Heyl & Patterson Blog

Unit Train Positioning Systems for Faster Unloading

Posted by David Phillips on Wed, May 27, 2015 @ 09:00 AM

The railcars in a unit train all carry the same commodity, originate from the same location and travel to the same destination. High-volume bulk materials such as coal, coke, iron ore and aggregates are typically transported this way, as well as bulk liquids like ethanol, crude oil and condensate.  All the railcars tend to be nearly identical, inside and out.  Unit trains save time and money for a railroad, and eliminates any delays and confusion associated with assembling and disassembling the trains at railyards at both ends of the operation.  This type of service enables railroads to more effectively compete with truck transportation and river barges.

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Tags: railcar movers, side arm chargers, train positioners

Pittsburgh-Area Politicians Visit Heyl & Patterson to Discuss Energy

Posted by David Phillips on Wed, May 20, 2015 @ 09:56 AM


Heyl & Patterson played host to Congressman Tim Murphy (PA-18) and Carnegie, PA Mayor Jack Kobistek on Friday, May 8.  They sat down with company president John Edelman and vice presidents Linda Wienand and Len Walnoha to discuss community involvement and the state of the energy and manufacturing industries, following a tour of the company's offices.  As a business in the energy industry, Heyl & Patterson is seen as an important player in Pittsburgh and the local region.

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Tags: Heyl & Patterson, company history

Heyl & Patterson to Present Frac Sand Drying at Oilfield Mineral Forum

Posted by David Phillips on Wed, May 13, 2015 @ 09:00 AM

Heyl & Patterson Inc., a world leader in bulk material handling and thermal processing systems, will present “Fluid Bed and Rotary Dryers for Frac Sand” at the 2015 Oilfield Minerals & Markets Forum on Thursday, May 28 at 4:30 PM CST at The Houstonian Hotel in Houston, TX.  The conference covers global shale gas development, utilization and outlook, and will be held on May 27-29.

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Tags: Heyl & Patterson, trade shows & conferences, rotary dryers, fluid bed dryers, frac sand, fluidized bed

PET Processing by Calcination

Posted by David Phillips on Wed, May 06, 2015 @ 09:00 AM

PET flakes are the ground and processed material made from recycled water bottles and other items manufactured from polyethylene terephthalate (PET).  This plastic is semi-pourous and has a tendency to absorb molecules of the liquid or food substance it had been in contact with.  Also known by its brand name of Dacron, it is widely used as food and beverage containers, polyester fabric and clothing, as well as other applications for synthetic fiber.  Depending on past thermal history and processing means, polyethylene terephthalate can either exist as a transparent or semi-crystaline polymer resin.

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Tags: process equipment, calciners, PET flakes

Coal Ash Drying and Beneficial Reuse

Posted by David Phillips on Wed, Apr 29, 2015 @ 09:34 AM

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the two largest beneficial uses of encapsulated coal combustion residuals (CCR) -- commonly known as coal ash -- are as substitutes for portland cement in concrete, and for gypsum in wallboard.  The EPA concluded that these uses of coal ash are most appropriate because they are comparable to the original materials, or below the agency’s health and environmental benchmarks.  Concrete and wallboard account for nearly half of the total amount of coal ash that is reused.  The extraction of raw minerals consumes energy, impacts the environment, limits the availability of natural resources and has a detrimental effect on water resources. The recycling and reuse of waste materials helps decrease these unfortunate impacts.

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Tags: industrial dryers, rotary dryers, fluid bed dryers, calciners, coal ash, tailing ponds, fluidized bed

Fluid Bed Dryer Fundamentals

Posted by David Phillips on Wed, Apr 22, 2015 @ 09:00 AM

The ancient Greek mathematician Archimedes is best known for inventing a screw pump mechanism to transfer low-lying water into irrigation ditches.  He also developed the scientific rule in which a body immersed in a fluid experiences a buoyant force equal to the weight of the fluid it displaces.  Archimedes' Principle basically means that objects will either float or sink in a fluid depending upon their density, and is considered one of the fundamental laws of physics.  This is one of the ideas behind the functionality of fluid bed dryers.  In fluidized bed systems, air or another gas streams upward through a bed of bulk material, lifting the material and causing the particles to float and behave like a fluid.  Archimedes may have been one of the most brilliant scientists in classical antiquity, but he likely never imagined how his principle would be applied toward industrial drying equipment.

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Tags: industrial dryers, process equipment, bulk material handling equipment, fluid bed dryers, fluidized bed

Why Upgrade Existing Bulk Material Handling Equipment?

Posted by David Phillips on Tue, Apr 14, 2015 @ 09:04 AM

An all-too-painful truth is that bulk material handling equipment breaks down over time, and whenever it occurs, it's almost always costly.  The most common problems that lead to breakdowns are actually quite preventable.  They include improper maintenance, overrunning a machine's capability, not replacing worn parts, poor electrical connections, and even operation by untrained personnel or not consulting the operator manual.  Almost all mean that someone has ignored the warning signs of an impending stoppage.  These problems account for most of the breakdowns seen in the field, and all are avoidable by taking some simple precautions.

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Tags: trade shows & conferences, bulk material handling equipment, power generation, upgrades

Torrefaction Equipment Converts Wood Biomass into Biocoal

Posted by David Phillips on Wed, Apr 08, 2015 @ 09:40 AM

Biomass co-firing is the burning of fossil fuels in coal-fired power plants in conjunction with forestry and agriculture residues, animal manure, wood wastes, such as sawdust or bark from the timber industry, waste wood and dedicated energy crops. Co-firing increases the amount of renewable biomass in the global energy mix and also reduces greenhouse gas emissions. The technologies include biomass that is jointly milled with coal and fed into the same boiler, biomass that is converted into a fuel gas and then burned with coal in the same boiler, and biomass in a separate boiler that supplies steam to a coal cycle.

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Tags: trade shows & conferences, torrefaction equipment, wood torrefaction, biomass dryers, biomass blending, calciners, biomass, wood chips

Heyl & Patterson Develops Equipment for Asteroid Mining

Posted by David Phillips on Wed, Apr 01, 2015 @ 09:00 AM

There is a wealth of raw minerals above our heads, in the form of near-Earth asteroids and our own Moon. Iron ore, nickel, manganese, titanium and other minerals can be mined and processed on-site and then transported back to Earth, or used in space as construction materials. A number of high-tech tycoons, including Google founder Larry Page and Hollywood director James Cameron, plan to be the first prospectors in this new frontier by establishing a new paradigm for resource implementation.

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Tags: Heyl & Patterson, process equipment, bulk material handling equipment, asteroid mining

Unloading Wood Chips for the Production of Paper Pulp

Posted by David Phillips on Wed, Mar 25, 2015 @ 09:48 AM

Even in today's "paperless" world, there continues to be a huge demand for paper.  Paper is made from wood pulp, which is also used to manufacture a wide variety of products from diapers to particle board to textiles. The pulp itself is the cellulose, lignin and hemicellulose components of wood fibers, which are separated from one another through steaming, cooking or mechanical grinding processes.  Most pulp is made from a mixture of sawmill residue, logs, wood chips and recycled paper, and it is interesting to note that practically all of the fibers that end up as pulp originally existed as trees.

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Tags: bulk material handling equipment, rotary railcar dumpers, railcar dumper unloaders, wagon tipplers, biomass, pulp & paper, wood chips