Digitalisation drives productivity in cement production

Digitalisation drives productivity in cement production

Cement producers are adopting Industry 4.0 across the flowsheet, taking advantage of digital solutions not only to support equipment availability, but also to reduce fuel consumption, increase production, improve product quality and save energy.

Cement producers are adopting Industry 4.0 across the flowsheet, taking advantage of digital solutions not only to support equipment availability, but also to reduce fuel consumption, increase production, improve product quality and save energy.

“Digital technologies are having a major impact on cement production. Leading cement producers are embracing digitalisation as a critical enabler of productivity.”

Rather than slowing the pace of digital adoption, COVID-19 has shone a spotlight on just how important digital solutions are for the cement industry. When it becomes difficult or even impossible to be at site, the value of digitalisation becomes even more apparent.

For decades, we have worked on creating innovative solutions, enabling our customers to increase productivity and resolve challenges. Today we continue that journey into the area of digitalization and data-based optimisation.

A strong foundation for your digitalization journey: the process control platform

Do you worry about your plant reliability? Sustainability? Cybersecurity? Finding skilled operators? Our latest ECS/ControlCenter v8.4 Process Control Software Platform helps provide peace of mind on all these issues and more. With complete lifecycle support and third-party system integration, ECS/ControlCenter v8.4 provides a strong foundation for your digitalization journey.

With more than 1500 active process and product control

installations in the cement industry, the ECS/ControlCenter Platform is a trusted process control solution for cement businesses around the world. It is also a key component of our growing portfolio of digital solutions and services, which we call ENABLR.

In combination with our ECS/ACESYS™ Control Library, the ECS/ControlCenter Software Platform is the digital heart of your operation: an advanced, reliable, adaptable and secure software platform that provides the foundation to control anything from machinery to full plants. It enables your business to get the most out of both your equipment and your operators, while simultaneously supporting greater sustainability and future productivity improvement.

Driving growth through productivity and reducing environmental footprint – Artificial Intelligence

We have launched new cognitive technologies and functions in ECS/ProcessExpert v8.5 that contribute to greater sustainability. For the first time, we’ve incorporated the capability to use non-symbolic artificial intelligence (AI) technologies based on machine learning and deep learning algorithms. These technologies create their own understanding of a process by finding patterns in the raw process data – and then use that understanding to solve problems.

Meanwhile, the new PXP DataBooks module aims to bridge the gap between automation engineers and data scientists by enabling your data scientists to integrate their existing machine learning and deep learning algorithms into the PXP applications and control strategies.

We’re now also better able to demonstrate the sustainability advantage that intelligent process control technologies, such as PXP, bring to cement operations. The PXP Insights analytics module automatically converts operational benefits into meaningful environmental KPIs, for example, CO2 footprint benchmarks. These KPIs are then visualized using pre-defined dashboards that are delivered with the solution. The solution also calculates and compares the KPIs when the system was in operation and when it wasn't. In doing so, we can clearly show how PXP enables more sustainable operations.

Driving sustainable productivity with ECS/ProcessExpert software and MissionZero:

Improving energy efficiency not only lowers operating costs. By reducing the amount of electricity and fuels used, it also helps to reduce the environmental impact of your operations.

Intelligent process control solutions, such as the ECS/ProcessExpert platform, stabilize and optimize your processes, enabling you to achieve up to 100% alternative fuels, reduce emissions by more than 5% and increase production up to 6% – whilst maintaining product quality.

This directly aligns with and supports our MissionZero ambitions to operate zero-emissions cement plants and manage zero-emissions mining processes by 2030.

Realtime operations intelligence, data-driven decision making

Without accurate data and the digital systems needed to identify non-performing areas of your operations, productivity will suffer and personnel will lack the insights needed to make improvements. FLSmidth provides a suite of data management systems focused on transforming your process and quality data into actionable insights to increase throughput, reduce plant downtime, improve the quality of your decisions, foster collaboration and much more.

ECS/PlantDataManagement is an information system that transforms your process and quality data into real-time operations intelligence. Part of our ENABLR portfolio of digital solutions, ECS/PlantDataManagement automatically generates online Key Performance Indicators, supporting the decision-making process and promoting collaboration.

ECS/UptimeGo is a downtime analysis solution to help plant staff to identify the issues that interrupt operations and to prevent unwanted future downtime. Part of our ENABLR portfolio of digital solutions, ECS/UptimeGo calculates the economic value of downtime, allowing plant staff to focus on finding the root causes of the problems that impact plant productivity.

SiteConnect™ Mobile Insights App connects you to critical asset performance and health data – anywhere and at any time, in real-time. Part of our ENABLR portfolio of digital solutions, SiteConnect empowers asset management, shortening response time to unplanned events and enabling optimum productivity.

Turning Big Data into actionable insights – predictive/preventive maintenance

Data alone can’t support process improvements – but data combined with analytics can help you to spot trends and identify issues before they escalate: the foundation of a predictive maintenance strategy. Predictive maintenance aims to avoid unplanned downtime by taking timely action to address maintenance issues. This requires sensors attached to all critical machines to monitor conditions such as vibration, temperature and pressure – also known as online condition monitoring. The data from these sensors is collected through Field Agent and can also be connected to FLSmidth’s 24/7 Global Remote Service Centre for expert analysis.

Analytics-driven predictive maintenance is a key driver of digital transformation within the cement industry – and a sure-fire way to boost equipment availability and cut costs.

The cement industry is on the path to digital transformation – are you keeping up?

Areas such as remote monitoring and diagnosis, predictive maintenance, and process optimisation are at the heart of the cement industry’s digital transformation journey, and the benefits – ranging from increased uptime and improved throughput to safety, cost savings and environmental gains – are evident. Looking ahead, we anticipate that those cement producers who are early adopters of digital technologies will be empowered, finding new ways to drive efficiency and deliver sustainable productivity, while those who lag behind may find it a struggle to compete on all fronts

About the Author: Rizwan Sabjan,Head of Regional Sales Enablement – Digital Business, FLSmidth
About the Author: Rizwan Sabjan,Head of Regional Sales Enablement – Digital Business, FLSmidth
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