When Swiss precision chooses Italian reliability

Top Tower 3000 – Bourgeoisie de Sion

Bourgeoisie de Sion is a name which can be traced to an ancient document as far back in history as 1179. And even now, despite the various vicissitudes throughout the ages, it is still an important protagonist in the public life of the City of Sion.
Swisse flagSo Bourgeoisie de Sion can claim an ancient, solid
heritage, just like the relationship between S.E.P. (Société d’Enrobés et Pose), in which Bourgeoisie de Sion plays an integral part, and the Marini company in Alfonsine.
S.E.P. is a company of 6 partners, in which Bourgeoisie de Sion covers the administrative sector and provides the commerical management.
With a production output of more than 70,000 t/annum, this Swiss company from the Valais canton has chosen the Italian name of Marini for the last three generations of their asphalt plants.
The first Marini plant, an M95 producing 100 t/h,was purchased by S.E.P. in 1975. It was subsequently replaced by a more up-to-date MAP 175 plant in 1994. “Marini has never failed to satisfy us and we have never felt alone in the management of our plants” – says Antoine DE LAVALLAZ, President of Bourgeoisie de Sion – “and so when the time came to choose a new plant Marini was a natural choice”.

Marini has never failed to satisfy us and we have never felt alone in the management of our plants and so when the time came to choose a new plant Marini was a natural choice

President of Bourgeoisie de Sion

At the time of its installation, MAP 175 was considered a state-ot-the-art plant, producing 175 tph, with ten 3/11 cold feeders, a Marini E190 dryer fitted with burner (both for gas and diesel), a potentiated filter and a 4-hopper bin under the mixer. To complete the site and ensure the reliability of asphalt production, a 240,000 litre bitumen storage area was created consisting of 4 vertical tanks heated with hot oil.

Cared for like a jewel, with maintence operations performed with Swiss precision to Italian specifications, over the years however the plant began to show signs of aging. With good forward-planning, Bourgeoisie de Sion decided that the moment had come to consider the issues of energy savings, the environmental footprint, special production asphalts, high RAP percentages and invest in a new, state-of-the-art plant.
The site however presented some complexities. The overall ground area occupied by the plant could not be increased and, being next to an airport, neither could the height be raised. The plant needed to comply with the most stringent Swiss laws on emissions. And other factors that could not be ignored were to reduce the cost of production to make the plant more competitive on the market, and to provide a solution to the constant increases in the cost of energy.

Recycling under the banner of efficiency

It is well known by all companies in the asphalt business that in the future the percentages of RAP will undoutedly rise at an increasing rate. An ‘environmental conscience’ which favours recycling and reduction of waste has developed at a similar pace in both the population at large and in the business sector. And, over and above ethical and ecological issues, the use of recycled asphalt pavement or RAP is a great opportunity to increase the competitivity of businesses. Various solutions are available on the market and each company offers its own technological solutions. But not all
requirements are the same, and it is important to turn to competent producers with considerable experience who are capable of arriving at the correct solution to fit the need. Marini has been working with these issues for the past thirty years. The recycling ring was one of the patents that have contributed to the success of this company from Alfonsine. And Marini’s great experience with recycling was one of the reasons which convinced Bourgeoisie de Sion to consider the purchase of their Marini Top Tower 3000 – a new generation plant which offers high percentages of RAP usage, with a relatively small initial investment.
The solution chosen was a combination of the feed line to the ring with the cold recycling feed line to the mixer. This solution is capable of producing formulas with up to 45% RAP content, guaranteeing maximum operational flexibility together with rapid return on the investment, without precluding the possibility of installing, at a later date, a double drum to use higher RAP percentages, should high performance production output be required in the future.

Marini performance cuts running costs

Ever since power costs have been one of the most important items in the customer’s budget, Marini has been designing its plants with increasing attention to the question of energy savings. This is effectively demonstrated by the innovative filtering tower, with the bag filter located above the dryer drum, which has the advantages of a drastic reduction in the augers at ground level and a reduction in the site space required, plus optimization of the fumes ducts and the need for insulation. In fact, when compared to traditional contexts, the gas circuit is direct, shorter and completely insulated. Over a twenty-year work cycle of an asphalt plant, fuel costs begin to exceed the cost of the plant itself. So fuel consumption, from all points of view, is a fundamental issue when managing a site. And choosing a supplier like Marini, which installs burner and components in compliance with European standards for keeping emissions within the increasingly stringent environmental regulations, is an absolute must. In the same way, Marini pays great attention to the reduction of electric energy too: all the main motors are fitted with invertors to limit peaking and drastically reduce overall plant consumption.

Respect for the environment increases competitivity

During negotiations, one of the issues that the techincal team of Bourgeoisie insisted upon was working within the environmental laws that are currently in force. To reduce the impact that asphalt plants inevitably have on the surrounding environment, the latest innovative solutions have been put into place, without however forgetting about simple
solutions which are sometimes disregarded, such as providing covers for the piles of aggregates, the cold feeders and the RAP feeders. The value and efficiency of the covers are often mistakenly considered unnecessary, but we should consider that a 2 to 5% increase of moisture in the aggregates can be translated (for each percentage point) into an energy increase of 12 to 15%. And so, by covering the aggregates and reducing the moisture content from 5 to 2%, there is a reduction in energy consumption of around 40% – with all the consequential benefits to the environment too. Another issue presented by the technical team was to replace the existing bitumen tanks (hot-oil heated) with new efficient state-of-the-art tanks to ensure high performance levels. So a bitumen park with electrically heated tanks was chosen, with no fumes emissions from the heater. These latest innovative tanks offer a considerable reduction in thermal bridges and the increased insulation of 300 mm helps minimise the energy required to keep the bitumen heated.
The specific environmental-friendly requirements of the client have reduced emissions and noise levels to a minimum, thanks to bardage in the bag filter and in the upper part of the mixing tower and the complete coverage of the shuttle route to the storage silo. In this way, vapours and noise levels have been eliminated in the most critical points of operation. And where necessary, extra silencers have been added.

Ready for the future

Nowadays it is not an easy task to predict future movements in the economy. Perhaps we can consider the peak of the world economic crisis to be behind us now, but we can safely say that markets will become increasingly competitive in the future. New competitors, new challenges, new regulations plus increasing complexities – all provide the constantly and rapidly evolving background. Bourgeoisie de Sion wanted a plant which could guarantee the success they had experienced with the previous two Marini plants. Top Tower 3000 was designed as the ideal partner for facing these difficult times and was immediately recognised as the best choice. This reliable, solid, modular plant is capable of providing the right answers for even the client’s most demanding requirements. And it is a plant which is ready and prepared for rapid upgrading to fittingly face the future together with a solid and dynmaic company like Bourgeoisie de Sion.

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