The projects of Florida-based P&S Paving range in size from residential homeowners to the expansive highway needs of the Florida Department of Transportation. When P&S Paving looked to build its Daytona, Florida, asphalt plant from the ground up, they turned to Astec, Inc. for the most up-to-date technology.
Astec's Double Barrel® XHR
"The largest reason we went with the new asphalt plant was that we needed more storage capability," stated Tim Phillips, president of P&S Paving. "We wanted to test the mix; know what we have in the silo before it's delivered to the roadway. Of course the technology has changed dramatically within the last 15 years and we wanted to take advantage of what's out there."
The new facility includes Astec's new Double Barrel® XHR, a high RAP Double Barrel® drum with an external mixer (also known as a pugmill system) at the end of the drum. The liquid AC is introduced in the pugmill. As the liquid AC is added, the RAP and virgin aggregate continue to mix to help reduce segregation.
"Segregation is becoming a real hot topic here with the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT)," Phillips explained, "so we really benefit from having an additional chance to mix it. This necessitates tighter controls on our cold feed bins, as well as calibration of our AC tank. Astec was able to provide that with this new equipment."
High Rap Capability
Meeting the needs of FDOT requires P&S Paving to remain on the ready with a high reserve of asphalt, which can sometimes be difficult in Florida's often erratic weather. "We've now gone to 1,200 tons (1,088 tonnes) of storage capability and can store asphalt up to four to five days," added Phillips. "Florida summers are notorious for rainfalls that can last for spurts of two or three days at a time, so the extra storage capacity was a definite plus for us."
The new Daytona asphalt plant will run up to 60 percent RAP (reclaimed asphalt pavement), which was an important feature for P&S Paving. In order to combat the high temperatures they encounter when running 60 percent recycled, the last half of the drum is all stainless steel, including the combustion flights.
P&S Paving currently provides about 400,000 tons (362,873 tonnes) annually out of this one facility, and Astec made sure they have enough capacity to meet that goal comfortably. Compared to the old P&S plant, Phillips expects higher production and higher capacity. "With specifications getting tighter all the time," he added, "we know we have the best available equipment in the industry. We have all the tools, so now it's just up to us to make good mix."
Phillips was also pleased that the new Daytona plant was ready-made to incorporate the latest in operations and control systems to better assist preventive maintenance. "After 20 years of operations," Phillips observed, "we know where the high-maintenance areas in a plant are, so it was important that we made them very accessible. We also placed 16 cameras throughout this plant."
"With eyes right there in the control house, it means that a couple of ground personnel are now free for something else," he explained. "In fact, the first time the plant fired up, we were able to use one of the cameras to identify where a belt was tracking off a recycle conveyor. This is something which a normal operator can't see inside the plant, but the cameras were able to spot it and allow us to address it immediately. With that catch, the cameras paid for themselves within the first five minutes of operation."
A True Partnership
Building an asphalt plant from concept to completion requires experience, flexibility, and trust. In Astec, P&S Paving found a true partner for the entire process, which Phillips explained: "Working with Astec was an incredibly pleasurable process. We flew up to Tennessee and, after spending just half a day with Don Brock, designed the plant, designed our stock pile areas, and moved our fractionating RAP system in conjunction with this new plant—so now we see all of this system as being of one piece. For our fractionating RAP system, we had it sandblasted and painted and, going forward, this is what we think you'll see more of across the industry. More and more plants will have a fractionating system along with their asphalt plant.
"When building a plant from the ground up, getting to meet face-to-face and discuss our options was huge. Don Brock was invaluable in helping us with the layout for all of this. He really is the ‘guru of asphalt,' and we couldn't have chosen anyone better to help us. He knew what we needed."
The plant shipped in October 2014 and was operational the first week of March 2015. P&S Paving is looking forward to a successful year.BACK TO ISSUE
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