QPA environmental innovation award
Hanson Aggregates' Clee Hill Quarry near Ludlow, in Shropshire, has won an environmental innovation award from the Quarry Products Association for a device known as the Clee Hill Clamp. Designed and built by employees at the quarry, the remote-controlled device greatly reduces dust and slurry emissions during lorry loading.
Unit manager Dave Stockwell explained: 'When loading, aggregate is transferred by conveyor and dropped down a flexible rubber chute into the back of the lorry. Although the chute extends into the body of the vehicle and is extremely effective in preventing any dust escaping, lorries would still emerge from the loading station with their cabs and windscreens covered in dust and slurry. The problem was that the chute brushed the top of the cabs, causing windscreens, flashing beacons, aerials and vertical exhausts to get dirty as the lorries entered the one-way loading station.'
Clee Hill's ingenious solution comprises a small electric linear actuator connected to a simple hinged frame. When a lorry is about to enter the loading station, the arm automatically clamps the chute out of the way and when the lorry is in place for loading, it is lowered back down again.
'It's simple but effective,' said Mr Stockwell. 'Our team worked together to find the solution. They then built and fitted the device using a redundant actuator, all for the cost of about £500.'
The QPA says it hopes the ingenuity shown in developing the Clee Hill Clamp will be an example to many other sites throughout the UK and possibly beyond.