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Photos 28-May
Cement Value Chain

Quarrying: This is the first stage in producing a saleable product ‘cement’. This stage includes operations related to main component (i.e. Limestone) extraction, raising and transport to the next stage. Typical operations are, Drilling, Blasting, Fragmentation, Loading and Hauling.

Crushing: Crushing reduces size of big stones to suitable size, required for the next stage i.e. “Raw grinding”. Rock (Limestone) is crushed when a force is applied with sufficient energy to disrupt internal bonds or planes of weakness which exist in the rock (Limestone). ‘Size Reduction Ratio’ of crusher feed to output is the important aspect in crushing process.

Pre-blending of Raw Materials: To improve the uniformity and reduce variations in the quality parameters of Limestone component, pre-blending is the requirement of modern cement plant technology. The pre-blended material along with the correctives will be fed to the “Raw Grinding Equipment” for raw meal preparation.

Raw Grinding: Raw grinding is the stage wherein all raw materials are ground to fine powder for clinkerization. Typical Operations in Raw grinding are, drying of raw materials, Coarse and fine grinding of raw materials, Separation process, Conveying of raw meal to storage / homogenization silos.

Homogenization of Raw Meal: The ground raw meal is homogenized in large silos, which is a must for dry process technology kilns.

Clinker Production (Pyro processing): The typical operations include, Drying, Preheating, Calcining, Sintering and Cooling

Cement Grinding & Dispatch: The clinker so formed is ground with about 5% gypsum to form Ordinary Portland Cement (OPC). The other raw materials (such as fly-ash, slag etc.) are proportionately ground r blended with the above to make blended and composite cements. The cement ground is stored in Cement Silos and then packed/dispatched through different transport modes.

Challenges Faced by the Industry

Enhance Profitability

  • Maximize throughput
  • Increase efficiency
  • Improve product quality

Reduce Costs

  • Reduce product variation
  • Minimize off-spec product
  • Reduce energy costs
  • Reduce fuel costs and increase use of alternative materials
  • Reduce maintenance costs

Environmental Compliance

  • Reduce environmental compliance costs with a predictive emissions monitoring system
  • Achieve regulatory compliance goals every production day
  • Minimize reporting data entry burden and total cost

Vedzen's past experience in the same/similar industry

Initiating Change: Carried out an 8 weeks Focus Process™ to engage the entire organization in initiating changes. The purpose of this exercise was solely to make the organization understand and own the existing problems to facilitate solution development and implementation. During this phase, various exercises, brain storming sessions, observation studies and data studies were conducted to unearth the potential. A value stream mapping exercise was done to pinpoint the bottleneck operations. This exercise helped the organization to agree and prioritize the pain points and helped transform the organization to a pro-active mode.

Implement Change: Various workshops and brain storming sessions helped the concerned teams design and develop simple solutions which made the operations planning and control & action orientation, more robust. As all concerned members of the organization were engaged at every stage, the resistance to change was absolutely negligible. And with the help of a proactive management team, the small resistances were easily overcome. After the solutions were tested in the real environment, extensive training was provided for the roll out. This helped the users readily accept the new practices.

Sustain Change: A major concern of Plant management was to ensure sustainability of the newly implemented work practices. This issue was overcome with the robust review and audit framework Vedzen provided. Within a very short span of 3 months, the compliance, understanding and usage of the new work practices improved by more than 240%. As people began using the new systems and work practices, a major shift in their approach to operations management was obvious. Employees became highly of motivated to continue with the new way of working, and management became more confident that what Vedzen brought to the organization, would last.

What Vedzen can do for the client?

Improve profitability

Profitability improvement through,

  • Enable use of substitute material such as fly ash reducing use of primary raw material i.e. limestone
  • Efficiency improvement of high energy consuming equipment such as pre heaters, kiln, cement mills etc. in order to reduce energy consumption leading energy cost per unit production.
  • Enable use of wastes as fuels in a cement kiln which is referred as Alternative Fuels and Raw Materials (AFR)

Reduce Cost

  • Identify opportunity and assess requirement of automation through Cost-Benefit analysis and take the benefit of especially intelligent machining operations reducing costs and yielding more products with better quality.
  • Analyze of raw material BOM and eliminate or combine to reduce material code and setup replenishment system to have better material control and cost.
  • Analyze and setup consumables replenishment systems to have controlled inventory cost of the same (quantity and space)

Optimize Inventory

  • Eliminate obsolete inventory through use and reallocation.
  • Develop & implement best practices of inventory management to ensure elimination & avoidance of obsolete inventory
  • Improve house-keeping drastically through one-time mission and ensure sustainability so as to reduce wastage & damage to goods
  • Implement ‘first-in & first-out’ or other such practices to avoid wastage & damage of goods

Improve capacity utilization

  • Conduct capacity utilization studies, bottleneck identification studies and propose measures to optimize utilization.
  • Conduct studies & analysis to clearly identify areas requiring capacity enhancement through investments and
  • Develop measurement system for monitoring availability and efficiency of critical equipment.
  • Identify opportunity for OEE improvement of critical equipment.

Improve delivery

As the speed of production and delivery is the main issue for competitive advantage, there is a better scope to implement.

  • Implement lean production systems and concurrent engineering methods like SWIP, changeover standards etc.
  • Identify and eliminate bottlenecks.
  • Improve packing and dispatch process to have requirement based supply with optimum vehicle utilization and synchronized with production.

Improve housekeeping

Identify critical areas where housekeeping is strictly required in order to observe safety and ease of work. For the said area,

  • Develop 5S standards and targets with checklists for sustenance
  • Daily audits ensuring closing of actions.

Improve vehicle utilization

As high to-fro lead time of delivery vehicle leads lot of waiting,

  • Improve and make manufacturing lines supportive to delivery vehicles.
  • Line balancing, production synchronization through effective scheduling and scientific batch sizes.

Workforce development

  • Bring about cultural changes in employees ensuring more utilization of human resources
  • Coach and mentor employees at root level to show potential for leadership, to participate in teams, to develop the skills and flexibility necessary for multiple jobs, and to focus on safety and built-in quality. Percolate down the capability of coaching and mentoring to managers and supervisors.

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