Cardinal’s Sand Plant Takes Flight
To ensure a good, timely supply of quality sand, this glass factory branched out into the aggregates business.
by Kerry Clines, Senior Editor
In southern Oklahoma, just a bit off the beaten path, is a brand new sand plant owned by the largest glass producer in North America and, probably, the second largest in the world. However, the glass company has never been in the aggregates industry before – at least not until last year. The sand plant, FG Minerals LLC, is a division of Cardinal Glass Industries and is the glass company’s first venture into the aggregates business. But if all goes well, it may not be the last.
The idea for the sand plant started back in 2004 when Cardinal Glass Industries built a float glass factory in Durant, Okla., says John Van Der Wal, sand plant manager. When the glass factory, Cardinal FG Co., first opened, it bought its sand in Arkansas and shipped it in by rail, which was expensive and, at times, unpredictable. The sand didn’t always make it to the plant. Sometimes, it ended up in another state or the train derailed on the way, which caused supply problems at the glass factory.
McCabe Industrial Minerals, Inc., a consulting company located in Tulsa, Okla., approached Cardinal with information about a piece of land about 14 miles north of Durant. It was available, and the consulting company suggested that the glass company could open up its own source for sand on that site, rather than purchase it from a sand plant in Arkansas.
Testing was done on the property to make sure the sand met the quality and composition criteria necessary for making glass. Permitting soon followed. “It was an old cow pasture,” Van Der Wal says. “We dug a hole with an excavator, made a pond, and put a dredge in.” But that was the easy part. A processing plant also needed to be built.
Numerous manufacturers and service providers helped build the wet and dry plants. “Krebs provided the dredge pump, slurry pumps, and all the cyclones and whirlsizers for the wet plant,” Van Der Wal says. “Everything else (for the wet plant) was provided by GreyStone.”
In terms of the dry plant, B.W. Sinclair provided bucket elevators and conveyors, while silo tanks were built by Tank Connection. Carrier built the fluid bed dryer, and Rotex provided the screens.
Structural fabrication and general construction of the plant was spearheaded by Texoma Millwright and Welding. When it came time for electrical controls, Van Der Wal turned to Millenium – the same company Cardinal used for the glass factory. In-house expertise, in the form of Cardinal Electrical Engineer Ted Cole, handled the installation of controls for the entire plant.
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