Once upon a time, determining how much of a given material—aggregate, recycled asphalt, sand for concrete products, and more—was needed for a given project involved a lot of time-consuming manual math. Similarly, keeping track of regular maintenance needs for your various crushing, screening, conveyor, and wash equipment meant careful record-keeping within paper logs that were easily lost or damaged.
Luckily—as with most other areas of modern life—online resources and downloadable smartphone apps have made many of the inconvenient tracking and calculating tasks associated with quarrying and aggregate or mineral processing so much simpler and more accurate.
While it’s true that many apps are proprietary to individual manufacturers at the moment, the rapid digitization of the aggregate industry across the board means more generally useful resources are coming online all the time.
Today’s post shares a few of our favorite currently available resources that you should definitely check out if you haven’t already.
Vulcan Materials Co. Free Product Calculator
First announced in Pit & Quarry magazine way back in late 2012, Vulcan’s construction aggregate calculator has been refined and made more readily available to more users in the years since. It is both online at Vulcan’s website and can be downloaded as an Android and iPhone/iPad app.
This helpful resource allows users to enter material properties like width, length, and thickness to determine needed quantities for a particular job. Users can also estimate a material’s density by choosing from preset geology and product factors.
PSU’s Dirt, Gravel, and Low Volume Road (DGLVR) Materials Calculator
While this calculator has a very specific purpose—determining how much material may be needed for low volume road improvement projects within our home state of Pennsylvania—it also has a “custom material” selection option that allows users to specify the density and compaction ratio of material not in the list. This makes the free web-based calculator a bit more generally useful.
Check it out on Penn State’s Center for Dirt and Gravel Road Studies’ website.
Schenck Process vibe2know™ App
Released in 2017, this app allows operators to learn vital information about the performance of any vibrating machine—most commonly screening equipment—in their circuit.
The app requires a unique mount that users can insert their phone into, which attaches directly to the machinery. (This mount is free from Schenck Process.) Once connected, operators can get at-a-glance insight into data points like vibration amplitude, oscillating angle, and operating speed that help them assess the overall “health” of their equipment.
The U.S. Mine Safety & Health Administration’s (MSHA) Updated Mine Data Retrieval System (MDRS)
If you have been in the aggregate mining and processing industry for any length of time, you’ve discovered how important compliance with government regulations has become. And navigating the Mine Safety & Health Administration’s compliance assistance calculators and other resources has been somewhat challenging for users.
Fortunately, the MSHA just finished a major overhaul of its databases and online resources to enhance user experience and make more info and tools readily available to operators. As Pit & Quarry just reported in June 2019, the new MDRS is an “exclusive gateway to real-time data, posted prominently on msha.gov and available at msha.gov/mine-data-retrieval-system.”
Keeping American mine workers healthy and safe is a government priority, but it’s also an industry imperative, of course. With MSHA making it easier for everyone to accomplish this goal, we all win.
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When you’re looking to “level up” your aggregate processing capabilities—or if you’re getting a new operation set up for the first time—our team of experts is ready to provide full-service support to help you maximize your output. Get in touch with us today to learn more.