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Wednesday, September 30, 2015

10 Good Reasons Not to Build Your Own Spray System for Dust Control

10 Good Reasons Not to Build Your Own Spray System

I have often fantasized about running an ad that read, "Here's the cheap hunk of junk spray system you always wanted".  Why, because the last thing in the world most plants want to spend their money on is dust control.  I've had a plant manager rip up my literature and a quarry owner ­­storm out a meeting because of their anger and frustration over regulation that requires them to protect the environment. Our biggest competitor at NESCO is the plant that decides to build and install their own spray system.  I've seen a few that are well-designed, but hundreds that aren't. 

If NESCO built that cheap spray system, we would've been out of business years ago.  Why?  Because when that system didn't control your dust, got your stone too wet and broke down all the time you wouldn't remember that's the system you wanted but only that I was the guy that sold it to you.

Thankfully, there are plenty of mines and quarries that see the value in quality equipment that is designed to last in an abusive mining environment. 

But, if you're still thinking about building your own system, think twice.  Here are 10 good reasons not to do it:

1.  If you do it right, you won't save any money.  If you build a well-designed, high pressure spray system you won't save any money compared to commercial system.  NESCO builds systems with quality components designed to withstand an abusive mining environment.  If you use the same components and figure in all the labor that went in to sourcing the components, purchasing the materials,  constructing the pump module and installing system, the savings just aren't there.

2. If you do it wrong, it'll cost you production.  If you build a cheap, low pressure system you'll save money compared to a commercial system but you'll pay for it in lost production.  For lack of pressure and adequate controls, they add so much water that they blind screens, cause belt carryback and throw products out of spec.  Shutting a 500 tph plant down for an hour or two to clean screens could cost you $1000 to $2500 a day!  That will  wipe out the savings in your do-it-yourself spray system in a few weeks.

3. Whose going to build it?  Most plants these days barely have enough manpower to keep production equipment operating and don't have the manpower to spare to design, build and install a spray system. 

4. Whose going to fix it?  When your DIY system breaks down - and it will - there's no manual, there's no spare parts list, there's no replacement parts in inventory.  The odds are the employee who got stuck designing and building the system has moved on and no one knows where to go for parts or service.

5.  It is rocket science.  I've been listening to people tell me for 30 years that building a spray system isn't rocket science.  Well, guess what - designing and installing a spray system that will knock down the dust and won't screw up production is just as much rocket science as designing and installing a crusher or any other piece of production equipment.  It doesn't take any talent to dump enough water on the stone to kill the dust.  Making sure you've got the right nozzles in the right spot at the right pressure with the right kind of controls that won't cost production does.   

6.  There's no guarantee it will get you into compliance.  If you're building a new plant, you've got 180 days after the plant achieves full production to pass a visible emissions (VE) test.  What if your system doesn't pass that test?  What are you going to do then - just dump more water onto the stone?  You'll pass the test but you won't sell those off-spec products.  NESCO guarantees compliance by offering an Emissions Control Warranty with every DustPro System.

7. Make dust control our problem - not yours.  Who gets the blame if your DIY system turns out to be a disaster that gets the rock so wet that you can't screen it or make spec products?  You do.  If we screw up, it's on us. 

8. Regulators don't trust you.  They'd rather see a commercial system installed by experts.

9.  You've got better things to do.  Time spent on designing and building a spray system is time lost on projects that improve production.

10. Support small business - when you imitate, we can't innovate.  Companies like NESCO that­­­ sell dust control aren't General Motors.  We are all small or even, micro, business that sell into a niche market.  Mining companies intent upon driving costs down at the expense of small businesses dry innovation up.

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