Worsley Plant was established in 1996 as a contract crushing company that processes stone at rock face or demolition sites on a pay per ton basis. Its job is to crush stone and remove it. Any breakdowns and consequent downtime can be very expensive in terms of losses, and equipment costs.
In 2003, the company saw a need for smaller jobs, involving crushing buckets attached to excavators. For Worsley Plant, an integral part of the installation is making sure the excavator is set-up correctly for the bucket to do it’s work. If the excavator isn’t set properly, then the bucket won’t function to specification. As a result, since 2006, all sales include training and commissioning during which a Webtec portable flow tester is used to test the hydraulics.
In the last few years, excavators have become far more efficient and are geared toward carrying attachments, whereas five years ago an excavator was only an onsite digging tool. Now that it is more of a tool carrier, they come ready with hydraulic circuitry to control a wide range of rotating, vibrating or sorting attachments, and the pumps are more efficient.
The demand for flow from the excavator to the attachment has increased, so now there is a need to test not only the inlet flow, but also the outlet flow as the ‘regeneration’ on some attachments with 400-lpm in could result in
800-lpm out, for example. Hydraulic back pressure needs to be tested too, so you must not test just how much flow is coming in, but that the hydraulic system is efficient and can achieve the working pressures that are required for the bucket to operate correctly. The larger 800-lpm Webtec tester enables Worsley Plant to do this. At every installation Worsley sends out a service engineer with his flow meter, and the first thing they do when they arrive is to check the hydraulic flow rates.
To properly test the excavator, Worsley staff builds a relationship with the driver or operator. They must ensure the equipment is working correctly by adjusting the required hydraulic flow and pressures, then testing the backpressure prior to connecting the crushing bucket and demonstrating how to operate it.
Worsley Plant now flow tests in the region of 20 excavators a week. It sold around 150 attachments last year and with a hire fleet of 60 attachments (increasing this year to 75) they will have carried out over 1,000 flow tests. The hire business means they are installing between 10 to 15 buckets a week, as well as selling buckets. Since 2008 they have sold in the region of 600 crushing buckets. Testers from Webtec gives Worsley Plant the ability to fit and test large hydraulic attachments and make sure they function correctly every time.
Edited by Mike Santora