MB Crusher’s pioneering mobile crushing bucket is helping a Lebanese batching plant mitigate its sand shortage by using its sandstone stockpile
Take the straight road inland from Beirut and follow it east as the sun rises, and the first thing that strikes you is the change in elevation. A steady climb ensues on the Beirut-Damascus road and the terrain changes, first from rolling coastal plains to hills and then from hills to mountains, as you enter into the heart of the Mount Lebanon area.
By the time you’re higher up in the range, near the Dahr El Baidar area, the pines and cedars of the mountains have been left down below at lower altitudes and the terrain has changed to a bare, rocky one just at the snowline.
For Platinum Concrete, this is the business end of the region. The Lebanese outfit is a batching plant operating in the Mount Lebanon area and a sister company of a quarry based in the Dahr el Baidar area, the biggest quarry site in Lebanon, both owned by Koukach & Co.
Owing to recent decisions by the Lebanese authorities to restrict sand quarrying, Koukach & Co were suffering from a singular problem with the powdery stuff – namely its paucity. The lack of access to sand for their batching operations meant that the concrete side of the company’s operations was suffering as well. And so Koukach & Co were looking for an efficient solution to keep their concrete plant mixing away.
Enter MB Crusher. Or their Lebanese partner Amtrac Abdelmassih Trading Co., anyway. As much as the rugged Mount Lebanon quarry sites were the business end for Koukach, they were proving grounds for the Italian mobile crusher bucket specialist. The efficient solution that Koukach was looking for came in the form of a MB Crusher bucket BF90.3.
What helped was that the quarry operator had a big stockpile of sand stone, which proved to be the raw material they needed to help them maximise profit while dealing with the regulations on sand. This is where local MB dealer Amtrac Abdelmassih Trading comes into the picture, suggesting the idea of utilising the sandstone stockpile to Platinum Concrete.
Anthony Abdelmassih, product manager at Amtrac explains: “They had the base course for the gravel for their concrete mixture but they were not getting the sand for it. We suggested they could optimise the use of their big sandstone stock, which included boulders. Previously, when there was no shortage of sand, they were simply dumping the sandstone aside. We approached them with the idea that they could use our bucket crusher to crush the stocked sandstone and make up for the shortage of sand.”
Amtrac’s suggestion was a BF90.3, MB Crusher’s legendary offering and the first bucket crusher the Italian company ever made. Mounted on a Volvo EC290B excavator at Platinum’s batching site, the crusher bucket started work, crushing their sandstone into smaller and easily fractured stones to be reused in the concrete mixing operation after being further fractured in a stationary second stage fine crusher.
“We demonstrated the crusher bucket to them and let them try it out free of charge for a while as a goodwill gesture because we have a long-standing relationship with the company. It was so effective for their purposes that they soon rented it out and, within a month of using it, they had decided that they wanted to own one and talked to us about a brand new BF90.3. An order looks on the anvil,” explains Abdelmassih.
He adds that the versatility of MB crusher buckets and the advantages they confer led to very high production levels directly on site. The sandstone could be picked up, crushed and the aggregate deposited at a designated spot or loaded on a truck, hastening operations.
The job was not without its challenges, however, and Abdelmassih elaborates: “Crushing sandstone is a tough job with high wear and tear, because sand is an abrasive material. The challenge was to increase the productivity and the production of the crusher despite this. The finer dust sand was screened and separated from the stone to be crushed. Being abrasive, sand particles can potentially shorten the life of the jaw and teeth of the crusher, and even get logged in-between the crushing blades, reducing productivity.”
However, due to MB Crusher’s robust construction, this is not as high a concern as it can be. The jaws and blades of MB Crushers are made of the finest grade Hardox steel – one of the toughest materials known to man, he adds. Despite this, should any problem arise, Amtrac is on hand to lend full support.
“At Amtrac, we are very aggressive with our support on parts and service. We will install the crusher and fix the hoses, and our team will set up the right hydraulic configuration on a machine, especially Volvo excavators, which we specialise in. We have more than adequate MB spare part stocks, whether it’s a wear part, a sealing kit for pumps or distribution boxes or even the crusher blades when they require to be replaced after long use. So we are a complete service outfit from A to Z,” Abdelmassih emphasizes.
“Also, we can even deliver training on how to use the crusher when our new customers take delivery, telling their operators what the best operation techniques are, and things like how to position the excavator to increase the productivity and cycle times.”
With the attributes of MB Crusher, backed up by Amtrac’s support, the crusher bucket is an investment that is paying off for his clients, especially for Platinum Concrete, he concludes.
MB Crusher says its flagship model, the BF90.3, is the first crusher bucket ever in the world. Compact and versatile, it has been periodically updated and made more powerful over the years, and is suitable for all crushing operations. This is possible due to exclusive and patented Made-in-Italy technology, which enables MB’s crusher buckets to process all extracted material and render them re-usable directly on-site. Their precision allows for materials which were previously destined solely for disposal to be processed in calibrated batches for sale or re-use on-site.
In fact, crushing in quarries around the world has become a key aspect of operation; the need to make the most of all available material has prompted operators to also use the “waste material” that was once simply piled up in a quarry.
And now, the Italian company says a good thing has gotten even better with the introduction of the BF90.3 S4 – a more powerful and updated version of its flagship. A restyling of internal elements has resulted in a rise in performance, strength, productivity and reliability.
As Diego Azzolin, MB’s head of production, says: “Revolution and innovation are not static factors, but instead present a continuous challenge for improvement.”
And with the BF90.3 S4, MB claims to have risen to that challenge.