Crushing tech instrumental to producing a high-end sand
This article, written by Carol Wasson, originally appeared in the April 2018 edition of Pit & Quarry Magazine.
Renowned for its pure white manufactured sands, The Hayden Group of Sheridan, Arkansas, provides crushed quartz sand to high-end golf courses throughout the South, Midwest and beyond.
The company is blessed, as it says, with the local abundance of “a brilliant quartz” that’s mined year-round at an 800-acre operation.
Because the bright white sand is such a spectacular, radiant contrast to the emerald greens of the golf course, the product is highly coveted.
“We sell it as soon as it hits the ground,” says Will Hayden, COO for the company.
As seen on TV, The Hayden Group’s Premier White sand “is kicked up on bunker shots” at PGA Tour courses.
“Golf course superintendents like the aesthetics of the sand, plus its superior drainage and packing capabilities,” Hayden says. “The players say the golf ball sits high on the sand, making for an easier, better shot.”
To meet an ever-growing demand, the company recently upgraded and expanded its crushing operations. Two of its three crushing plants employ advanced-technology vertical shaft impact (VSI) crushers that deliver higher durability and uptime, ease of maintenance, lower wear part costs, best particle shape results, and greater production output.
“Bottom line, our new VSI crushers have allowed us to nearly double our daily and annual production output,” Hayden says.
Hayden credits the company’s success to the unique mineral properties of their deposit, efficient washing and screening operations, a little luck with the weather, and importantly, a 5/8-in.-minus feed material that’s cost-effectively pulverized into a superior manufactured sand by the company’s new VSI crushers.
“The way these crushers process this feed material is a big part of what makes our finished product one of the top three bunker sands in the U.S.,” Hayden says.
Manufactured by REMco, a Series 1025 SandMax VSI crusher with a 150-hp motor was installed at the Hayden operation in 2016, with a second unit purchased shortly thereafter for a new plant.
The REMco headquarters, its North American manufacturing operations and its materials-test crushing facilities are located in Livermore, California.
“For us, it’s quality over quantity,” Hayden says. “We’re not a high-volume operation like typical sand plants. Instead, it’s all about timing. That’s crucial, and REMco has designed these crushers to operate very efficiently.”
According to Hayden, his company’s first new 1025 SandMax VSI replaced an older REMco 5500 SandMax that was installed in 2002.
“We got more than 15 years of reliable service from that machine, and yet we found that we could extend its service life by applying it to a different and less abrasive application,” he says, explaining that The Hayden Group formed another new plant and a new application around the older REMco crusher, which currently processes a smaller, less abrasive top size feed to produce “a more affordable linen-colored golf sand.”
The linen-colored golf sand presents a new and growing profit center for the company, Hayden says.
At its two main plants, the new SandMax VSI crushers process all of the Premier Sands, as well as a white pebble product the company sells to the swimming pool industry for high-quality, crystal-like pool finishes.
Each of the company’s crushing plants operates in a closed circuit, allowing the operation to easily attain a consistent flow rate on every product that’s processed.
Advanced VSI technology allows these new crushers to cost-effectively surpass the tonnage of older models, adds Mike Howell, central region manager for REMco.
From initial consultation through installation and operation, Howell supplies ongoing support to producers throughout his region. Howell stresses that new rotor and chamber technology is key to advancements that boost productivity.
“REMco has designed its VSI with a two-step, tapered rotor boss that’s bolted-on and removable,” he says. “This essentially protects and preserves the longevity of the rotor itself. The new VSI also features a tighter crushing chamber that’s engineered to significantly increase production.”
According to Howell, the SandMax’s rock-on-rock crushing chambers are more closed and achieve a denser particle cloud within the crusher. This allows for a greater concentration of the crushing energy, which produces a finer discharge.
“This high-crushing velocity reduces material recycle and increases production capacities of a desired finished product with the best particle shape results,” Howell says.
The Hayden Group’s new VSI also effectively manufactures a highly desired cubical product, Hayden says. This is a big advantage when producing the white pebbles for the swimming pool industry.
“The VSI rounds off the pebbles in a way that helps applicators apply the materials to a pool finish in a far more efficient way,” he says.
Ease of maintenance
Additionally, the reduction of maintenance downtime and labor contributes to The Hayden Group’s productivity. Hayden particularly likes the hydraulic lift incorporated into the VSI.
“Older-style crushers required the costly and time-consuming use of a crane to lift off the crusher lid,” Hayden says. “Removing the lid from our new VSI takes about five minutes. It makes it so fast and easy to do inspections.
“While an older-style crusher required frequent manual greasing of the bearings, the new VSI uses oil lubrication for the bearings,” he adds.
The Hayden Group has also experienced reduced wear part costs on the new VSI. When operating competitive models, the company typically replaced wear parts on a weekly basis, Hayden says.
“Now, we get more than 200 hours on our wear plates,” he says. “We do replace our tips weekly, but that only takes the crew about 10 minutes to do.”
The Hayden Group experienced user-friendly operation with its new VSI crushers from the start, Hayden adds. The installation of the new crushers was seamless with the use of REMco’s modular installation kit.
“While a crusher might take up to two days to install, the kit cut our basic installation prior to electrical hook-up to under seven hours,” he says.
For The Hayden Group, the new tech has resulted in nearly doubling the number of truckloads of finished product per day while also doubling the total tonnage of saleable products per year.
“We had record-setting sales last year, and 60 to 70 percent growth rates in the demand for our main product lines,” Hayden says.
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