Digital designs help family owned MFE crush customers’ problems
Assembling complicated machinery and other heavy mining equipment requires an aptitude for following instructions to the ‘T.’ In fact, there’s no such thing as ending up with extra nuts and bolts when it comes to building the tools required to make today’s mines function properly and moreover, safely and profitably.
One company that thoroughly understands what it takes for machinery to perform properly is family owned MFE Manufacturing Inc, a New Brunswick company that specializes in the design, engineering, fabrication and installation of a wide variety of material processing and handling equipment for the aggregate and mining industries.
Founded in 1997, MFE Manufacturing is located in Miramichi, the largest city in northern New Brunswick with a population of just over 18,000 residents. It’s here, from a 25,000-sq-ft manufacturing facility, that the company custom builds everything from crushing plants, to cone to screening plants, to belt feeders and conveyor systems.
With as many as 30 welders and fitters on staff, the company is well equipped to fabricate what it designs at its Miramichi facility. In addition to its welders, fabricators and industrial mechanics working at 12 semi-automatic welding stations and a plasma cutting table, the facility also features overhead cranes ranging in capacities from three to 10 tons, a 200-ton press break, an 88-ton P2 Iron Worker, a 36-inch radial arm saw, and two industrial bandsaws.
As mentioned, the company designs and engineers material processing & handling equipment and through the use of 3D modeling, MFE is capable of producing realistic digital prototypes of all of its designs prior to ever cutting a piece of steel. This innovative approach to product development has facilitated customer input, improved quality assurance, and reduced manufacturing costs.
One of the keys to the company’s success has been in its complete turnkey services where it installs and commissions all of its processing and handling equipment onsite. From steel erection and on-site welding, to hydraulic plumbing, electrical wiring, belt tracking and screen cloth selection, to equipment training, the company assumes complete responsibility for getting projects up and running.
One of its recent projects was the installation of a 1200-ton-per-hour jaw crusher and surge tunnel at Atlantic Minerals’ Lower Cove quarry on the Port au Port peninsula in Newfoundland.
“As the general contractor,” MFE’s Engineering Manager Matt Esson says, “we supplied and installed all new equipment necessary to accept quarry rock from the Atlantic Minerals’ 100-ton haul trucks and crush it to an eight-inch-minus product at a rate of 1200 tph.
“To accomplish this, we designed and fabricated a primary jaw crushing station that included a 150-ton live storage feed hopper, a Lippmann 62-inch by 28-foot vibrating grizzly feeder, a Lippmann 50-inch by 62-inch jaw crusher, a BTI NT24E-BX30 rockbreaker, and one 60-inch by 50-foot discharge conveyor.”
Esson further explained that the entire system is monitored and controlled from an adjacent 100-square-foot control cab tower that includes an integrated hydraulic power unit room, an electrical room, a spare parts room, and the potential for a partitioned lunch room/restroom divided between all four floors below the cab.
All crushed material is monitored from the tower as it is conveyed by a new 48-inch x 150-foot radial stacker that discharges over a new 12-foot x 13-foot x 330-foot long cast-in-place surge tunnel.
“The surge tunnel is equipped with three Syntron MF-400 54-inch by 84-inch electromechanical pan feeders mounted to the ceiling. Each feeder is capable of supplying up to 1000 tons-per hour of throughput down onto a new 48-inch by 475-foot collector belt. This collector conveyor is offset 36 inches from the centre line of tunnel to maximize maintenance access on the far side.
“The conveyor also includes a unique belt turnover system which effectively eliminates spillage from the dirty return side of the belt through the tunnel,” says Esson.
As mentioned at the outset, MFE’s engineers design systems specifically for the individual customers and in the case of Atlantic Minerals’ Lower Cove quarry, the tunnel and feeders were strategically located by design to not only accept surge material from the new 5062 jaw crushing station, but to also be accessible to the existing 4248 jaw plant.
“This new redundancy of crushing power along with the added value of a surge means a lot more capacity and far more uptime for the customer,” added Esson.