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Editorial comment

Amongst all of the societal and industrial changes brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, perhaps one of the most dramatic is the surge in popularity of digital solutions. Over the last year, a shift has occurred across practically all areas of society, driven by pandemic restrictions that made the ‘normal’ way of doing things impossible and rapidly accelerated trends that previously had been developing only gradually.


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For society at large, this meant a surge in office-based employees working from home (often for the first time), supermarket delivery services being overwhelmed by demand, family visits being replaced by calls on Zoom or other platforms, and the supply of many high-tech consumer goods drying up almost overnight.

At the industrial level, in cement and other sectors, this meant that companies finally had to grasp the nettle and embrace digital solutions fully. Technologies that were once seen as ‘nice-to-haves’ that were not necessarily vital in a world of easy international travel had become necessities in a matter of weeks.

Earlier in the year, World Cement published an article from Loesche, which explained not just how the company had adapted its practices in order to operate under pandemic conditions, but how a shift towards the digital workplace could benefit companies across the cement industry. The company explained that remote working solutions had allowed Loesche staff to successfully supervise the assembly of machinery, and even the commissioning of entire mills, whilst operating under lockdown restrictions. The article also makes the point that, as painful as the pandemic has been, it has provided an opportunity to question existing structures, habits, and processes and improve them for the years to come.

Any regular reader of World Cement will know that this is far from the only example of cement companies adapting to the crisis. In this issue (pg. 35), Soundararaj, N., and Sethupathy, G., of IKN detail the process of supplying a new clinker cooler to Dalmiapuram Cement in India despite pandemic restrictions. With close collaboration between teams from around the world, made possible through the use of remote working technologies, this complex project was completed ahead of time.

If you want to find out more on the latest technologies, both digital and otherwise, not only should you continue to read World Cement in print or online, but make sure to register for Optimisation 2021, an interactive online conference taking place on 16 – 17 June. In addition to a packed presentation agenda, featuring content from the likes of FLSmidth, Rockwell Automation, Siemens, thyssenkrupp Industrial Solutions, and many more, we’ll be holding live Q&As with experts and hosting a virtual exhibition.

To avoid missing out, and to register for free, simply head over to: www.worldcement.com/optimisation2021.

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