University in South Carolina. As the process engineer, Honea is responsible for managing all aspects of the Hydro-Clean – from testing materials at jobsites to ensuring customer satisfaction. Prior to his role as processing manager, Honea served as Haver & Boecker’s southeast regional sales manager.

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