Making the grade


Courtesy of CDEnviro

Whitemoss are leading suppliers of specialist sports sands for applications ranging from the equestrian market to their mainstay of prominent golf clubs. Consistency is perhaps the most important element within this market sector where customers demand that the highest specifications be regularly met. To this end Whitemoss test all sands on an hourly basis during production. Root zone and top dressing are batch tested daily and random samples are regularly sent to independent laboratories.

Consistency, however, is not the only measure of specialist sand; the correct specification is crucial and golf sands offer little room for error. For example ‘Greens 1 USGA Top Dressing’ shows 22% retained at 0.5mm, 58.5% at 0.25mm and 16% at 0.15mm. Minus 0.063mm clay/silt must be negligible. Whitemoss’ attention to detail in this respect has been rewarded with repeat contracts from notable customers; Celtic Manor Resort, host to the 2010 Ryder Cup, has been a customer for over 10 years. As Celtic Manor’s golf operations manager Jim McKenzie commented: ‘This partnership is primarily thanks to the consistent and dependable product offered.’

To maintain this level of customer satisfaction while increasing production, Whitemoss decided to invest in a new washing plant for their main production facility near Crewe. The plant would have to achieve tight output requirements for their complete range of sand products. Early discussions noted CDE as favoured suppliers owing to their significant background in specialist plant design, particularly relating to sports and slowfiltration sands. A long consultation period was then initiated with CDE fully investigating Whitemoss’ requirements, ultimately leading to a 100 tonnes/h (sand output) installation.

This unique CDE system offers precise sand grades via full PLC control. The operator simply chooses the required specification from a preprogrammed selection and the plant automatically adjusts the output within minutes, changing the pinch valve timings and cyclone diversions as required. While this may sound complex the system is actually surprisingly compact and efficient. Pipework and valves are kept to a minimum while extensive use of hotvulcanized rubber linings helps to reduce wear. There are very few moving parts within the system and nothing is required to operate while submerged. In addition, all elements are highly modular to facilitate inspection and maintenance. This approach also allows units to be easily modified or changed in the long term should the feed or output requirements change dramatically.

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