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Advancing cement with AI

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World Cement,

Othon Manis and Panagiotis Margaris, TITAN Group, explain how cement plants could improve their operational efficiency, product quality, and environmental performance by leveraging AI solutions.

When it was still very much in its infancy for the cement sector, TITAN began exploring the Industry 4.0 landscape. With an aim to prove the value of digital technologies in the cement plant, the group began developing several pilot projects. Adopting an agile, test-and-learn approach, different from the traditional ‘perfect at the first shot’ engineering mindset, TITAN’s Group Digital Center of Competence has steadily built its digital capabilities and infrastructure.

Throughout this journey, TITAN has focused on three targets: first, to capture, organise, manage and process big data from its operations; second, to experiment with pilot projects, using advanced analytics and AI wherever possible, to convert the data into operational improvements that go beyond the ‘best demonstrated performance’ levels in the industry; and third, and most important by far, to inspire, upskill and engage people inside and outside the company to collaborate on the company’s digital transformation. It is this combination of people and machines that has given the transformation the best results.

AI solutions

One of the first areas in which TITAN focused its efforts on digital projects was manufacturing, where the company sought to optimise the production of cement and concrete, as well as the maintenance of its plants. Here, the development of digital use cases has already entered the scale-up phase. The signature AI solutions include the use of Real Time Optimisers in the production process and a Predictive Maintenance solution that monitors the plant end to end. In addition, TITAN Group is also focusing on the area of the supply chain, with the aim to optimise distribution networks, logistics planning and inventory management, as well as enhancing customer experience. Successful pilots include, among others, an analytical spare parts inventory optimisation methodology and advanced demand forecasting.

Real-time optimisers (RTO) in the cement plant

Integrated in equipment across TITAN’s plants, sensors record huge volumes of operational data. The ‘big data’ is then transmitted, organised, studied and utilised for the real-time optimisation of production using AI. Real-time optimisation has already resulted in significant benefits for production, such as minimising energy consumption, reducing CO2 emissions and improving productivity.

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