Research and development including product review of FLSmidth...
Being at the forefront of technological advancement since 1882, FLSmidth today offers complete solutions and process improvements in order to reduce cost of ownership, say
Bjarne Moltke Hansen, Group Exec. VP, MD & CEO, Country Head - FLSmidth India.
FLSmidth supplies cement plants and technology to cement producers. How does the company keep pace with the latest trends and developments in cement plants and technology?
Research and development including product review of FLSmidth is all about exploring and developing new solutions, products, processes and technologies. We do this in cooperation with our customers, and get feedback from our customer services or via input from the comprehensive knowledge and experience we get from the operation and maintenance contracts we do on cement plants. Through research, we assist our business to find medium and long-term solutions to support our customers and to address key industry strategic concerns. Research allows us to glean knowledge of the basic principles and understand what is happening. We follow the trends in the marketplace and, through research, do our best to get ahead of the competition in the market. Development primarily used to be focused on products; but today we have turned our attention to complete solutions and process improvements which all reduces the total cost of ownership.
How do FLSmidth's environmental solutions help companies control air pollution?
The cement industry counts for about five per cent of the global carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, which naturally creates demand for reductions. Furthermore, energy consumption is one of the largest costs of running a cement plant. If energy consumption is reduced, both costs and emission of CO2 will also be reduced. As a worldwide leading provider of sustainable technologies we offer engineered solutions that minimize gaseous and particulate emissions and ensure that specific emission requirements are continuously met.
For example, our fabric filters and electrostatic precipitators can reduce the dust emission level as low as less than 5 mg/Nm3. A low level of NOx in emissions can be achieved because of our low NOx ILC calciner and our low NOx DUOFLEXTM burner in the burning process. Further reduction of NOx is also possible with our Selective Non-Catalytic Reduction (SNCR) solution. The D-SOx™¢ system, exclusively developed by FLSmidth, is a proven and simple method that provides an SO2 emissions reduction in the range of 25-30 per cent, without addition of reagents.
Other solutions we provide include FLS-GSA gas suspension absorber for a high level of SO2, HCl and mercury removal, hydrated lime injection system to reduce SO2 emission, and FLSmidth's patent-pending mercury roaster system to reduce mercury emissions. Recently we have introduced a new air pollution control solution called CataMaxTM due to our rigorous R&D efforts to go below the requirements of the USA NESHAP regulations. Additionally, we offer a range of services to help maintain, improve and operate air pollution control equipment more efficiently.
During 2010, global growth partnership company, Frost & Sullivan acknowledged FLSmidth's contribution to emissions control, for its commitment and innovative approach to increase the efficiency of its air pollution control equipment in order to reduce emissions from cement and minerals plants.
What kind of equipments and projects does the company supply to cement manufacturers for utilizing alternative fuels and reducing fuel costs?
In addition to reducing the usage of fossil fuels and reducing fuel costs, adopting alternative fuels technology in cement plants provides a safe alternative to conventional disposal of waste in dedicated waste incinerators or in landfills, thus reducing environmental burden.
In the Indian cement industry, many types of alternative fuels are applied, ranging from hazardous to non-hazardous and they may be in the liquid or solid state. Of these alternative fuels, solid state fuels presently account for the largest part, and in particular, agro-waste and biomass accounts for the most significant alternative fuel energy contributors.
In FLSmidth, we develop and supply specific equipment and/or complete projects, giving cement producers the ability to use alternative fuel in pyro processing installations. Our service covers everything from consultancy to complete solutions.
Some specific products developed for the purpose of utilizing alternative fuels are:
HOTDISC Reactor: The HOTDISC is a safe, simple and effective combustion device integrated with the pre-heater and calciner for utilising alternative fuels. It has proven to be the best available technology for substituting calciner fuel with coarse alternative fuels. The HOTDISC combustion device provides the flexibility to burn all kinds of solid waste in sizes upto 1.2 metres in diameter, from sludge or grains to huge whole truck tyres. This eliminates the need for expensive shredding of lumpy waste material. In India, we are supplying the HOTDISC reactor to Vasavadatta Cement.
DUOFLEX Burner: The DUOFLEX burner fires rotary kilns with pulverised coal or coke, oil, natural gas or any mixture of these fuels. The burner can be fitted with extra pipes for secondary fuels such as plastic chips, wood chips, sewage sludge etc. In India, for MyHome Cement, we have incorporated a burner to fire pharmaceutical liquid waste into the main burner.
Pfister TRW-S/D + ProsCon: We have developed the Pfister TRW-S/D for accurately dosing any alternative fuels, whether extremely light or heavy, fine or coarse products or even potentially explosive bulk materials such as FLUFF, RDF, sewage sludge, plastics, wood chips or animal meal. FLSmidth KOCH Live Bottom Hopper is a robust and flexible system for receiving and extracting bulk waste fuels. It is suitable for both front end loaders and truck tipplers.
What kind of after-sales services does the company presently offer to cement companies? In what way do these services enhance the productivity of cement companies?
We consider after-sales service as an important part of our business. We provide a whole range of services that include basic spare parts, providing plant optimization services, providing upgrade solutions, and even complete outsourcing solutions of operation and maintenance of cement plants.
Many cement plants in India have enhanced their productivity and reduced their energy costs through our optimization and upgrade solutions. We conduct thorough audits and provide customized solutions.
Which were the major cement projects and services executed by FLSmidth in India? What has been FLSmidth's experience in execution of cement projects in India?
We have been executing major projects in India since 1904, when we supplied our first rotary kiln in India. Some of our recent major projects are:
• 13000 tpd project for Associated Cement Company in Wadi, Karnataka (2007)
• 10,000 TPD project for ABG Cement Ltd in Kutch, Gujarat (2008)
• 10,000 TPD project for Jaypee Group in Andhra Pradesh (2007)
• 7,000 TPD Project for Associated Cement Company in Chanda, India
• 6,000 TPD project for Jaiprakash Associates Ltd, in kutch, Gujarat (2010)
• 6,000 TPD project for Chettinad Cement in Gulbarga, Karnataka (2010)
• 5,500 TPD project for Zuari Cement, Yerraguntala, Andhrapradesh (2007)
• 5000 TPD Project for Heidelberg Cement, Damoh (2010)
FLSmidth has very positive experience about our Indian projects. The industry has a high knowledge levels. As a result, Indian cement projects are completed quicker in general, and Indian cement plants operate at a much higher productivity compared to global standards.
What innovations have been pioneered by FLSmidth for the cement industry? What is the R&D spending of FLSmidth globally?
FLSmidth has been in the forefront on technological advancement in cement industry right from its inception in 1882. As early as 1890, FLSmidth introduced Shofer vertical shaft kiln that consumed 1/3rd of fuel used by an ordinary kiln at that time. We also introduced tube mills that were far better at crushing hard clinker than previous technology in 1893. In 1925, we introduced Symmetro gear for tube mills, the first such central gear unit in the industry. More recently in 1998, we introduced the SF Cross bar cooler that revolutionized clinker coolers in the way they were designed and operated, while reducing the fuel consumption in the cement plant. In 2001, we launched our HOTDISC reactor to burn big size waste fuels such as full automobile tyres. In 2011, FLSmidth's R&D costs totalled USD 50 million.
What is your view about the prospects of the cement companies in general and the cement plant and equipments industry in particular in India?
fter China, India is the largest cement producer in the world with a total installed capacity of 310 mtpa. Southern region dominates the industry with 35 per cent business space and the demand for the product has grown by 9.4 per cent over the last decade time. India has 107 integrated cement plants and 37 grinding units and the largest producer is Holcim, through investments in Ambuja Cement and ACC. Though the last two years are somewhat sluggish, government's continuous thrust on infrastructure improvement and strong demand for construction and housing sector has been the keen grown drivers of the industry. Housing contributes 60 per cent of the demand for cement, where the growing infrastructure demand foresees to support the growth in cement demand by 8-9 per cent in the coming years. The per capita consumption of cement in India is 220 kg annually, which is the lowest among BRIC countries. Hence there is potential for high growth in India.
The overall driver for sales in FLSmidth's cement business is the level of new global contracted kiln capacity, linked closely to local or regional demand/supply imbalances for cement. This is particularly relevant in key markets as India where FLSmidth has a strong presence, and where cement consumption is rising fast on the back of strong economic growth and rural demand.
What is your growth strategy for the Indian market? Do you see FLSmidth emerging as the market leader in its businesses in India? If yes, when?
We definitely consider ourselves as market leaders in India today within supply of cement plants and customer services where we hold a market share of 50 - 60 per cent based on kiln capacity. Our strategy in India will focus on being even closer to the customers via increasing the customer service business and also catering to the requirements of EPC (engineering procurement and construction - turnkey) projects in the cement industry
What are the future plans of FLSmidth in India?
We have been in India for more than 100 years and our strategy is to continue to strengthen the position. Today we are 4000 very skilled employees in India in various locations and we will proceed to develop our people. People are key and our most valuable resource. We have done several acquisitions over the last years and we will continue to do this going forward together with new greenfield workshops to make sure we have both high quality and are competitive. Half of our employees work on international projects which is also a stabilizing factor e.g. when India like now has a growth pause.
What steps are needed to be taken by the Indian government to make the cement plants and equipments industry more profitable and competitive?
Two topics are important here, namely, infrastructure and power. A huge country in a high growth pace needs a very well working infrastructure - this goes for harbours, airports, railways, roads, houses etc. If infrastructure is in place, transport is easier and mobility will start increasing plus new industries will be attracted. Secondly, the country lacks electrical power, which again is needed for not only the cement industry but for all industries. Finally, access to raw materials and permits for new cement plants are crucial for the dynamic in this fantastic industry.