Reliable operation, highest energy efficiencyThe cement industry is a harsh environtment, it's rough. The path from limestone to the finely ground and burnt powder, which is known as the building material of urban civilization requires plenty of energy – and absolutely reliable technology. Hanson Cement in England took the first step toward digitalizing its drive system together with Siemens – with convincing results!
We never thought this collaboration would have such an impact on our daily business. The good news: Since Siemens spots problems before they actually occur, we can concentrate on our day-to-day business – and on the things we can do best.Chris Monk, Software engineer at Hanson Cement
The heart of the plant: The cement kiln
Limestone, which was previously finely ground and mixed with clay, is heated to over 1,000 degrees Celsius in a rotary kiln so the raw materials partly fuse. The resulting clinker then has to be cooled in a carefully controlled process. Both steps are energy-intensive.
Since some low-voltage motors in the cooling system had reached the end of their service life after years of use, Hanson Cement brought Siemens on board as its long-term partner who had already successfully completed modernization projects at the company’s Purfleet and Ribblesdale facilities. The goal: a comprehensive, energy-efficient solution for the cement plant in Ketton.
A clever approach …
The key criterion here was to eliminate energy guzzlers in the production process. Hanson Cement and Siemens focused their attention on the low-voltage motors in the cooling phase following the rotary kiln. The fans had to run at full power and then be braked manually during the sensitive cooling process, resulting in a constant waste of energy. Siemens’ service experts pursued this lead and went one step further.
… and the digital transformation
Taking another approach, they not only wanted to produce sustainably with greater energy efficiency, but also ensure operating reliability. Every single day of unplanned downtime at Hanson Cement’s Ketton plant costs a small fortune. The digital transformation of the plant’s critical drive systems was to play a key role here.
Energy efficiency and digital transformationVariable-speed drives give Hanson Cement far greater process flexibility and sustainably reduce the plant’s power consumption. The start of the digital transformation also minimizes the risk of downtime for the kiln, which is not an option for either Hanson Cement or Siemens.
We take environmental protection very seriously here at Hanson Cement. That’s why we have a 12-megawatt solar farm and have replaced two-thirds of the coal we used to need with alternative fuels.Chris Monk, Software engineer at Hanson Cement
Optimal control of quality and costsFor Hanson Cement, investing in the digitalization of its plant’s drive system technology not only means cost savings, but above all minimizing the risk of downtimes. Thanks to the flexible drives, cooling the clinker can now be controlled far more accurately, which also improves the product quality. In the end, the project demonstrates that cost-effectiveness and sustainability need not be competing goals. At any rate, Hanson Cement is planning further investments to ensure the company’s success for the next 25 years.
Facts that speak for themselves
Energy cost savings
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