Astec Australia delivers a crushing workhorse

The Kodiak cone crusher is now a key part of 50 industrial operations in Australia. Astec Australia reveals what these machines are made of.

A move by Astec Industries to expand beyond its market presence in the asphalt sector has turned the company into a fully integrated business.

Back in 1997, the company made an early move to acquire crushing, screening, material handling and washing and classifying equipment providers, Kolberg-Pioneer, Inc (KPI) and Performance Engineered Products (PEP) series of Vari-Vibe and Duo-Vibe high frequency screens to support its core market.

This was followed closely behind by an acquisition of Johnson Crushers International (JCI) the next year, bringing the foremost Kodiak cone crusher under the Astec Industries group of companies.

Today, Astec supplies a wide array of mining, bulk materials handling and aggregate equipment, ranging from materials processing equipment, fixed rockbreakers, apron feeders, conveyors, material handling equipment to underground mining equipment. The company also provides service, maintenance and training to support users of its equipment.

Through all of this, the Kodiak cone crusher continues to build on its original manufacturing standard. To this day, all Kodiak cones are produced in the state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities in Oregon, the United States, acquired from JCI in 1998.

“What stands out about the Kodiak crushers is that they’re heaviest in class, thus applying greater pounds per horsepower into its crushing function,” Astec Australia account manager, materials solutions – northern regions, Shaun Quinn says.

“Today, Astec Australia has over 50 successful Kodiak cone installations in various different applications around Australia, ranging from hard rock through to recycling.”

The Kodiak cone crushers are applicable as a replacement of older cone crushers in brownfield operations and can be integrated into modern programmable logic controllers (PLCs) in new applications.

They meet coarse and fine crushing application requirements with ease of operation.

Kodiak crushers are noted for their compact size, user-friendliness and production capabilities. They are able to produce a superior-shaped product. The chamber profile has helped to reduce operational loads within the machine.

“The Kodiak Plus Series cone crushers patented innovations provide the efficiency needed to achieve company’s financial goals and worry-free operation demanded of rugged machinery,” Quinn says.

“Internal counterweights provide a vibration-free operation and never require replacement or rebalancing as they maintain true balance through the life of the machine.

“This precision balanced ‘revolving wedge’ fully supports the cone head like a cam.”

The cone crusher has been developed with operators and maintenance staff in mind. It features an anti-spin cone brake that reduces manganese wear costs and minimises projectiles for improved safety.

It also provides an additional layer of comfort against overload events, thanks to the replaceable brass seat liners.

Liner changes are also quick and easy due to the split coupler, which quickly unfastens the upper section of the crusher.

The pivot cylinder bases, too, help absorb misalignment that may occur while passing non-crushable materials.

A machine that triumphs with such ease of use, the Kodiak cone crushers also provide tramp iron relief, eliminating maintenance costs associated with accumulators.

“Pressure relief valves act as latches, generating minimum back pressure build-up during an overload event,” Quinn says.

“These valves prevent violent, rapid release of stored hydraulic pressure prevalent with accumulators, while reducing maintenance and stress on the machine should an overload event occur.”

Astec takes an extra step to keep the machine low-maintenance by adding a thread locking ring that replaces individual cylinders and acts as a single piston to provide unparalleled locking pressure, reduced maintenance and leak-free operation.

“Left hand threat enables the crusher to open up in the event of locking pressure loss,” Quinn says.

“Field replaceable brass threads inserts resist seizing, and metal transfer between thread faces.”

Kodiak crushers also produce higher efficiencies and reduce operating expense by as much as 50 per cent compared with bushing-style crushers, thanks to the precision design in roller bearings.

Quinn says roller bearings generate less friction, resulting in more crushing power, and are far more tolerable of ambient temperature fluctuations.

All these features are packed in a robust base frame characterising the Kodiak cone crushers.

The Kodiak Plus base frame features a revolutionary hybrid base frame design optimised to balance strength and weight, according to Quinn.

Since being acquired more than two decades ago, the Kodiak crushers have continued to receive significant improvements.

They have evolved from the original Louis Johnson Eljay-designed cone crusher formed in 1947. The Kodiak itself has improved over the years to cater for every increasing production demands and targets.

Astec Australia – JCI has, in fact, expanded its Kodiak Plus cone crusher series with the new mid-range model K350+, offering higher production with a smaller footprint.

“In comparison with the K300+, the K350+ features an increase in drive train, stroke, horsepower, weight, head diameters and hold-down force, resulting in an up to 10 per cent capacity increases,” Quinn says.

“It can be either operated with the recommended 350 horsepower motor or use the existing K300+ or Eljay 54-inch power of 300 horsepower. We have observed as much as 25 per cent increase in production over the Eljay 54-inch cones.

“The K350+ is certainly something worth considering when you’re looking at modernising and improving your operation.”

The K350+ can be mounted in current K300+ applications and with external envelope dimensions that are very similar to the Eljay 54-inch cone makes it a machine worth considering.

In line with mining’s shift to autonomous operations, the crushers are equipped with the Kodiak control system (KCS) that continuously monitors operation parameters.

It also issues warnings and shut the crusher down when a major event occurs.

The control system can be operated as either a standalone system, or integrated into a plant PLC, proving its flexibility to adapt to current plant configurations.

This feature also appears in the October edition of Australian Mining.

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