Canadian Mining Journal

Feature

Thinking Small for a Big Market

Creative thinking is often hard to find on the shop floor but at PR Engineering Limited of Oshawa, ON, that’s exactly what Company President Linda Grieco says has resulted in the company launching a new and much smaller product than its...


Creative thinking is often hard to find on the shop floor but at PR Engineering Limited of Oshawa, ON, that’s exactly what Company President Linda Grieco says has resulted in the company launching a new and much smaller product than its workers are used to building.

Unlike the massive jaw crushers and other heavy components the company has been manufacturing and repairing since 1965, Grieco says that ‘imagination,’ plus a thorough understanding of crusher technology, inspired the staff to look beyond their traditional products and study the crusher industry closer to see what was missing?

PR Engineering’s designers and technicians, like almost every other manufacturer of mining equipment, has heard the word “downsizing” in recent years and with that in mind, they decided to downsize their thinking too, and that’s what they did by ‘miniaturizing’ some of their massive product line to produce a portable, tow-behind crusher.

Using their technical knowledge and understanding of their main product line of Birdsboro Buchanan crushers, PR Engineering took those same design elements from the much larger equipment and scaled them down to make its PREMAC 1 machine, a mobile crusher portable enough to tow behind a pick-up truck .

Gary Robinson, PR Engineering’s General Manager, says the PREMAC is a departure from what they’re used to producing in terms of size and strength, but from a sound engineering and performance standpoint, he thinks the new crusher is one of the more innovative designs to hit the mining market in many years.

In fact, he says the “lab-sized” crusher is so well engineered and built that it’s in a class of its own thanks to a unique double-toggle action that results in better crushing performance, meaning a more consistent final product with less effort to crush the same amount of rock and reduce wear on moving parts.

“And what’s more,” says Robinson, “is that it can easily be towed behind a pick-up truck or even larger car because it weighs just 2,300 pounds, which makes it easy to haul to sampling stations in the field, exploration sites, or anywhere else in adverse conditions where smaller lab crushers would be ineffective.”

As mentioned earlier, the design of the new machine came from “the floor up” and that means the basic idea started on the shop floor and was eventually presented to upper management when most of the design elements were worked out.

Starting on June 30, 2011, PR Engineering’s employees had to think ‘small’ because most of them have only been involved with the big Birdsboro Buchanan machines and to envisage a crusher so small was a challenge.

To some, in fact, the proposed size of the crusher was “questionable” because of what it was expected to do in terms of productivity and crushing power, but as the design progressed, everyone was on board and confidence grew as tests showed the machine’s capabilities.

For example, a reversible manganese steel jaw was used for extended life and roller bearings are also included throughout the machine to add further strength and reliability to the crusher. Furthermore, a six inch by 10 inch material inlet at a 290 rpm toggle rotation enable the crusher to produce two tons per hour of ¼ inch material and three tons an hour of ½ inch rock.

Adding to the compact and simplicity of the design, the crusher is powered by a 10 hp TECO/Westinghouse, 575 Bolt/3 phase motor that Gary Robinson says is a perfect match with the advanced roller-bearings to provide reliable operation with minimal maintenance.

“It’s a high-production machine in a small frame but we’re confident that the engineering built into the Premac One will make it a hit with the mining and exploration industry,” says Robinson.


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