Quick turnaround enabled Continental Brick to
remove a bottleneck from its grinding operation without negatively affecting kiln output.
The Grand Slam has not broken down since its
Continental Brick of Martinsburg, W.Va., has been successfully manufacturing
face brick in the same location since 1917, using the same material from the
Martinsville Shale Formation located within a mile of its plant. The company's
product line includes face brick used in residential and commercial
applications primarily in the Northern Virginia, Pennsylvania,
Chicago, New York,
Grinding to a Halt
Through the years, Continental has upgraded equipment
based on capital equipment budget availability. "It has taken a lot of
smart, hard-working people and their dedicated time and attention to make
things-including some older workhorse equipment-operate efficiently," says
Don Sult, Continental's vice president of operations.
A problem arose in early 2006 when Continental Brick's
hammer mill crusher started to wear out after two decades of service. "It
was just taking too much of our maintenance time and expense to keep our
grinding operations running at needed productive levels (60 million standard
brick equivalent annually)," says Sult.
The crusher had numerous replacement parts to manage and
no automatic systems (e.g., automatic opening, etc.). It took the company hours
to perform simple routine maintenance or repair because the cover needed to be
unbolted and removed in order to gain access to the working mechanisms. On
average, Continental's uptime availability was approximately 90% with the old
The new system was engineered, delivered and installed in
less than a week.
A Fast Solution
Continental Brick contacted Innovative Processing
Solutions for turnkey service. The first step was to determine the best
replacement equipment, and then a solution was engineered to make it fit into
the existing system.
After conducting material testing, Innovative engineers
specified a Stedman Grand SlamTM
model GS4860 impactor
to replace the existing hammer mill. With a 150-180 tph capacity range, the
Grand Slam reduces 12-in. shale to -6 mesh-all in a single machine (capable of
reduction ratios of up to 30:1). The unit features a front opening housing for
easy maintenance and inspection, and it provides reduced maintenance and
operating costs. It is designed with an open discharge (no screen to plug) and
interchangeable wear plates. A heater and air cannons help process wet/sticky
"We're impressed with the ability of a single
machine to handle our 12-in. material and give us the final output we need (-6
mesh)-and without needing to rework our system's circuit design," says
Retrofit engineering and installation of the Grand Slam
to the existing frame was a big challenge. Modifications were made, including a
feed chute design to fit the new stand and crusher for proper material feed
into the crusher's inlet. With only five days to complete the installation
before the shale inventory was depleted, Innovative personnel found cracks in the
old frame. A new frame (10 x 15 x 10 ft) was quickly fabricated to replace it,
and production schedules were met.
"Innovative really kept their promises, and that's
critical to us. It would have cost us a lot of time and money to shut down
these kilns," says Sult. "They engineered a solution in about a day,
and delivered and installed the entire system in less than one week-saving us a
four- to six-week shutdown and more money in lost production than I care to
The new crusher handles both large and fine rock in one
A Positive Impact
The Stedman Grand Slam enabled Continental Brick to
eliminate the bi-weekly maintenance and repair needed for the previous hammer
mill. While the hammer mill needed a lot of time, maintenance and materials to
keep it running, the Grand Slam has required less maintenance and is easier to
maintain and inspect. "It just takes a lot less of our maintenance
people's attention, which is a big advantage when you don't have a lot of
excess people," says Sult.
Continental continues to crush both large and fine rock
with just one machine. (Other plants may use primary and secondary crushers in
order to crush various sizes.) The Stedman crusher also gives the company the
ability to crush more material if it ever wanted to upgrade the system's
The Grand Slam crusher has not broken down since its
installation. "I think it has run at 100% availability, and the hammer
mill certainly would not have had that much up-time," Sult says. "We
have a piece of equipment we can turn on, let run and not have to fool with-and
that's a big advantage."
For additional information, contact:
- Innovative Processing Solutions, P.O. Box 299, Aurora,
(877) 926-0040; fax (812) 926-3482; e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org;
or visit www.innovative-processing.com.
- Stedman, 129 Franklin Street, P.O. Box 299,
Aurora, IN 47001; (800) 262-5401 or (812) 926-0038; fax (812) 926-3482; e-mail email@example.com;
or visit www.stedman-machine.com.
- Continental Brick, 154 Charles Town Rd.,
Martinsburg, WV 25405, (304) 263-6974, fax (304) 267-0793.