|Reaching For State-Of-The-Art Efficiency|
They were determined to get state-of-the-art efficiency
Lane Construction invested time in selecting HMA plant components and systems that would enable them to perform at the top of their market.
McRorie is the assistant plants manager with Rea Contracting, a division of Lane Construction Corporation. Rea Contracting serves a five-county area around metropolitan Charlotte, North Carolina with seven production facilities. The new plant is just south of Charlotte located in the Arrowood Quarry that is operated by Martin Marietta. f you take a minute to ask Dallas McRorie why they have dozens of special features on Rea Contracting's new asphalt plant, he will probably remind you that things have changed a lot over the last 30 years or so. "When I started out in this business in 1978," he said recently, "hot-mix plants were manually operated. You just stood there punching buttons all day long. We made up our minds that our new plant was going to be different. Rea Contracting was going to get the latest state of the art …and that is exactly what Rea Contracting did!"
Rea Contracting replaced an Astec Six Pack® plant that they had been using at the same location since 1987. "We're very proud of the new plant," said McRorie. "Brian Miserendino, equipment manager with Lane Construction, and his staff did an excellent job with the facility's layout and engineering."
Most of the plant's components were made by Astec to support Lane Constrution's 8.5 x 52-ft. (2.6 x 15.8-m) Dillman Unified Drum Mixer and two existing storage silos from an earlier plant. The new Astec components included two 300-ton (272-tonne) New Generation storage silos with electric blanket heat on the cones and 0.5-in. (1.27-cm) ceramic cone and batcher liners.
Astec also provided Rea Contracting with a new cold-feed system consisting of six compartments for virgin aggregate and two for reclaimed asphalt pavement (RAP). "We have an in-line crusher in the RAP system," McRorie explained. "That crusher lets us process the RAP on the fly and send it directly to the plant in commercial mixes."
When asked what he might tell another producer who was considering the purchase of a new plant, McRorie said that they had invited several producers to visit their site. Key features that Lane Construction considered when purchasing the Astec plant include Astec's engineering support, installation support, and service support. All Astec and Dillman components fit without the need of field modifications. In addition, the plant control system helps diagnose plant problems.
"If something has gone wrong, the control system will tell you when a motor came on, how many amps it was pulling, and what time it was turned off. When you have a problem, this control system can save you a lot of time and trouble. Instead of running around all over the plant trying to see what is tripped, you just go to the screen and the control system will tell you. That way, you know exactly where to start to make the repair."
McRorie repeated his claim that the plant is state of the art. "It is a great piece of work. It is what Lane Construction wanted."