Loader Works Triple Duty Loading Biomass

February 16, 2012
Maintaining a kiln temperature in excess of 1450ºC is a highly energetic process that results in a high cost for every cement manufacturing facility. At CQI (Ciment Québec Inc.) in Saint-Basile, one of the largest producers of Portland cement in Quebec, it is a priority to find a cheaper fuel alternative for its coal-fired kilns.

p34_Multihandler  
The hydraulic cab on the Sennebogen 305 Multihandler allows the operator to see right into the infeed conveyor.

 
CQI recently launched a new alternative fuel project to convert a wide variety of rejected materials that could not otherwise be recycled into fuel. With a target of processing impressive volumes of material per year, a key step in the project’s design was to acquire economical methods to perform three material handling tasks on site: stockpiling the material, feeding it to the shredders and, when called upon, feeding the processed alternative fuel directly to the pyroprocess.

Made for the job
“We designed the project with the Sennebogen 305 Multihandler in mind,” said Denis Gagnon, CQI maintenance and project director. “We evaluated and demo’d a number of telehandlers and loaders, but then we searched the Internet for other options. That’s when we found the Multihandler.”

According to Gagnon, the Sennebogen machine was the only choice that met all of his criteria for material handling duties, which include pushing, reaching, loading and lifting.

“We saw some telehandlers that attach a bucket for loading, but they are not built for prolonged duty in that role,” he explained. “The 305’s boom is comparatively more adapted to pushing/loading applications. It has the strength and agility to work as a loader as well as a telehandler.”

About 90% of the Multihandler’s time is devoted to loading the shredders, with the rest divided between stockpiling and moving materials around.

Fast multi-material handling
Versatility is the name of the game for a mixed materials operation like the CQI facility. Located about 50 kilometres outside Quebec City, Gagnon’s project relies on recycling yards throughout the region for materials that could provide sufficiently high BTUs for the furnace. The type and amount of material available for fuel depends on what the recyclers provide: from surplus papers and plastics, to scrap tires, asphalt shingles and wooden railway ties – they all go into the shredders.

To handle the different material types, the operator of the Multihandler typically switches between boom attachments a couple of times a day. The machine was originally equipped with a bucket and fork attachments, but a new grapple attachment has just been delivered. “Changing attachments is very quick,” Gagnon said. “It takes less time to switch than it takes to drive across the yard.”

The 305 Multihandler covers that ground pretty quickly, too. The machine can hit a top speed of 25 kilometres/hour and it can turn inside an outside radius of just 4.7 metres. The operator uses a single joystick control and can select from three steering modes (crab, all-wheel steering, front-wheel steering) to work quickly in confined areas.

Gagnon cited the elevating operator’s cab as a valuable feature of the Multihandler that continues to set it apart from the other telehandlers and loaders they investigated. “The top of the hopper is close to 7.5 metres above ground level,” he explains. “The highrise cab can elevate the operator up to a four-metre eye level, so he gets a much better look at his work area. It’s a very comfortable cab, too, which helps because he is often in there for many hours every day!”

With its two-stage teleboom, the Multihandler can reach a lifting height of nine metres. The 102-horsepower machine has a rated lifting capacity of up to 4,990 kilograms (or 11,000 pounds).

Achieving environmental goals
In operation since 1951, the Saint-Basile facility produces about 1,000,000 tons of cement per year, which it ships to customers throughout Quebec, Ontario, the Maritimes and the New England states. The company has earned an excellent reputation for its innovative methods of “greening” its operation with low emissions and high-energy efficiency. CQI was the first company in North America – third in the world – to install the “Ecofurnace,” an advanced solid fuel handling and burning circuit that can use alternative fuels cleanly.

At the time Gagnon was searching for a material handling solution, he was unfamiliar with the Sennebogen line. His Internet search led him to Top Lift, the local Sennebogen distributor that arranged for a demonstration, and Top Lift continues to provide onsite maintenance services for the Multihandler.

With the success of the system to date, Gagnon reports that CQI is considering the purchase of a second 305 Multihandler as soon as material volumes warrant it.

“It’s up to the recyclers,” he said. “If they can supply more material, we’re ready to replace more coal!”

– Article submitted to Canadian Biomass by Sennebogen

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