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The History of the VSI Crusher

In crisp blackness of an early summer night in 1964, my father Mason and I were in sleeping bags looking at the stars while lying in the bed of a Chevrolet pickup. We had just finished an 18 hour shift of welding hard face repair to a roll crusher that was being used to provide material for the Heron Dam project near Chama, New Mexico. I was talking with my Dad about a better way to make "chips and sand" than the methods in use at the time. After some research I found two crushers available, a Tornado and a Simplicity D'cintegrator. Both of these crushers had a terrible reputation of self destructing and enormous parts usage if and when they did work.

We asked Mr. Les Edminister, the owner of West Coast Alloys (WCA), if he could provide a new type crusher part made of the same alloy as the hard face welding rod he was making for our welding process. Les thought that he could and involved all his foundry management in solving the problem. I began the design of a crusher that would use parts made of this high grade alloy. The first crusher was a "basic" VSI in concept. We learned a great deal about manufacturing and applications since our first crusher was built in 1967, but that first machine is still running in a mine in New Mexico. CEMCO continued to build the TurboTM Vertical shaft impact crusher and entered into an agreement with WCA to also build the crushers that we had designed. CEMCO felt that WCA was a good choice because they had a dealer network and it would be good to build the crushers in two places to better service the USA.

There were others that interacted with WCA that also sought to use CEMCO ideas to build their own VSI crushers. Drawings of the CEMCO Turbo crusher ended up in the hands of Spokane Foundry, who began building their own version of a VSI, the Spokane Crusher, in 1972. CANICA crushers entered the market with their copy in 1974 and ISC crushers came along in 1984, intermixing methods from CANICA and Spokane. As employees moved from one company to another, the Cedar Rapids (El Jay) became a direct copy of the Spokane crusher. Although our competitors were much better located to sell into the aggregate market, as they rapidly grew our competitors sacrificed quality, innovation and integrity for corporate growth and sales. 40 years later CEMCO's products still lead the industry in innovative design.

We are proud of our high quality crushers, and the incredible progress we have made in processing hard abrasive materials from small tonnages to tonnages that exceed 2000TPH. We now handle feed sizes that range from "superfines" to size in excess of ten inches. We continue to be a principal equipment supplier within the aggregate industry but today our VSI Crusher processes materials in a variety of industrial applications, including energy production and recycling, in many countries of the world.

Neil Hise - President