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AI powering the future of cement

Published by
World Cement,


Henry Guo, Petuum, outlines how companies can adapt to Industry 4.0 and get to grips with AI in cement manufacturing.

Industry 4.0 is here and is driving the revolution of next generation manufacturing. AI is set to power the fourth industrial revolution and companies that can incorporate and adapt to Industry 4.0 components are likely to thrive and set the bar of accomplishments high. Yet hurdles such as the understanding of AI, how best to deploy and manage AI projects, and ultimately how to leverage AI, all pose significant barriers to its adoption. Petuum, a global AI start-up, hopes to help companies thrive and adapt to Industry 4.0.

Tackling industrial manufacturing problems

Petuum designed and created a line of industrial cement AI products to harness the power of AI in industrial manufacturing. Industrial AI can enable yield and energy savings, while reducing unplanned shutdowns and accidents.

The complexities of building AI for cement

Cement manufacture is a complex process that involves many steps and specialised machinery assets. Cement manufacture takes in raw limestone, sand, iron ore and alumina as input materials, and then mixes them in the right proportions and heats them at an extreme temperature to produce cement. The majority of the heating to create cement is done through the kiln and preheater. The cement kiln is a huge rotational cylindrical vessel with its size (length and diameter) directly proportional to the factory capacity. Raw materials are introduced into the rotary kiln from the upper end (the kiln tail). At the lower end (the kiln head), the fuel, mainly coal powder from the coal injector, and the primary air from the air blower, are mixed into bi-phase fuel flow, which is sprayed into the kiln hood and combusts with the secondary air coming from the cooler. The heated gas is brought to the kiln tail by the induced draft fan, while the material moves to the kiln head via the rotation of the kiln and its own weight, in counter direction with the gas. After the material passes through the drying zone, pre- heating zone, decomposing zone, burning zone and cooling zone in sequence, clinker is generated as the product of the kiln process.

Cement AI in action

Petuum's AI model for cement adds AI powered smart factory manufacturing capabilities to each piece of the specialised cement manufacturing machinery, and optimises the whole manufacturing process. The AI for cement includes cooler AI, ball mill AI, vertical mill AI, and the complete pyro process which includes pre-heater, cooler, and kiln in an all-in-one package; it is able to optimise the whole cement manufacturing process by utilising multifactor AI capabilities to accurately predict, prescribe, and ultimately, autonomously run under supervised-steer mode cement manufacturing. The AI model learns the dynamics of each of the industrial assets (cooler, ball mill, vertical mill, pre-heater, and kiln) and processes from historical sensor data, creating prescriptions by searching for the optimal values of critical control parameters, and closing the loop by sending prescriptions back to assets and processes to be activated...

To continue reading this article, access the January 2020 issue here

Petuum will also be running a webinar on 9 June 2020, titled 'Transform Data into Actionable Intelligence: How to Reach Operational Excellence with Machine Learning'.

 

Sign up to Petuum's webinar here »

Read the article online at: https://www.worldcement.com/special-reports/11052020/ai-powering-the-future-of-cement/

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