At Glasscock Co.’s Sumter County Sand, a new washing/classifying plant increases production and reduces work hours

Awash in New Equipment : At Glasscock Co.’s Sumter County Sand, a new washing/classifying plant increases production and reduces work hours

Chad A. Dorn

In Sumter, S.C., Glasscock Co. Inc.’s Sumter County Sand has been running its 15-year-old sand-processing plant 24 hours a day, seven days a week — for more than three years. Afraid of unscheduled downtime and having to turn away customers for the first time in company existence, owner Tom Glasscock Jr. needed to beef up production.

“Since we first started producing sand in 1980 we have never run out of sand for customers or ourselves,” says Glasscock. “We came close a couple times and that is as far as I ever want it to go.”

In order to reduce the original plant from its 24/7 work regime and to increase production, Glasscock turned to Eagle Iron Works (EIW). After numerous discussions, he ordered an entirely new plant from EIW in January of 1998.

New plant

A plan was put in place for erection of a 36-ft. x 10-ft. three-cell water-scalping/classifying tank, complete with rising current classifiers, 1-hp recirculating pump and Autospec Mark-V control; a 44-in. double-screw fine material washer; and a 36-in. single-screw fine material washer.

The 36-ft. x 10-ft. water scalping/classifying tank can overflow up to 2,600 gpm of slurry and retain needed fine particles. The 44-in. double-screw fine material washer has a maximum raking capacity of 350 tph and the 36-in. single-screw fine material washer has a maximum raking capacity of 100 tph.

The Autospec Mark-V computer controller is a state-of-the-art means of reblending sand. The computer is housed in an enclosed cabinet to protect it from the elements. A supervisor can sit in an office and watch as the computer controls the outlets on the EIW water scalping/classifying tank, opening and closing them for particular product needs.

At Sumter County Sand, the Autospec Mark-V computer controller automatically provides concrete sand from the number-one discharge of the tank while also providing a second stockpile of masonry sand out of the number-two discharge. Rejected material goes to the number three discharge, again controlled by the Autospec Mark-V computer controller. And if you care to change products, a simple push of the button provides you immediately with different products. The computer also provides a permanent record of production.

At the time of order, the land where the new plant sits was the site of an old asphalt plant. Glasscock went in, took the property to ground zero, recycled all that was left from the asphalt plant and started grading the land for the new EIW equipment.

“We got the equipment from Eagle Iron Works in May,” says Glasscock. “We started erecting it then with our in-house people. We had a subcontractor do all the footings and walls and an electrical company did all our electrical work. Besides that we installed everything, including the plumbing,” he says. “We even shop-made the transfer conveyor and the 30-ft. stacker.”

The work was completed in early September 1998 and the plant went online shortly after.

“The old plant was just a single 44-in. screw while this one is a double 44-in. screw,” says Glasscock. “With the luxury of the new plant we only have to run half as much as we used to so we can save on labor and build the stockpiles to always have a bit in reserve. With the reduced labor through the use of this plant, we expect to reduce the cost of producing our sand by 25-35 cents a ton,” adds Glasscock. “We even still run our old plant, just to keep it running as good as it does in case we need it down the road.”

Sumter County Sand’s old plant consisted of a 28-ft. x 10-ft. water scalping-classifying tank with Dialsplit Control, a 44-in. single-screw fine material washer and a 36-in. single screw fine material washer.

Today Sumter County Sand sells approximately 600,000 tpy of sand and even with its great diversification in businesses (see sidebar), sand sales account for approximately 28-30 percent of Glasscock Co.’s business (between $15 and $16 million per year).

Production process

The production process starts at a pond where a Caterpillar 330 excavator digs material at the face from a bench above the level of digging. As each level is completed, a new bench is created below it so the excavator can dig even further down. For hauling, the company uses a portion of its Triangle dump truck fleet to transport material to the plant. At the plant the material is stockpiled and loaded into the surge bin by Caterpillar wheel loaders. From there it feeds into the EIW equipment and is finally stockpiled for customer loading.

“Customers are statewide, but Columbia, 33 miles away, is the main market,” says Glasscock. “We have five concrete plants in Columbia and about 19 points of delivery,” he says.

The Sumter County site has been mined since 1980 and incorporates 500 acres of land. Remaining reserves are approximately 22 years at current market levels.

“It really all started in the spring of 1979,” says Glasscock. “At the time we were strictly a trucking business but we were looking for fill dirt to do a mall project. We needed half-a-million cu. yd. of fill. In the process of mining that dirt, we came across the sand. It was about 13 ft. beneath the fill material and runs for about 40 ft. below that. At that time we put some equipment together and that is how we came about being in the sand business,” says Glasscock.

As mining continues, Glasscock’s reclamation plan involves sloping all the walls back to 3:1. When all is said and done, all walls will be graded and the pond will be left in place.

Editor’s Note: Special thanks to Jaime Glasscock, vice president Glasscock Co. Inc. for all his assistance at the site.

RELATED ARTICLE: Vertical integration

Glasscock Co. Inc. consists of four interlocking companies — Glasscock Co. Inc., Sumter County Sand, Glasscock Ready Mix Concrete and Sumter County Recycling.

* Glasscock Co. Inc. transports rock, sand, gravel, topsoil, sand clay and sand clay fill material. It offers a variety of services from one location, including a trucking fleet of tractor-trailer dumps (80,000 gvw) and two-axle dumps (70,000 gvw), all equipped with Motorola two-way radios. The company is equipped to transport dry bulk commodities in pneumatic tanks and commodities conducive to loading on flat-bed trailers. Also made available to customers through this company are front-end loaders, bulldozers, hydraulic excavators and other heavy equipment, for rent by the hour, day, week or month.

Glasscock Co. Inc. is a member of Carolina Ready Mix Concrete Association, and the Carolina Branch of Associated General Contractors of America. It is also listed under the South Carolina Public Service Commission, the Interstate Commerce Commission and holds permits from DHEC (Department of Health and Environmental Control) and the Environmental Protection Agency for transporting waste materials.

* Sumter County Sand is a division of Glasscock Co. Inc. and is located nine miles west of Sumter, across from Shaw AFB. Sumter County Sand mines topsoil, sand clay base (ETBC) and sand clay fill material. The company’s process sand is approved by the South Carolina Department of Transportation and is on their list of fine aggregates. Products include FA #10 concrete sand, ASTM C-33 concrete sand, ASTM C-144 masonry sand and FA #13 coarse sand.

* Glasscock Ready Mix Concrete serves the Sumter County area with three concrete plant locations. The staff, says Glasscock, is readily available to assist customers with any ready mix concrete needs or supply any necessary mix data. The plant and trucks are approved by the South Carolina Department of Transportation.

* Sumter County Recycling is another division of Glasscock Co. Inc. and recycles both concrete and asphalt material. The recycled concrete is approved by the South Carolina Department of Transportation for both Type 1 and Type 2 SABC material. In addition to the four interlocking companies of Glasscock Co. Inc., two separate companies are also operated on the land. These companies include Jackson Enterprises of Sumter Inc. and G&K Tank Services Inc.

* Jackson Enterprises of Sumter is a South-Carolina-based company with more than 20 years of experience in waste transportation and environmental cleaning services. The company specializes in the hard-to-do jobs. High-volume vacuum tanker trucks allow the company to pump and clean just about any tank, vat, sump or hole that holds liquid or sludge.

Completed jobs include: oil/water separators; fuel/oil interceptors; floor receptacles; sewer plants; digestors/clarifiers; lagoons; confined space entry; underground storage tanks; above-ground storage tanks; sludge tanks; waste pumped and drummed; landfill leachate; soil remediation facilities; emergency tanker cleaning; transport tanker cleaning; in-house trench cleaning; miscellaneous tanks and vats; and grease traps.

* Jackson Enterprises of Sumter is fully insured and is licensed by all required agencies. Personnel are trained to all 29, 40 and 49 CFR requirements. Besides being licensed, the company also has ICC authority to operate within North and South Carolina and Georgia.

* The second of the two separate entities operated by Glasscock is G & K Tank Services Inc. This company was formed in 1990 to serve the petroleum market in the Carolinas, Georgia and Alabama.

The company disposes of contaminated water and soil at its Sumter site or any location of the customer’s choice. From the remediation of a long-term problem, to the cleanup of a small surface spill, G&K Tank Services can take care of it. All phases of the project are fully documented and a complete paper trail created to meet all local and EPA requirements. All employees are 40 hour OSHA trained.

The facility is state of the art. It features a 26,000-sq.-ft. lined soil storage area of which 5,000 sq. ft. is sheltered. Run-off is captured in a pit and pumped into storage tanks for treatment through an air stripper. G&K is a SCDHEC permitted facility to treat virgin petroleum contaminated soil and water.

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