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Case study: Canteras Amadeo quarry project

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World Cement,

Canteras Amadeo’s history goes back to 1999, when its current owners, partners José Luis Strasorier and Roberto Vettorazzi, teamed up to buy a recently closed quarry. With limited knowledge of the business, and in the middle of the 2001 economic downturn, these two entrepreneurs started their new project knowing that they had a lot to learn about the crushing process. Strasorier and Vettorazzi have had to assemble the equipment for the quarry themselves, tasks which are not only very difficult, but also require highly specialized knowledge. “It has been hard work to get to where we are today, but it has been well worth the effort since we have gained experience in all aspects of quarrying, from the blasting stages to the finished stone,” Strasorier explained.

Now, however, as the business has expanded into a successful and growing quarrying concern, it has been necessary to acquire new and more complex equipment for the operations in the provinces of Santiago del Estero and Cordoba. Although the business is smaller when compared to some of the competitors, Strasorier and Vettorazzi have placed their faith in increasing efficiency, thereby creating a competitive advantage. Despite the operational efficiencies that the quarry operation has been imbued with, the owners feel that a limiting factor of the quarry’s development around Córdoba city is the limited infrastructure that is simply not sufficient to support any increase in haulage traffic if one or more of their quarries were to increase their production.

In addition to the limited road network around Córdoba, any proposed increase in traffic resulting from added production at one or more of the quarries will also affect the environment and possibly lead to deterioration in relationships with the community. Consequently, rather than dramatically increasing production, Strasorier and Vettorazzi decided to grow the business by improving efficiency through process review, and the use of state-of-the-art technology, thereby maximising the operation of the equipment used.

Efficiency with an environmental focus

The search for the latest technology encouraged Strasorier and Vettorazzi to look in depth at various quarrying equipment manufacturers, before finally choosing the Swedish manufacturer, Sandvik Construction. One of many reasons for choosing Sandvik was its strong focus on environmental issues, commitment to health and safety, as well as Sandvik’s reputation for customer service and aftermarket excellence.

Following the completion of its market research Canteras Amadeo first purchased Sandvik equipment five years ago. Initially this comprised of a DX680 drilling rig, which was followed by a CH440 cone crusher, and subsequently, a SC2473 screen, BR2266 breaker, CS440 cone crusher and finally, a CJ612 Jaw crusher. The latter was acquired in order to reduce the bottleneck in production that was caused by their previous primary crusher being unable to match the production of the Sandvik machinery.

In the near future the company is looking at the possibility of buying another cone crusher with a basic configuration in order to minimise the loss of efficiency in the change of mantles. “We are constantly searching for state-of-the-art technology. We believe in having major changes. Through these improvements, we will get lower fuel consumption, and the operator will get less time operating the equipment, which will result in better working conditions.” Vettorazzi comments.

A principal reason for choosing state-of-the-art technology from Sandvik was the equipment performance. Hence Sandvik crushers have proved able to increase productivity by 20 – 30% while reducing energy consumption and at the same time being easy to operate. Furthermore, Sandvik Argentina supports customers with import procedures such as statutory declarations for machinery and equipment importation, details on tariff policies, as well as other advice that has proved to be especially beneficial.

In addition the breaker, crushers and a screen, Canteras Amadeo also owns a Sandvik drill rig. The engineer responsible for its operation, José Bulchi, who is also the Plant Manager, has been working at the quarry for seven years now, recounts the time this unit was purchased: “During a trip to Las Vegas, the owners had the opportunity to view a demonstration of the drill and then a decision was made to change from the old rig.”

Concerning the other equipment used, José continues, “With regards to the crusher, due to its great performance, as well as Sandvik’s benefits and advantages as a company, the decision was made to buy the first crusher, the CH440. After spending eight months using it, the next step was to change the screens and we purchased the SC2473. Ever since then the quality of our product has improved, because the machines are reliable. The ASRi system (found on the CH440) is essential for product quality. It allows me to crush products to the same quality. The product curves I get are always very similar, which is very important for our customers, who seek homogeneous material.”

Productivity ensured through maintenance

Like any other company that needs to keep its machinery in perfect working order to guarantee maximum productivity, Canteras Amadeo focuses on machinery maintenance as outlined in the manuals, with the intention to achieve efficiency levels similar to brand-new equipment. In addition to the in-house service, Sandvik Argentina supports the equipment by providing Canteras Amadeo with aftermarket service that goes from start–up to preventive and remedial follow-up. The aim of this is to optimise the equipment’s performance and life cycle.

The quarrying business run by Strasorier and Vettorazzi has gone from strength to strength. From humble beginnings assembling the plant themselves, learning about quarrying processes, to acquiring the latest in quarrying technology so as to improve the business’s bottom line without causing environmental and transport problems, Strasorier and Vettorazzi have shown what hard work, vision and the use of the best technology can achieve.

Adapted from press release by

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