Staker Parson Eliminates Disruptive Shutdowns by Modernizing Electrical Systems and Controls

Staker Parson has provided high-quality sand, rock, landscape products, ready-mixed concrete, and asphalt for the Utah construction industry and to contractors throughout Intermountain West since 1952. 

Point East is one of Staker Parson's top-producing gravel pits. With the boom in the Utah construction market, the pit was fully operational 24/7, preventing their facilities team from performing regular shutdowns for routine maintenance and repairs. As a result, at least once every week, and sometimes more often, the gravel pit would experience an unplanned shutdown, causing lost productivity. 

Several factors contributed to the unplanned shutdowns and electrical system failures. The control equipment was aging and required constant service and repair to keep it running. The existing electrical equipment was originally installed in an unprotected environment and was exposed to dust, making it vulnerable to breakdowns. There was no automated system to detect when the processing equipment's lower belts failed to operate. So, if a lower belt stopped working, the belts that fed it would continue to deliver aggregate until large rock piles accumulated. Solving the problem depended on someone noticing the pile of rock on the lower belt, manually shutting down the system, and then removing the rock. Frequently, it took hours to clear away the accumulated rock and restart the machinery. 

Staker Parson recognized the need to modernize their control and electrical equipment to prevent shutdowns, but high demand for Point East’s aggregate meant that the pit had to operate all year long, leaving little time to replace equipment.


Staker Parson contacted Hunt Electric's Industrial, Automation and Controls division to create and implement a cost-effective solution to replace and enhance the control and electrical systems and make them more robust, easier to manage, and resistant to expensive shutdowns. 

First, our team concentrated on resolving the mechanical control problems. Step one was rebuilding all of the wash plant's motor controls. We placed the electrical equipment in three separate, and fully insulated Conex boxes to create an enclosed, dust-free environment assuring longer equipment life and more reliable operation. 

We coordinated closely with Staker Parson's plant team to minimize delays in operations and complete all of the work on weekends and with mini shutdowns. This resulted in brief closures that lasted only five days for the crusher and only seven days for the wash plant. 

Hunt installed a programable logic controller (PLC) to operate all of the plant's equipment. We sequenced and interlocked all of the processes so that if one of the belts stopped working, the belts that fed it would automatically shut down without relying on employees to notice the problem and stop the system manually. 

The new PLC enhanced Staker Parson's ability to manage every process with fine precision, allowing them to shut down single pieces of equipment rather than the entire system when they perform a planned shutdown. We also installed a wireless camera system with seven cameras that enable Staker Parson to monitor all of the equipment anywhere in the plant from a single vantage point.  

Hunt's High Voltage Division enhanced the electrical system by replacing the pole-mounted transformers with pad-mounted transformers equipped with underground feeds to the processing equipment. This eliminated the risk of transformer damage from birds building nests in them and accidental strikes by construction equipment. This improvement secured the plant's power supply and made its production capacity more resilient. 


These improvements made the Point East processing plant more robust. They also made it easier for the plant operation team to anticipate and prevent unplanned and unexpected failures quickly and efficiently. Unplanned shutdowns caused by control and electrical problems were eliminated, falling from several per week to zero over the last several months. Eliminating work stoppages caused by equipment shutdowns greatly increased the plant's productivity and profitability. 

Staker Parson was grateful to have the right partner to modernize the plant's equipment and transform its performance. 

Maintaining your electrical and control systems is critical, but there’s never a perfect time to do the work. Hunt Electric’s expertise gives us the flexibility to repair and upgrade your equipment on a schedule that minimizes the impact on your operations. Find out how to get started today.