Sand Hill Coal Company, located near Hamden, Ohio needed to replace a McNally 6’ X 16’ Double Deck Clean Coal Vibrating Screen.  Through the efforts of our George Uram, District Manager for Conn-Weld in this area of Ohio, Conn-Weld was asked to bid on a replacement screen in a McNally heavy media cyclone plant that operated at a raw feed capacity of around 200 TPH at the time. 

Sands Hill Coal was a family owned and operated coal mining company in southeast Ohio.  Jack Huffman was the person in charge of the operation along with other family members.  George Mapes specifically operated the coal preparation plant as well as managed other surface operations.  Based on discussions with Jack and George and the Conn-Weld team, Sands Hill decided to work with Conn-Weld to find a solution to the tough fit application that existed in the plant at Sands Hill.

Conn-Weld designed the first vibrating screens using a “no-weld” philosophy.   The first machine designed had stringers that were u-bolted to the crossmembers on the deck support frames.  Also, all side plate stiffeners were huck bolted in place and not welded.   This was a very unique design for a vibrating screen in the coal industry. 

In early 1988, Sands Hill Coal gave Conn-Weld a purchase order for a 6’ X 16’ Double Deck Horizontal Vibrating screen that we called E-Z Deck.  The design was chosen because the entire machine could be brought into the plant in pieces.  This allowed Sands Hill to install the new screen in pieces and didn’t require major modifications to the plant to get the screen in place.

In August of 1988 the machine was commissioned.  Several issues occurred that were unplanned with the commissioning of the screen.  None of the issues had to do with the integrity of the machine.  A better timing pin design and eventually a new coupling was installed to better time the two mechanisms together properly.  A natural frequency issue was resolved within the first six months of operations as well.

Sands Hill has since purchased many Conn-Weld screens.  After almost 20 years of operation and huge amounts of coal processed across the original machine, new parts were put on the machine. 

Thanks to companies like Sands Hill Coal, Conn-Weld had the opportunity to give birth to a tremendous line of vibrating screen equipment that is used around the world today.