Chander K, Technology Manager, India Operations Center, Process Automation, ABB India
Reliable equipment and proven technical solutions ensure efficient use of energy without jeopardising the quality and productivity of a cement plant. Says Chander K, Technology Manager, India Operations Center, Process Automation, ABB India, ôABB plant-wide automation aims at an optimal operation point while maximising product quality and productivity, at the lowest energy consumption and least environmental impact.´ Excerpts from the interview..
How do you assess the scope for energy optimisation - both thermal and electrical - in the cement industry?
Cement production consumes 8.2 hexajoules of energy per year, or about 7 per cent of total industrial fuel used. Efforts to reduce energy demands, by using higher efficiency equipment and substituting fuels and raw materials, are important to lower production costs. These changes introduce constraints that must be managed to secure the required quality and productivity of the plant. The optimal operating point within the boundaries of these dynamically variable constraints depends on the right price mix of fuels and timely purchases of electrical energy while constantly reducing demands for these resources. The ABB plant-wide automation aims at finding an optimal operation point while maximising product quality and productivity, at the lowest energy consumption and least environmental impact.
What modifications/process improvement do you suggest?
Over ten years of experience in many industries, we have learned that energy savings of 5 to 35 per cent can often be created. Many technologies that improve energy efficiency are readily available. However, often, the greatest potential for savings often lies in the gaps between production processes and functional silos - manufacturing, facilities management, maintenance and support processes such as electrification, compressed air, steam and water. For this reason, ABB advocates a holistic approach - understanding where and how energy is used so you can prioritize projects which will bring the greatest business benefits, and then ensuring their successful implementation. This improved ´energy transparency´ also helps build the business case for future efficiency investments, creating a process for continuous improvement much like those for quality and operational excellence.
ABB plant-wide automation aims at an optimal operation point while maximising product quality and productivity, at the lowest energy consumption and least environmental impact. This is achieved through a combination of variable speed drives (VSD), advanced process control, energy monitoring and reporting. Electrical energy savings of up to 70 percent can be achieved by using VSD over a fixed-speed motor and damper. The multi-drive solution provides the optimised drive solution for the grate cooler.
Control and optimisation of the kiln will reduce thermal fuel consumption by up to 8 percent. When this is combined with the automated collection, organisation and distribution of production, quality and energy reports, fast decisions and interaction to reach the goals of energy management are achieved. ABB also offers an integrated system for the effective utilisation of waste heat in a plant. Heat that was previously wasted can be converted into electricity - efficiently, economically and CO2-free.