35+ years experience in the quarry business
In the fall of 2005, Cookeville Limestone owners Donny Elkins, W.T. Ray, and Larry Burgess discussed a new venture with me, buying an existing county quarry in order to expand the business. Our goals were to create a versatile plant with good inventory control to be obtained with minor changes and to reach 450-500 TPH.
I was asked to align vendors, determine requirements, and obtain competitive bids. We were looking for vendors who could share their ideas in terms of plans for the plant, in line with potential local sales demands, a vendor with deep working knowledge of crushing applications, in addition to sufficient engineering, design, fabrication, and installation capability to execute the project.
As I began speaking with potential suppliers, AMI seemed to really stand out. A recommendation was made for AMI as a good source for designing and building the plant. Mike Garard emerged as the primary contact for developing the design concept. Mike had a deep understanding of the application for crushing and screening equipment and listened to my needs for products. Together we discussed design of wear points, transfer points, potential configurations in a loose, open discussion. Mike listened and understood the need for good inventory control. This led to a detailed design for the primary (HR4248), scalping station (Diester 6×16 TD), surge, secondary crush station (APS1320KH Hazemag), and a finishing tower with two Diester 6×20 4-deck wet screens. Due to market conditions, the plan was to pull the fines out of the aggregate dry, leaving the wet screen to wash #57, #7, and #8 stone prior to stockpiling.
With the design determined, we (Cookeville Limestone) decided on a phased approach to delivery and installation. Phase 1 consisted of the primary station, scalping station, and associated conveyors to the surge tunnel, which we designed and poured utilizing local suppliers.
Steel fabrication began arriving in November 2005, with shipments continuing to arrive throughout winter 2005/2006. Installation was supervised by an AMI team of 3 men, augmented by 3-4 Cookeville employees. I felt that participation by my future quarry employees would lead to greater understanding of how to operate and maintain the system once it began operating. Further, the presence of the future operators as steel arrived helped to maintain close coordination and accountability between Cookeville and AMI.
Primary Station: We are pleasantly surprised at the engineering of the feeder and hopper structure, with features such as a bolt together hopper with designed overlaps to provide fastening points and good integrity. There was very little welding needed on site. Bolt connections were surprisingly tight and rigid, with very little additional support welding needed. The primary station is very solid and rigid, with very little noticeable vibration in the structure from the Hewitt Robbins 4248. AMI also designed the concrete.
Scalping Tower: I was impressed by the use of larger structural members, which minimized the need for obstructive cross bracing. Doing so allowed greater access at the base of the structure where product conveyors and the surge feed conveyor terminate. This makes for a simple design which facilitates cleanup.
Conveyors: All of the conveyors were very well built, had good access for cleaning, and had skirt boards that were easy to adjust and change out.
My overall evaluation of AMI for Phase 1 was very good. Everything was executed very smoothly from beginning to end, as the few conflicts were quickly resolved. As Phase 1 proceeded, we (Cookeville Limestone) began to plan for Phase 2. Due to the quality of the work to date, the adherence to schedule, and the good functional relationship, AMI was awarded Phase 2. We are very satisfied with the plant and its performance and AMI’s dedicated work.