The Indian aggregate production industry is evolving faster than ever. The increasing demand for roads, housing and infrastructure in the country creates a need to produce more and more raw materials at competitive prices with minimal environmental impact. The constant and consistent supply of quality aggregates is one of the industry’s prime challenges.
The ARN Group, based in Tiruchirappalli in the Tamil Nadu state, is a reputed name with interests in automobiles, civil construction and real estate. In 1995, the ARN Group established ARN Blue Metals to support the aggregates requirements of the group.
“We work with the state government on various projects. To meet the tight schedules and quality parameters, we required a reliable source for raw materials like concrete and aggregates. Hence, we built our own supply chain. It was backward integration to maintain frontline delivery with our customers,” Paneer Selvam, Managing Director and Proprietor of ARN Group, explains.
ARN Blue Metals operates two quarries and two batching plants to feed aggregates and ready-made-concrete (RMC) for its projects.
Scale up production, not operating costs
According to Paneer Selvam, ARN has always focused on quality to differentiate itself.
“We laid roads in Tuticorn Port Trust in 2004, and we have been appreciated for our work even ten years later. We built the Ramanathapuram bypass, which is still the talk of the town as we have never compromised with quality,” he says.
But with its rapid growth, even ARN found it challenging to secure a reliable, high-quality channel of aggregate.
“We were producing 15,000 tons per month, but even that was not enough as we had to source the aggregates for our projects from outside. There was the constant challenge of maintaining quality and quantity,” Paneer Selvam describes.
In addition, ARN was facing other common aggregate crushing industry challenges, such as lack of skilled manpower to operate machines, increased downtime, high maintenance levels and high costs.
“We operate in a region where there is an acute shortage of trained manpower to operate machines. The workers damage machines during usage, due to lack of proper training. With business growing and more projects in the pipeline, we wanted solutions that offer high-quality output, low maintenance and maximum availability. We were looking to scale up our aggregate production with manageable operating costs.”
This laid the foundation for the partnership with Metso. According to Paneer Selvam, ARN wanted to partner with a company who understands their business challenges and can provide sustainable solutions for future growth.
“We partnered with Metso, as their global knowledge, experience and sustainable solutions are an answer to our challenges. They understand the aggregate business and their customer-centric approach makes them market leaders,” he explains.
Double production with half the hours
Metso’s first complete retrofit solution for ARN Blue Metals was supplied in January 2013. It includes a Nordberg® C106™ jaw crusher, a Nordberg® GP11FC™ cone crusher with IC automation, a Nordberg® CVB1540™ II D P primary screen, and a Nordberg® CVB1845™ IV D product screen and a feeder.
The unit’s total production has exceeded 500,000 tons in a span of 20 months with an average production of 30,000 tons per month. The maintenance cost per ton for spares and wears is low.
“We used to run our crushing operations for 20 hours a day to produce 15,000 tons per month. The maintenance costs were high, and plant availability was low. We wanted to scale up our production to 30,000 tons per month. Metso has helped us to achieve those figures. Now we reach 30,000 tons per month with the plant operating for only 10 hours a day. The maintenance is low and ensures maximum plant availability. We are satisfied with the performance of the plant. The support of Metso’s robust service network makes us confident,” Paneer Selvam says.
The partnership between Metso and ARN Blue Metals has grown even stronger. In February 2015, Paneer Selvam inaugurated a second Metso plant with a Nordberg C106 jaw crusher, a Nordberg GP 11 FC cone crusher with IC Automation and a Nordberg CVB1845 IV D product screen. The plant has been performing to expectations.
“ARN Group is growing fast, and we needed solutions to meet our internal demand. We had confidence in Metso solutions and decided to take the partnership to the next level. Metso solutions are best for performance under harsh conditions with minimum maintenance and maximum plant availability. We are now crushing 60,000 tons per month with both plants, while operating only 10 hours a day. We use 80% of our production for our own requirements and the remaining 20% is for sale. The quality of Metso’s solutions is unparalleled,” Paneer Selvam shares.
“Our company is the only owner of two Metso solutions in this region and in five adjacent districts. Our commitment to quality and tight delivery schedules makes us stand out from the competition. We depend on Metso solutions for meeting the requirements of our customers,” he concludes.
*Metso Outotec was formed July 1, 2020 when Metso and Outotec merged into one company. This case study has been written prior to the merger under the old company name.