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How Accurate Thermal Measurement Can Reduce Maintenance Costs: Part Three

World Cement,

Preventing fires

Measuring clinker temperature after the cooler ensures that no hot clinkers arrive at the conveyor belt, which could cause potential for conveyor damage or fires. Infrared temperature measurement sounds an alarm if a hot inclusion is detected. That alarm can typically be used to trip a diverting actuator.Single point infrared thermometers are integrated within their system by some cement plants but they are quite insensitive to small hot objects when looking at the whole width of a conveyor. For example, a single point measurement viewing a 1 m wide conveyor would be measuring a 7854 cm circle. If the average temperature were 86° Fahrenheit, a 1 cm hot spot at 392° Fahrenheit could go undetected because its effect on the average temperature is maybe 1 degree. However, the potential for this small hot inclusion to cause a serious fire is great. The AMETEK Land HotSpotIR system scans the conveyor at 100 scans per second and in each scan, it detects 1000 small temperature spots.

This way, it detects any small uncooled clinker that may have been missed by the cooling process and would otherwise cause problems. A high speed alarm relay is triggered when a hot spot is detected. The HotSpotIR system is very easy to install and requires no computer or software. It monitors the belt continuously all year round.

Latin America

AMETEK Land has seen the Latin American market for cement grow steadily and rapidly over the last decade and over the last three years has seen the demand for best available thermal monitoring technology increase. One of the leading cement producers in Peru, Cementos Pacasmayos approached AMETEK Land to provide a one stop infrared kiln monitoring solution for the burner zone and the kiln shell.

Cementos Pacasmayos group has been in existence since the decentralisation of the cement market in Peru and the company history starts with the construction and startup of the main cement plant in Pacasmayo in 1957. The plant was built with German technology, with an initial investment of US$5 million and supplied from the Tembladera (Cajamarca) quarry, it started as one of the most important and historic industrial plant in the northern region of Peru (the city of Pacasmayo lies 667 km to the north of Lima). The construction of the plant was an important milestone in the economic and social development of northern Peru, and through the decades it has been a source of employment and development for the area. The plant has undergone a series of expansions and modernisations; today it is the second largest cement producing plant in Peru producing the most varieties of cement.

The Cementos Pacasmayos group is committed to keep producing cement that conforms to the highest quality standards, trying to achieve the continuous improvement in our operations and care for the environment. With these market drivers Cementos Pacasmayos looked to improve their product quality, plant lifetime and energy efficiency by adding leading technology thermal imaging solutions from AMETEK Land.

Working in close collaboration with the Cementos Pacasmayos engineers AMETEK Land introduced the NIR Borescope thermal imaging solution for imaging the burning zone inside the furnace and the LSP HD infrared line scanning solution with the bespoke tyre slip measurement software.To protect the thermal imaging Borescope from unplanned over temperature conditions caused due to failure of either the process air or water the auto-retract solution was selected and installed. After an extremely smooth start up through easy to install product range the thermal images within the kiln started to produce results that allowed the engineers to make changes to the process that improved production with the matter of weeks.

The engineering team on site stated, “The kiln thermal images has already begun to explain some troubles in the clinkering process, now we need to gather and storage and retrieval the info through the time in order to make good decisions as soon as possible.” Now with 12 months of data, the Cementos Pacasmayos team have seen the productivity benefits and energy saving benefits of accurate continuous temperature measurement that allows true real time process optimisation.


Asset protection is vitally important and cement plants across the globe are recognising the benefits of investing in temperature measurement equipment. Not only is this saving money and reducing downtime, the latest software available with this equipment is ensuring that plant operators have access to high quality real time information at their fingertips. The result is greater operational efficiency and an ability to compete effectively in an increasingly competitive market.

This is part three of a three-part article written for World Cement’s August issue and abridged for the website. Subscribers can read the full August issue by signing in, and can also catch up on-the-go via our new app for Apple and Android. Non-subscribers can access a preview of the August 2016 issue here.

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