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Jan 12, 2016

ES303 screen boosts production and efficiency at Texas sand and gravel plant

A new Metso vibrating screen is getting high marks for productivity, efficiency and maintainability at the Woodlands Sand & Gravel Plant in Conroe, Texas.
Metso ES303 screen pictured from its right side.

Before installing the ES303™ screen from Metso, the company had experienced declining reliability and costly, time-consuming downtime to replace screening media on its old vibrating equipment. The new Metso ES303 screen, in operation since early 2015, is operating smoothly, and helping to boost production and efficiency at the plant.

The Woodlands Plant is located in Conroe, Texas, approximately 40 miles north of Houston. It is owned and operated by Lehigh Hanson, Inc., one of North America’s leading aggregates producers. Lehigh Hanson operates more than 200 aggregates plants in the USA, and its parent company, HeidelbergCement, is the largest aggregates producer worldwide.

A new solution for screening

The Woodlands Plant is situated on the West Fork of the San Jacinto River where, according to Plant Manager Jay Jackson, an electric dredge is used to mine natural sand and gravel. Material is pumped from the dredge to the plant through a pipeline, where it enters a velocity box, or tank, which separates the gravel from the sand. The sand is then pumped in below the screen, while the clay and gravel are processed through the screen.

“The gravel goes across the Metso screen,” says Jackson,” and that’s what we’re using the Metso screen for – the natural washed gravel.” The ES303 uses urethane screening media on all three decks. The top deck screens the clay; the middle deck is used for mid-size gravel, and the bottom deck is for the extra fine gravel that drops through the bottom of the screen. The ES303 also features three water spray bars on it to spray the gravel, and remove the clay.

The choice of the Metso ES303 vibrating screen came as Lehigh Hanson identified a need to modernize their production capabilities at the Woodlands Plant, requiring an efficient screen that was capable of both producing gravel to their specifications, and reducing maintenance and downtime. The new vibrating screen would replace their existing 6x20 incline screen, which had reached the end of its useful life. In addition, the process of replacing the screening media on the old screen was labor-intensive and time consuming.

As part of a thorough review of vibrating screen brands on the market, Lehigh Hanson contacted Crisp Industries, Inc., Metso’s crushing and screening distributor in the state of Texas. Crisp Industries promoted the new ES303 screen to Lehigh Hanson. This new design for horizontal screens does not rely on shafts timed with gears to create an elliptical motion, and therefore has fewer parts to contend with. In addition, when a bearing change is required, the quick change out for Metso’s MV (Modular Vibrator) mechanism requires less downtime than a traditional horizontal screen. Lehigh Hanson felt these were important benefits for their operation. Greg Venghaus, Territory Salesman at Crisp, assessed the existing situation at the Woodlands Plant and suggested replacing the old incline screen with the ES303 “They liked the new technology,” says Venghaus, “and were willing to be the first to adopt it.”

Turquoise screening media installed in the ES303 screen.

Enhanced screening efficiency

The Metso ES303 is a high-energy horizontal screen is designed to deliver up to 25% more screening capacity compared to conventional screens of the same size. The two unbalanced shaft lines in the screen rotate in opposite directions, generating a high-energy elliptical motion. This aggressive screening action enables the ES to separate materials with consistency and accuracy, even in damp and sticky conditions.

According to Jay Jackson, the new ES303 screen at the Woodlands Plant fit into the same footprint as the old screen, requiring only minor modifications. “We just pulled old one out, and put this one in,” he says. Crisp Industries provided project management and installation services for the ES303 screen, under the direction of Doug Swoveland, Operations Manager at the company’s branch in Seguin, Texas.

Although improving reliability and reducing downtime were the primary goals with the new screen, increasing production and efficiency were strong factors as well. I think it’s done very well,” says Jackson, “and it has increased both production and efficiency.” Chad Miraglia, Operations Manager at the Woodlands Plant, says that “With rock and clay, we are probably doing an average of 100 tph over it,” adding that “I’ve seen it do 160-170 tph of rock production at its highest.”

Exceeding expectations

Metso ES screens are also designed for optimal durability and maintainability. Screen media changes are quick and easy. “It’s absolutely wonderful, the way we change out screening media.” says Chad Miraglia. “The old screen had the big metal screens that were very difficult to install, very time consuming.  Now if we want to make a screen change, it’s very fast, very efficient. It does a very good job.”

The new ES303 screen is proving to be a big hit with the entire team at the Woodlands plant. “I can tell from my employees’ standpoint, that they absolutely love it,” says Miraglia. “They rave about it. In every respect, time saving, cost effectiveness, it’s above our expectations so far.”

*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.

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