Project Features Industry Expertise, Collaboration, Innovation

Custom plant design-build projects are years in the making. That’s why when a new custom plant goes online and begins producing for asphalt suppliers, it’s a big deal.

That happened in the spring of 2022, with our customer, JM Fahey Construction, and our trusted subcontractor, Motion Engineering. You’ll find a comprehensive write-up of the project in the July 2022 AsphaltPro article “JM Fahey Celebrates 50 Years with CWMF’s Stationary Full Plant Build” by Sandy Lender.

The AsphaltPro article highlights some of the most critical components of any project, which worked especially well in this case, adding innovation and efficiency from the initiation of the project in December 2019, to the startup of operations in May 2022. Highlights include:

  • Skin in the Game
  • Industry Expertise
  • Site-Specific Considerations
  • Collaborative Design Process
  • Flexible yet Persistent Build Schedule

Asphalt Suppliers and Plant Design-Build Pros Align

From aligned business model and goals to expertise and experience, there were many reasons the custom stationery replacement plant design-build project with JM Fahey was successful.

Skin in the Game

One of the key factors highlighted in the AsphaltPro article was the nature of the companies involved. JM Fahey, itself family-owned since 1971, wanted to work with other family-owned businesses that had a similar culture of direct personal involvement and a track record of collaborative innovation.

As founder Joseph M. Fahey explained in AsphaltPro, “CWMF is a family-owned business, which was important to us… They’ve got a lot of skin in the game, and we understand that better than anybody.”

Industry Expertise

As asphalt suppliers, the team at JM Fahey brought a lot of insight to the table. They had seen technologies that worked and had seen opportunities for innovative solutions across the overall asphalt plant system by building creatively on the best of all of them. They also brought an intricate understanding of the industry’s stringent specifications for fines processing and control. That led to significant innovations in our design.

As asphalt plant and asphalt plant equipment designers and manufacturers, applying our customers’ industry expertise and our own to enhance the outcome is where we thrive. We’re not in the business of churning out standard models. We take our customers’ ideas and apply our best design skills to bring those ideas to life. Often, those new ideas eventually become industry best practices. Our Honey Badger RAP Crusher is a perfect example of that.

Additionally, our work across projects with asphalt suppliers equips us to contribute substantially during the permitting phase, which can be long, cumbersome, and complex. In this case, it took a full year to complete the permitting process, but it might well have been longer without our meticulous insight.

Site-Specific Considerations

The physical location of the custom asphalt plant makes a difference at all stages of the design-build project. Impacts in this case (also outlined in the AsphaltPro article) included footprint constraints, existing electrical from the former structure, and harsh winter weather during the build phase,

One of the more innovative elements of the JM Fahey plant design and build was the control house. Intended to add functionality and improve the experience for the on-site workforce. This element added a requirement for a separate permit for engineering approvals that CWMF managed efficiently.

Collaborative Design Process

Collaboration was essential throughout the design process and into the build phase, built on shared values, commitment to quality, trust in the process, solution orientation, and work ethic. The collaborative process to turn innovative ideas into innovative systems and structures benefiting the asphalt suppliers resulted in a number of unique components.

Innovations collaboratively designed and built into this asphalt supplier’s operation include:

  • A ramp up to the cold feed and recycle bins to help maximize fuel efficiency for loader operators and optimize feeding for production.
  • A complete auger package to feed dust returns to both the drum and the mineral silo.
  • A water truck instead of a completely paved lot to minimize run-off while controlling dust and minimizing the plant footprint
  • A hose from the mineral silo to the baghouse to help reduce maintenance and build on the capabilities of CWMF’s Dust-Eater baghouse for filtration.

Flexible Yett Persistent Build Schedule

From permitting to design through the building phase, JM Fahey required a tight combination of flexibility and persistence. No project ever goes without challenges and holdups. The key is to keep communications flowing and stay agile enough to refocus when things like a blizzard or material delays get in the way. The right team makes all the difference

Author Sandy Lender summed it up well in the AsphaltPro article, stating, “Now the 2022 construction season has launched with a state-of-the-art facility built to attract business, quality, and workers for the future.”

To see the completed project, scroll back up to the video at the top of this post. For more information and details on this project, read the full AsphaltPro article here. Asphalt suppliers interested in exploring a new or replacement asphalt plant project can contact Wally Olsen directly.


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