- Ashish Sareen, Country Business Unit Head – Process Solutions, Siemens India
What role can Siemens play in our cement industry’s quest for energy conservation and sustainability?
Increasing competitive pressures, rising raw-material and energy prices coupled with stricter regulations for environmental protection are making efficient and sustainable use of resources a top challenge for the cement industry.
We have developed comprehensive CPCB approved, CEMS solutions with our precise Instrumentation and Gas Analytics. We are collaborating with various process suppliers to develop close loop controls. We don’t just monitor, but rather create solutions for reduced emissions. We have also developed SCR and FGD solutions for NOx and SOx control respectively which have been readily accepted by our customers.
Use of VFD is another such initiative, which we have been pursuing and has yielded very significant results towards energy conservation and productivity improvement. We also offer comprehensive financing instruments for such upgrades. Siemens offers comprehensive audits and consulting services for older plants. This has brought down energy consumption for many of our customers. With energy, we mean all forms of energy and these studies are not just limited to the electrical form.
Energy recovery is gaining greater relevance with each passing day. Siemens high efficiency turbine solutions, process automation and plant electrics are supporting numerous customers extract completely from their waste energy. With rising pet-coke prices and restrictive policies on AFR, energy recovery will see greater investments. We are ready for this trend with our tailored solutions.
Do you suggest that the older cement plants in India should go for state-of-the-art automation and overall upgradation in the interest of improving productivity or process quality or for both?
Upgrades of control systems enable our customers to attain swifter and precise control of process parameters. This enables our customer to produce more and of the right quality. It has been demonstrated that precise process control has drastically cut rejections and use of additives. Hence, in my opinion, upgrades certainly create multiple advantages for our customers - higher productivity, lower cost of production and achieving planned quality.
Our optimisation solutions for mills and kiln enable our customers to stabilise their process parameters. We have diligently developed a statistical model for mill and kiln control, which is in great demand now-a-days. Significant energy saving are possible and has been demonstrated at multiple plant locations. This has also benefited the health of critical plant machinery as this brings down vibrations and mal-operations.
Upgrades in old cement plant should not be restricted to just the automation systems. We have conclusive proof that the biggest energy gulpers are the motors.
We have been advising our customers to move to IE3 motors which can significantly help in reducing energy consumption. Any continuous duty motor which has been locally rewound either partially or completely has lost almost 6-8 per cent of its designed efficiency. These motors are responsible for inefficiency and lower power factor in the plant. We have been recommending our customers to systematically replace these motors, which are the real culprits.
Upgrading to newer technologies and platform also assist our customers beat obsolescence and the blackmail of obnoxious pricing of spares and services. Siemens is driven by a value system which we all cherish in this great organisation. This makes us feel proud. Customer focus and centricity is supreme in our organisation and we ensure that they stay satisfied. We offer lucrative “Life Cycle Management” solutions from offerings on service contracts, spares management, and financial instruments for upgradation projects. We solicit enquiries from keen customers.
As an observer and stakeholder of the cement industry in India, what do you feel about the capacity growth of the industry in the next five years?
Cement acts as a good index for measuring economic growth of a country and is pivotal to Indian economy as it attracts huge investments and provides employment opportunities to more than a million people. Indian cement manufacturing capacity stands at circa 420 MTPA, second largest globally. Currently the demand for cement is growing annually at 7 per cent per annum. Housing and infrastructure are two big demand movers for cement in India. At this rate of demand growth, we expect the capacity utilisation to better by 2019. The economic developments in CY 2018 will play a key role in deciding the capacity expansions in 2019.
Certain visible mega trends are expected to drive the growth story in cement industry –
a. Mergers and Acquisitions – Almost 50 MTPA of capacity has exchanged hands in the last 2 years. This has brought in liquidity and sustainability to the cement industry. Industry is probably now better placed to wither the hardships of under-utilised capacities until demands recover over the next quarters. The market realisable prices have also shown consolidation, thereby compensating losses from operations.
b. De-centralised manufacturing – Almost all major cement players are rapidly expanding their “viable reach” capacity by moving grinding capacities closer to load centres. This has certainly created CAPEX even in stagnant demand conditions.
c. Demand for Variants – The demand for PPC and PSC has brought in a new set of manufacturers to the Indian cement industry. Steel and power plant majors are expanding at feverish pace and this is really positive. At the hind side, albeit, the clinker factor is not improving despite the demand of variants going up.
In what way can Siemens help cement Industry in India?
Cement is one of the oldest and most matured vertical markets in which Siemens operates. We have over the last 40 years, consistently provided market leading innovative solutions to the Indian cement industry. We speak the language of our customers and precisely understand their pain points. This vertical knowhow, robustly supported with top class products, local engineering and project management capabilities make us a natural choice for our customers. Our operations in India are recognised as “Competence Centre” by our Principals – Siemens AG. This has enabled us successfully retain our customer base and gain market share from our competitors.
Siemens comprehensively addresses the requirement of cement industry through a vide basket of offerings starting Power Generation, Process Electricals, Motors, Drives, Instrumenta-tion and Automation solution to the cement industry. We produce the best in class LV and MV motors, drives and gearboxes for this industry. Our tailored automation solution for cement, CEMAT, is today a market leader which enables our customers produce cement efficiently and in a sustainable manner. SIMOCODE, our solution for Intelligent MCCs, has been a market leader for decades. SIMOCODE is synonymous to Intelligent MCCs, many a times customers interchanging the two terms just like Xerox with photocopying.
Siemens also offers comprehensive “Life Cycle Services” which include extensive plant operations, maintenance and optimisation solutions. We help our customers optimise operations so that they can focus on their products and competitive pressures.
Currently, which are the most exciting and innovative products/solutions which you are introducing into the Indian market?
Siemens has been at the fore front of ‘Industrie-4.0” development and is leading the Digitalisation revolution. We are collaborating with numerous customers to co-create digital solutions relevant for their specific needs. Our engineering, vertical knowhow and top end products offer solid foundations to build digital solutions which assist our customers enhance productivity, reliability of operations and safety of personnel and environment. We have developed a bottoms-up approach which far exceeds the top-down approach offered by many software organisations that have no clue of the challenges of an operating plant.
We lead market in creating “Digital Twins”, “Asset Performance” and “Data Analytics” solutions. We have systematically developed solutions for “Autonomous plant operations”, which is a natural upward progression from conventional automation systems. Siemens is bringing in machine learning and Cognitive technologies to this industry and is confident to retain the top position in this industry.
Author: Ashish Sareen is the Country Business Unit Head for “Process Solutions” in Siemens Limited.