A New York State of Mine
Tilcon New York upgrades quarry to boost production capabilities to meet demand from the Big Apple.
As the closest quarry to New York City, Tilcon New York’s West Nyack facility is in a good position due to steady construction growth and expansion in the greater New York area, according to Bernardo Bulnes, plant manager at the West Nyack quarry. And Tilcon is certainly aware that with privilege comes responsibility. “We are responsible for providing quality aggregate at a reasonable price for the market,” he says.
That said, business is good for West Nyack and its two sister sites – the Tomkins Cove and Haverstraw quarries – located in Rockland County, N.Y., just north of and across the Hudson River from Yonkers. In fact, while aggregate producers in some parts of the country have had to cut back production goals, the West Nyack Quarry is slowly working toward a projected increase in production of more than 35 percent.
“There are a lot of big infrastructure projects going on in New York City, as well as work on the Freedom Tower and building sports complexes for the Yankees and the Mets, work on high-rises, etc. Having a source of aggregate nearby is a great benefit for these contractors,” Bulnes says. “And at this location, we produce trap rock, which is very abrasive. So it’s also excellent for high-friction applications and specialty paving projects such as airport tarmacs and Superpave.”
The West Nyack location was originally owned by the Trap Rock Co., which started operations in 1911. But Bulnes says the quarry can actually trace its roots back as far as the mid-1800s as a source for providing stone to the area. “This site received one upgrade in 1958. Then in 1999, it was upgraded again to produce 2.5 million tons per year,” Bulnes says. “And now we are in the process of another upgrade, with the eventual goal of producing 3.2 million tons per year.”
A vast venture
The West Nyack Quarry has several working benches. But in order to increase production, Tilcon New York has been working to open new areas for mining and also taking other areas from mining to processing as it moves its crushing and screening stages to make best use of the 150-acre property for future production. And the company has invested in some equipment upgrades, as well.
At the end of 2007, the facility’s crushing process included an Allis Chalmers 42-inch by 65-inch primary gyratory, a 7-foot Symons secondary crusher, a 5-1/2-foot Symons tertiary crusher, a Raptor XL400 quaternary cone crusher from FLSmidth Excel, and a Svedala H4000 quaternary cone crusher.
“In January 2008, though, we replaced the H4000 with another Raptor XL400 for our quaternary stage. And right now, we’re setting up new sites to locate the primary and secondary crushers. We’re getting a new H7800 cone. We’re making room to move our tertiary. And, we also will install a new primary that will be the first of its kind ever in operation: it’s a 54 series gyratory (55-inch by 83-inch) heavy-duty top-service gyratory crusher from FLSmidth Minerals,” Bulnes says, explaining that design of this gyratory crusher allows service to be performed on the unit by pulling necessary parts from the top, which eliminates the need to send personnel down into the crusher unit. “This feature will be a great advantage from a safety standpoint,” he says, adding that the primary tower will be completed in December 2008. The crusher will be delivered in December 2008, with startup planned for March 2009.
Bulnes says with all of Tilcon New York’s preparations to date, it is the addition of the second Raptor cone crusher that has helped the West Nyack Quarry to turn a corner, of sorts, as it began to increase production in 2008. “We bought the first Raptor cone in 2005. And it was actually an emergency purchase, which can be harder to justify than a planned purchase. But we needed a new cone to replace a failed H4000,” he explains. “We wanted a cone that was comparable to the old cone, but that could provide better throughput and production for future goals. We needed a manufacturer that was reliable and that could support the machine. We looked at customer response and parts availability. And when we looked at the Raptor cone crusher, we knew it was Excel’s first XL400 cone produced – serial number 001. But we had used Excel for its rebuild services in the past, and we trusted their capabilities. The price and warranty were attractive, and at Tilcon, we’re not afraid to experiment with new products. So we decided to give them a shot. I guess you could say with it being serial number 001, we were going out on a limb, but it turned out to be a good decision.”
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