Verdés enjoys tremendous success in North America – an overview

In 1984, Verdés took its first steps in the North American market with the installation of a clay preparation line in Selma, Alabama. Prior to that, Verdés had supplied only a few scattered primary crushers and roller mills to Boral plants in Marshall/Texas, Gleason/Tennessee, and Phenix City/Alabama. Most of these early crushers are still in operation some 35 years later, many of which have been relocated throughout the years.

Henry Brick in Selma

Henry Brick in Selma was the first major project awarded to the Spanish company. The grinding process comprised a primary crusher, disintegrator, and roller mills. Verdés also supplied several box feeders and a double-shaft mixer (model 046C). Still in operation today, the line was extended with several additional model 029E box feeders. The first feeder was installed in 2000 followed by a second identical unit in 2004, installed parallel, to duplicate the storage buffer capacity. The hoppers above these feeders measure 10 m long and 2 m wide, with a capacity of around 450 t ground material.

Brampton Brick and Glen Gery Brick

Additionally, in the late 1980s Verdés supplied equipment through the former Agemac Company, to Brampton Brick in Ontario/Canada and to Glen Gery Brick in Iberia/Ohio. Both these plants were greenfield turnkey projects. To this day, the Glen Gery plant still combines production of moulded and extruded bricks. Among several machines delivered there, the original Verdés model 059D5 Monobloc de-airing extruder is still in operation.

Cooperation with Meco

Another milestone in Verdés’ history was the sales agency agreement reached with Meco (The Manufacturers Equipment Co) in 2001 to represent Verdés in the US and Canada.

The market presence and reputation of Meco in the brick industry were crucial to gain new projects, the first being for Boral Brick in Union City. Boral trusted the quality of Verdés and the engineering expertise of Meco to install one 16-m-long reclaimer designed to automatically deliver ground material from the storage facility. Verdés had made a presentation during the 2004 Clemson Brick Forum on the handling of stockpiles and storage facilities. This first reclaimer was installed in 2005 in Union City.

Preparation line for Bowerston Shale Co.

Shortly thereafter, in 2006, Meco was awarded a greenfield preparation line project at Bowerston Shale Co., which is located in Bowerston, Ohio, in 2006. Verdés supplied a combination of metal slat apron feeders and rubber belt feeders, each 1.5 m wide x 5 m long. The equipment was delivered in 2006 with engineering, erection, and installation by Meco.

One Verdés 028P primary feeder discharges 40 t/h raw clay and shale to the primary crusher. The Verdés primary hopper is filled by direct dump from quarry trucks with mined clay and shale sized 24 inches (approx. 60 cm) and smaller.

In the preparation line, two Verdés model 028-P/5 m metal slat apron feeders with hoppers dose primary crushed clay and shale to screening and secondary crushing. One feeder is dedicated to shale storage, the other to clay. The four sheet storage hoppers are filled by a reversible conveyor with 4” minus (10 cm) clay or shale.

Two fine material model 028-BPD/5 m rubber belt feeders provide 40 t/h secondary crushed clay and shale to production. One feeder is dedicated to shale storage, the other to clay. The four sheet storage hoppers are filled with 10 mesh product as a buffer supply to the pug mill.

Ron Hartline, Plant Superintendent at Bowerston Shale, had this to say: “Verdés produces reliable and well-constructed equipment. The low maintenance and operational cost add to the overall quality and value of their products.”

U.S. Tile and Ladrillera Santa Clara

Additionally, in 2006 Verdés received an order from U.S. Tile for several machines for its lab facilities. These included one unit each hammer mill 030, roller mill 080, batch mixer 040 and one unit 050C de-airing extruder.

In 2007 Ladrillera Santa Clara (Nuevo León) entrusted Verdés with the supply of grinding and storage equipment to its new plant near Monterrey/Mexico. An 18.30-m-long reclaimer automatically controls a 130-m-long storage/souring room designed to hold more than two weeks of production. Verdés also supplied a model 046S double-shaft mixer, which is among the largest ever built in the world. It is capable of delivering as much as 200 t/h.

Boral Brick in Terre Haute

Verdés’ largest project in North America was Boral Brick’s new plant in Terre Haute, Indiana.

A couple of visits to Spain convinced the Boral technical team that Verdés had both the technological expertise and machine durability that they were looking for in their preparation plant. The first machine order was placed in 2007 which was specific to different sections of this new project.

Primary crushing is housed in a separate area, external to the main building. The process begins at a Verdés metal slat apron feeder receiving raw material from dump trucks as large as 60 cm (approximately 24 in). From the feeder, material is conveyed to a model 118DTE primary crusher, ensuring that 100 % of the material size is below 80 mm before it is transferred to the grinding station.

The main building houses concrete bunkers where the different pre-crushed materials are stored. A front-end loader supplies three Verdés model 028BPD6 rubber belt feeders, each 1.5 m wide and 6 m long. Feeders are driven by frequency inverters to accurately dose and blend onto a single conveyor transferring the preset proportion of each clay to the grinding plant.

Once crushed and screened, the material is conveyed to a model 046C double-shaft mixer, where water is added and blending is performed to obtain a consistent final recipe. A key feature of the Verdés double-shaft mixer is the aligned “knife to knife” effect. The pressure created between mixer knives, with each side rotating toward the other, increases the cohesion of the mix, resulting in better homogenization of the material. From the double-shaft mixer, the final blend is delivered to the storage room on a travelling shuttle conveyor.

The storage room is divided into three concrete bunkers holding different recipes. A PLC located in the reclaimer control board automatically programs the machine to move into the correct location and position on the pile. The reclaimer automatically starts and stops, controlled by an electric signal received from the buffer feeder located in the shaping area. The reclaimer is driven by frequency inverters controlling the speed of the bucket chain pulling material from the storage pile, as well as the travelling speed working laterally along the pile or from one bunker to another.

Future prospects

Although the economic downturn that began in 2008 in the US brick industry slowed the progress of new machine sales, Verdés along with its sales agent Meco have continued to supply customers with new equipment and parts from Spain and consignment stock in Ohio. Verdés and Meco enjoy a rock-solid reputation in the US brick industry, with each company well positioned to once again support new projects and revamp existing dated grinding operations.

Verdés machines are rugged, heavy-duty, and built to last, with 40 years in the market to prove it. Information on the newly designed series of extruders, mixers, crushers, and feeders can be found at www.verdes.com or www.mecoservices.com.

Talleres Felipe Verdés, S.A.
www.verdes.com