Ambuja Cements and ACC invests in 4.0 for ‘Plants of Tomorrow’ programme
Ambuja Cements and ACC have invested in Industry 4.0 under its ‘Plants of Tomorrow’ programme. These initiative aims to make cement manufacturing more efficient through better plant optimisation, higher plant availability and a safer working environment. The Plants of Tomorrow’ programme is part of parent company Holcim’s Strategy 2022 – ‘Building for Growth’, which was launched globally in July 2019.
It’s a four-year programme that aims to create a global network of over 270 integrated cement plants and grinding stations in more than 50 countries by applying automation technologies and robotics, artificial intelligence, predictive maintenance and digital twin technologies to the entire production processes.
The “Plants of Tomorrow” initiative is simultaneously implemented in other key markets for Holcim in Switzerland, France, Germany, United Kingdom, United States, Canada, and Russia.
Neeraj Akhoury, CEO India Holcim and Managing Director and CEO of Ambuja Cements Limited said, “As an industry leader we are looking at ‘Plants of Tomorrow’ as a big opportunity and responsibility to place India on the map of global cement manufacturing. This path-breaking project will lead to transformative outcomes not just in terms of operational and financial gains but also make cement manufacturing in the country environmentally sustainable and create a safe work environment for our colleagues across all our plants.”
As compared to a conventional cement plant, the “Plants of Tomorrow” certified operation promises 15 to 20 % more operational efficiency, the company said.
Furthermore, the company also has initiated another Plants of Tomorrow initiative, called as PACT - the Performance and Collaboration Tool – which effectively focuses operational decisions based on data about weekly operations, monthly performances, projects and actions.
Both companies have already implemented tools such as Distributed Control System (DCS), Tool Location System (TLS) and Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) to increase plant efficiency and uptime. The companies have also introduced Internet of Things (IoT) across the manufacturing value chain by leveraging artificial intelligence and machine learning through the project EDGE to facilitate rapid deployment of predictive models and seamless connectivity with plant data sources.
The company stated that the “Plants of Tomorrow” programme also encompasses several initiatives that lead to predictive quality (cement fineness, cement quality) and predictive maintenance (VRM failure, refractory life) and also help optimise energy consumption per ton of cement and enable cost savings.