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Why Daily Reports Are Important to Manage Your Asphalt Plant

Record keeping. We all hate the task but it's important in a well run business. Without it we wouldn't be able to track expenses or payroll or our most important asset: profits.

Daily asphalt plant reports provide information not always readily available to management, like fuel consumption, oil percentages and plant 'idle' time. They also provide an inventory record of oil and fuel in case the plant operator isn't available to ask.

A plant report is also a powerful tool to the alert operator. It can indicate problems with the burner or with the asphalt oil delivery system. For example: In July, a drum plant produced 2,970 tons of hot mix. In doing so it burned 4,455 gallons of diesel for a rate of 1.5 gallons per ton.

Cold feed samples indicate a moisture content of 5.4%. The fuel rate seems high to the operator, so he goes back through his plant reports to May when he first fired the plant after its winter maintenance regimen. One day in early May, he produced 2,125 tons of hot mix, burning 2,550 gallons of fuel for a yield of 1.2 gallons per ton.

A glance at the report indicates cold feed moisture was 5.9%. It's now obvious to the operator that something has changed and he needs to look into it. A check of fuel filters on the burner reveals a partially plugged filter which caused a drop in fuel pressure resulting in a higher burner setting to yield the same amount of heat, thus higher fuel consumption. The plugging happened so gradually that the operator never noticed the progressively higher settings he was using on the burner controls.

Without the plant reports to reference, he might have soldiered onward, blissfully unaware that he was wasting .3 tenths of a gallon of burner fuel per ton. At $2.70 per gallon that equals $.57 per ton wasted. That's a total of $1,453.50 for the day.
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