Global leader in building materials improves reliability and increases uptime with the help of ABB data insights and expertise

Global leader in building materials improves reliability and increases uptime with the help of ABB data insights and expertise

By installing ABB’s advanced digital solutions on process-critical equipment like fans and furnaces, Lafarge Cement reduced the number of unplanned downtimes and improved production reliability at its manufacturing plant in the Czech Republic.

Lafarge Cement, a.s. has been a leading manufacturer of building materials in the Czech market for more than 120 years. The company's key products are produced in compliance with strict emission limits and environmental protection standards, as more than 90% of the fuels used in their production facilities are alternative fuels. Lafarge Cement is a unit of the Holcim Group, which is the world's leading supplier of building materials and solutions, as well as the world's largest cement producer.

Condition monitoring improves uptime, saves costs

Disruptions in the manufacturing processes can be very costly for cement manufacturing companies as they may incur additional costs and require a significant amount of time to keep the plant running. To ensure better decision making as well as smooth and continuous operation in its manufacturing facility, Lafarge opted for ABB AbilityTM Condition Monitoring for powertrains, which helped them get data insights and service expertise to control their equipment and prevent unexpected failure.

"ABB’s digital monitoring services helped us in reducing the number of unplanned stops, which is critical because every downtime costs us a lot of money. The cost of an annual license is about half the cost of short downtimes,” said Petr Provazník, Planner of Preventive Maintenance Department at Lafarge Cement. "We have complete control over the exhaust fans and the main furnace drive and receive a report every three months with information on the status of the drives and a recommendation for the necessary service. This is also in line with our current strategy of pushing the boundaries of digitalization and process automation both in maintenance and in the plant as a whole”, he added.

  • Copyright: Lafarge Cement
  • Copyright: Lafarge Cement

Continuous monitoring of the drives can give a complete overview of the customer equipment’s status and will help them in identifying the need for any replacement or overhaul. The customer does not need to stock up on spare equipment or parts, which reduces costs.

"These are the largest variable speed drives that the customer has installed in operation," said Lázaro C. Miranda, Service Digital Lead at ABB Motion Services, adding that the service is provided for a total of four drives. It also includes predictive maintenance, which provides effective prevention of drive damage. “

Optimized performance with real-time monitoring

Continuous monitoring of the operations can provide accurate insights into the condition of the drives, allowing for predictive maintenance. As a result, maintenance can be planned according to actual needs rather than based on fixed schedules. In other words, the customer can perform some maintenance work before any failures accrues. Another advantage is that the maintenance staff can focus on other high-priority tasks such as planning and executing the preventive maintenance activity.

ABB Ability™ Condition Monitoring for powertrains optimizes the performance and efficiency of rotating equipment. It enables full transparency on all parameters for drives, motors, and pumps, and can also be applied to applications such as compressors, conveyors, mixers and extruder main shafts.


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