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Quarry Academy Provided Useful Productivity Knowledge

The 2012 Sandvik / Dyno Nobel Quarry Academy was held in San Antonio, Texas on November 13 through 15, and drew nearly 100 participants. The Quarry Academy was developed seven years ago to provide information concerning improving the total value chain in quarry operations. Sandvik / Dyno Nobel operations continues to focus on working with quarrying companies to provide knowledge, including knowing the right products and equipment for each application, and the features that provide the highest levels of productivity with the lowest operating cost.

The latest Quarry Academy was held at both the Omni La Mansion del Rio Hotel and at Martin Marietta’s Beckman quarry. Participants were from global companies, large scale and smaller quarrying operations, and distributors and sales professionals. Sandvik Construction and Dyno Nobel specialists conducted the program, along with guest speakers from Volvo, Friedman and South West Research. All topics were guided by the principle – “improving processes, instilling expertise.”

The Quarry Academy program had two sections, with an initial lecture examining the concept of the quarrying processes. The itinerary included lean processes, drilling, blasting, fines and boulder management, load and haul, fleet and transportation issues, crushing and screening, the quarrying process, quarry management and unit operation efficiency. The second component of the program consists of in-depth workshop sessions where the faculty experts discuss specific process improvements in smaller, highly interactive groups. During the site visit at Martin Marietta’s Beckman quarry, product demonstrations and explanations were given to the attendees.

Former astronaut Mike Mullane shared his insights, specifically with regard to operational safety. Mullane’s “Countdown to Safety” presentation delivered a powerful message centered on the individual’s role in keeping himself and his teams safe in hazardous environments. The talk set the focus for the final day of the program, and provided the audience with a unique perspective on both space travel and safe operations.

The Quarry Academy was successful because besides addressing critical processes within the quarry environment, it provided focus on the relationship between processes, how they systematically interact with one another, and how the processes may be linked in order to achieve overall operational improvement.

Sandvik is a global industrial group with products and positions in a number of areas, including tools for metal cutting, equipment and tools for the mining and construction industries. Dyno Nobel is a provider of explosive products and services.

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