It may be hard to believe but sand is becoming a commodity experiencing shortages globally. So much so that there is a burgeoning illegal trade on the rise across the world. The Caribbean has seen thieves stripping beaches, and India has a ‘sand mafia’ threatening locals in order to extract and transport sand. In an ever-expanding global economy, we can only expect the demand for sand to grow, a UN Environment Programme (UNEP) report states that sand and gravel account for up to 85% of everything mined globally each year.
The question therefore begs, ‘Why is there a shortage, when sand seems so plentiful?’ Unfortunately, desert sand is too smooth, and cannot be used for commercial purposes and the proximity of sand to construction sites is generally important due to its inexpensive nature and exorbitant transportation costs. Many countries have strict environmental regulations in place to curtail aggregates production as it can cause pollution, harm local biodiversity, and affect a coastlines capacity to diffuse stormy weather.
This problem would seem to present numerous challenges to the building, construction and infrastructure sectors, but there are however innovative and cost-effective alternatives.
Stefan Scherf, international sales manager at Pilot Crushtec, says that the TwisterTrac VS350E, designed and manufactured in South Africa, is a vertical shaft impact crusher that really delivers the goods in cases where sand production and shaped rock is a requirement.
“The crushing principle of the TwisterTrac VS350E uses rock on rock crushing principles, meaning that the resulting product is very cubical and not flaky, which increases its strength. The high energy of the TwisterTrac VS350E’s impact creates a massive rock on rock crushing force, which efficiently manufactures a copious amount of fines and sand. Just think of a particular case of road construction. You can move the machine onto a quarry near the site and manufacture your sand, thereby cutting down on transport costs. As the project progresses the unit can be moved to new quarry areas and keep pace with the rest of the construction.’’
The first TwisterTrac was launched in 2007 and has, over the past 13 years gone through a number of iterations, with Pilot Crushtec improving and tweaking the design as technology improved. “In 2013, due to industry demand and changing requirements, the bigger TwisterTrac VS350, which was hydraulically driven, was released. This was the precursor to the TwisterTrac VS350E which now uses electrical drives which realises a significant saving on power from previous units,” says Scherf.
Over the years the versatility of the machine has been tested and it has found its way into a wide variety of industry applications. “You will find our machines all over the place. From road and general construction, to mining and milling applications. Our biggest market most certainly lies in the construction industry where the shaping of aggregate and sand making remains in high demand. Where Pilot Crushtec specialises in is pre-milling applications where the TwisterTrac VS350E is the last crusher before the mill because it can get rocks down to a very small size. Most mills in the mineral extraction field need a very small feed-size which the TwisterTrac handles with ease.”
What differentiates the TwisterTrac VS350E is that it remains a very niche product. There are thousands of mobile jaw and cone crushers, and horizontal shaft impactors, in the market but the Vertical Shaft Impact crushers, VSI, have a far smaller footprint within the market which has allowed Pilot Crushtec to specialise in its production. “We are really able to concentrate on making the TwisterTrac VS350E, ‘best of breed’ in the industry. We pay attention to all the small details we are constantly tweaking and improving its operations, and we can form close relationships with our clients and ensure we cater to their needs. We have designed this machine from scratch to perform the desired tasks required by the industry. A number of other machines on the market are cobbled together from different units to perform the task. From the drawing board, we have designed this unit to be a mobile VSI and focus on the job at hand. Additionally, it is the only unit with direct electric drive which allows for far higher power utilisation than any other unit on the market. Coupled to this it has the biggest engine and generator when compared to similar products which means that it produces far more tonnage in less time.”
The TwisterTrac has most certainly proved its worth in the market and is being exported worldwide with clients in Europe, Australia, South America, and Africa. “Between the VS350 and VS350E there are currently some 17 units in Australia sold through our dealer, in Australia, with great prospects on the horizon due to the construction boom, especially in Victoria where we are dominating the market. We find that competitor machines are far more expensive and do not produce the same tonnages when put head to head.
So, whether it’s recycling glass or shaping perfectly cubical shaped aggregates, the TwisterTrac VS350E is the most dynamic, efficient and reliable VSI on the market. With years of experience and global appeal, this is a South African innovation from Pilot Crushtec which is shaping the future of sand production.
At a glance
- Low capital investment and maintenance costs
- Versatile – makes sand or aggregates
- Ability to handle a large range of feed materials, feed gradings and feed sizes
- High reduction ratios from 5:1 to 30:1 Ability to produce high quality “cubical”
- shaped particles
- VOLVO TAD1651GE, 16l diesel engine producing in excess of 400kW with engine monitoring and protection system
- 650KVA Leroy Somer Alternator
- Rapid, reliable and safe servicing
- Rotor options dependant on applications
- Heavy-duty cartridge type bearing housing
- Electrically controlled variable rotor speed
- Hydraulic lifting of crusher housing cover and feed lid with mechanised rotation
- Replaceable rock box or anvil ring
- Jib crane for rotor removal and replacement
- Taper shaft rotor mount
- Dust retention and re-circulating systems
- Adjustable feed tube
- Rubber-mount crushing chamber isolation
- Cascade bypass system for high tonnage applications
- VSI Crusher – SP09 six port modular rotor
- Engine Size – Volvo TAD1641GE 403kW
- Hopper Capacity – 6m3
- Machine weight – 36 000kg