Cement producer lowers operating costs by 3-5% across multiple plants with ABB Ability™ digital solutions

The India-based global cement producer’s integration of ABB Ability™ Advanced Digital Services led to increased productivity and operating efficiency

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The challenge
  • Improving availability, reliability, and lifecycle of process assets

  • Reducing cost of owning a diverse, fragmented automation landscape

  • Increasing production, energy efficiency and quality

  • Integrating quality information

  • Increased quality by up to 15%

  • Reduced operating costs by 3–5%

  • Achieved ROI in eight months

  • Increased life cycle of assets

  • Increased productivity

A need to optimize production facilities and operating efficiency

One of Asia’s largest manufacturers of gray cement, ready mix concrete (RMC) and white cement, with 19 integrated plants, one clinkerization plant, 25 grinding units, seven bulk terminals and overall operations spread across different countries – Bahrain, Bangladesh, India, Sri Lanka and the United Arab Emirates – needed to optimize its facilities for maximum production and operating efficiency.

The cement producer reached out to ABB because of ABB’s reputation as a leading industrial automation company with deep domain knowledge and a comprehensive solutions portfolio.

ABB needed to address several challenges presented by the customer:

  • Improve availability, reliability, and lifecycle of electrical and process assets

  • Reduce the cost of owning a diverse, fragmented automation landscape

  • Increase yield, energy efficiency, and quality

  • Integrate quality information

Introduction of ABB Ability™ Advanced Digital Solutions

The customer was most interested in ABB’s energy-monitoring solutions, but ABB recognized that other ABB offerings could increase the efficiency of its energy management by automating and improving resource use.

ABB introduced the following:

  • Deployed a plantwide approach that would increase automation use and reduce waste

  • Leveraged domain and process experience from its many sites, supplemented with ABB expertise

  • Interfaced quality and business systems for improved data collection that informs business decisions

Improvement summary

Rotary Kiln
Rotary kiln

  • Thermal consumption reduced by 1.31%
  • Production increased by 1.04%

Raw mill
Raw mill roller press

  • Electrical consumption reduced by 2.13%
  • Production increased by 2.26%

Cement mill
Cement mill roller press ball mill

  • Electrical consumption decreased by 2.15%
  • Production increased by 2.75%

Standard quality deviation reduced by 15%



Reduced fuel consumption, increased production and efficiency

The use of ABB Ability™ Expert Optimizer, which used linear and non-linear model predictive control, machine learning and neural networks to find the best operating conditions to maximize output and detect deviations in the production process. This helped the cement producer reduce fuel consumption and increased production as well as improved operational efficiency for the pilot locations. It allowed the producer to meet its energy usage goals and enhanced safety and security in the pilot facilities.

To maximizer the benefits of the Expert Optimizer, ABB piloted Collaborative Operations to a thermal power plant that powers an adjacent cement plant. The services ensured stable operations at both sites. The services allowed operations to continue without disruptions despite variations in load demand and events that require the power plant to switch to islanding mode, during which it relies on a generator to continue production.

With the pilots completed, Collaborative Operations is being implemented at those sites, with plans to expand it and other solutions to the rest of the customer’s locations in due time.

About ABB Ability™ Expert Optimizer

ABB Ability™ Expert Optimizer is perpetually licensed software for controlling, stabilizing and optimizing industrial processes. The solution uses linear and non-linear model predictive control, machine learning, and neural networks to find the best-operating conditions to maximize output, and can immediately detect deviations in cement production processes.

About ABB Ability™ Collaborative Operations

ABB Ability™ Collaborative Operations connects people in production facilities, corporate headquarters and at ABB to give them actionable insights to increase productivity, optimize operations and ensure security.

Learn more

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