Innovation is an ongoing process for G&D equipment manufacturers, where meeting application demands and trying to overcome common challenges is a priority.
Gears, drives and transmission systems form a vital component in any manufacturing set up, and cement is no exception. In fact, cement sector is a special customer of the gear manufacturers, because it perhaps uses the widest range of gears from smallest to biggest, and sometimes poses the most formidable challenge to the transmission industry as it pushes the frontiers of technology in terms of transmitting large power ratings.
The equipment manufacturers are providing a wide range of options for all applications for the cement manufacturer to choose from as far as gears, drives and transmission equipment is concerned. Power Build has a very wide range of products when it comes to the small and medium size of power transmission solutions under different series - Inline helical geared motor, Parallel shaft geared motor, Heli-bevel geared motor, Heli-worm geared motor, SMSR (shaft mounted speed reducer), and Planetary gear box/geared motor.
Gebr. Pfeiffer provides vertical mills with MultiDrive® . The MultiDrive, which has proven successful in industrial operation since 2008, was developed by Gebr. Pfeiffer in cooperation with Siemens/Flender especially for the MVR mill, Gebr. Pfeiffer claims. Gebr. Pfeiffer claims that apart from incorporating several innovative processes, MultiDrive technology offers various systems that avoid main damages occurring in conventional planetary gearboxes, like - drive arranged under the grinding bowl; weak spots; and downtime with active redundancy in the process. "The intelligent design of the MultiDrive® perfectly fits the MVR (vertical roller mill) mill because with both elements together, active redundancy is ensured for the mill drive and grinding rollers. Up to six independent drive units, each comprising an electric motor and gear, engage with a girth gear flanged to the neck of the grinding table transmitting their torques to the latter."
"For maintenance purposes or in the unlikely event that a failure should occur, one or several drive units can be disengaged, without causing a stop of production. This is a protection against total failure," Gebr. Pfeiffer added.
There are several parameters that highlight the performance superiority of gears and drives equipment. R Haridoss, Vice President (Sales & Marketing), Power Build Private Limited, emphasises that it was not just the torque and speed, but the reliability of the geared motor was the key as it defines the performance of the machine or equipment in a process industry.
In cement industry, while considering large and extra-large capacity solutions, the most important point for grinding raw material, cement and granulated blast-furnace slag is: Maximum throughput and utmost technical availability," says Gebr. Pfeiffer. With a drive power of up to 18,000 kW, throughput rates of more than 1,400 tons/hour can be reached on a single mill. An additional important feature of this system is the double active redundancy ensuring highest availability and productivity without downtime.
Gebr. Pfeiffer through its MultiDrive technology developed active redundancy of drive system as a protection against total failure as mentioned in its features earlier (six independent drive units). Another important feature of this type of drive is: delicate gearbox components are not located under the grinding table, thus ensuring an unparalleled technical availability of the drive system. In case a drive unit fails, which is rather improbable, the unit concerned can be taken out of the system, with the others still operating, so that the mill will continue producing, sometimes even without a reduction of throughput.
With adapted combination of Pfeiffer MVR mill and MultiDrive®, higher production rates can be achieved for which normally two vertical mills operating in parallel may be required, Gebr. Pfeiffer claims.
Power Build has been continuously developing new products to meet the application demands of the market. One of the recent developments is motodrive and planetary drives, says Haridoss. Motodrive is a combination of gear box, motor and a variable frequency inverter mounted on the motor itself. The applications like weigh feeders, conveyors and intralogistic conveyor wherein motodrive is widely used.
On the other hand, planetary gear box is an ideal solution for inline and right-angled applications, which require high ratios up to 2,500:1 in a limited space. The current product range covers 65,000 N-m. The product has a range of options on the output side to suit the customer needs.
"Also, we are in the process of introducing Servo suitable gearboxes, geared motors with cabinet mounted variable frequency drive (VFD), custom build gear boxes and geared motors for various applications, specialised planetary drives etc., for cement and other industries," says Haridoss.
Most of the gears and drives equipment manufacturers also follow the practice of providing preventive maintenance and training the operators of the user manufacturers as part of building long term relationship with the latter. "Imparting customer training for operation and periodic maintenance can enhance the customer confidence and drive value additional business," says Haridoss.
For ensuring high energy efficiency, Power Build also offers solutions with higher efficiency IE2/IE3 geared motors, suitable to run through VFD with soft starting and optimised product selection can keep check on the overall electricity consumption. This could help industry to earn carbon credit, Haridoss claims.
Growth in cement segment has been moderate in the last couple of years, mainly because of over-expansion in capacity of cement plants when the demand growth was moderate since 2010. The capacity utilisation of the industry hovered around or below 60 per cent for several years during this period, which has seen a rising trend only over the last fiscal, when the consumption growth touched 12-13 per cent according to estimates.
"We are anticipating good business in the next three years as a lot of infrastructure projects are lined up. The Indian Government has also initiated many projects in rail, road and housing segments," says Haridoss.
Power Build had been witnessing equal demand from new project orders and replacement orders in the recent years.