A trusted industry standard

HeidelbergCement has been using the Cemat process control system at its site in Schelklingen, Germany, since more than 30 years. This year, in the framework of an expansion, the newest version is being introduced. Thus, potential malfunctions can be detected more quickly.

HeidelbergCement is currently investing more than €100 million in the modernization of its plant in Schelklingen, Germany. The site came into operation in the mid-1970s and currently provides kiln production capacity of approximately 3,500 tons per year of clinker. The modernization, which is set to be completed this year, will transform the site into one of the most modern plants in Germany, if not in Europe, with an annual capacity of 1.5 million tons of clinker.

Tradition meets modernity

At the core of the project is the construction of a new line according to the latest standards – including a new heat exchanger furnace with a rotary kiln, clinker cooler and exhaust gas purification system. The new line will replace the two existing rotary kilns at the site. Keeping with tradition, the Cemat process control system will continue to play an essential role.

“Since 1987 we have been using different Cemat versions in this cement plant location. Especially for our new kiln line, we will be using the latest state-of-the-art process control system Cemat Version 9.0,” says Stephan Wehning, Plant Manager of the HeidelbergCement Schelklingen site.


“Cemat is one of our standard process control systems because of its high market acceptance and Siemens’ long experience in the industry. Moreover, Cemat offers customized configurations that keep things simple,” adds Markus Konecki, Engineering/Senior Project Manager at HeidelbergCement Germany.

Cemat is one of our standard process control systems because of its high market acceptance and Siemens’ long experience in the industry
Markus Konecki, Engineering/Senior Project Manager at HeidelbergCement

Covering the entire automation chain

Cemat Version 9.0 includes improvements to existing functions as well as a number of new functions. For example, the process control system covers the entire automation chain, from the extraction of raw materials to the packaging of the end products. With integrated operating and diagnostic functions, potential malfunctions can be detected more quickly, and downtimes minimized.

“Our development work for Version 9.0 focused on optimizing the control system. In addition to these improvements, there are a number of impressive innovations that make work easier for engineers and plant operators,” says Johannes Vorsamer from the Cemat development team at Siemens.

Advantage investment security

Investment security is ensured by the fact that Version 9.0 is still backwards compatible with all previous releases up to version 1.8, which was introduced in 1987. This means that even older PLC programs can still be operated and integrated into the latest version of the process control system. In short, the decision for Cemat can be made with a clear conscience – which is proven by Heidelberg Cement’s repeat trust in the Siemens process control system.

HeidelbergCement is one of the world’s largest integrated manufacturers of building materials with leading market positions in aggregates, cement and ready-mixed concrete. The company employs 60,000 people at more than 3,000 locations in around 60 countries.

The success story of Cemat, the standard software for cement plants, began in 1974. The initial release was based on the then newly developed Simatic S3 programmable logic controller, and the industry’s first installation was in Cementos Hispania’s site in Yeles, Spain. Over the course of time, the hardware and software platforms have been replaced and extended from update to update. While each new version contains the latest technological innovations, the organization and core functions of the modules have always remained the same.


These constant updates are Cemat's recipe for success, because they ensure that every new version of the process control system is backwards compatible with all previous releases. In the meantime, the Cemat library has become a standard, not only for cement plants, but also for mining operations and related industries. Today, all leading cement plants in Europe employ Cemat. And with more than 800 installations worldwide, it is the leading process control system for the cement, mining and related sectors.


Picture credits: Siemens AG 

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Stay up to date at all times: everything you need to know about electrification, automation, and digitalization.