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Janardhanan Ananthakrishnan, FLSmidth, reveals how a ball mill upgrade project at JK Cement’s Mangrol plant utilised new wear surfaces to more than double production, whilst reducing specific energy demand.

A key principle of industrial sustainability is the need to do more with less. At a cement plant, there are a number of pathways to achieve this. One of the most important is the adoption of technology that reduces energy consumption, while preserving – or even increasing – production: the addition of a hydraulic roller press (HRP) to a ball mill circuit is a proven example of what can be achieved in this regard.

When the HRP is fitted with a long-lasting wear solution, such as FLSmidth’s TRIBOMAX wear surface, production is further enhanced, while higher durability and resistance to wear and damage means less maintenance and risk of downtime. This not only results in lower operational costs, it also reduces wear material consumption – meaning it is possible to grind more between repair or replacement of the wear surface – and improves the overall availability of the grinding circuit.

Case study: JK Cement Mangrol and Nimbahera cement plants

Part of Indian industrial conglomerate, the JK organisation, JK Cement is one of the country’s leading cement manufacturers, with 14.7 million tpy of grey and 1.2 million tpy of white cement production capacity. When it came to upgrade its production facilities at its Mangrol and Nimbahera cement plants, the company was looking for a solution that would not only allow it to expand production capacity, but also to do so in a way that ensured high reliability and improved sustainability of grinding operations.

After undertaking a techno-commercial evaluation of the available options, the company decided to add an HRP for semi-finish grinding of clinker to its existing ball mill circuits. This option is not only more cost-effective than replacing the complete grinding circuit but is also a more sustainable and materials-efficient approach that makes the most of the ball mills, while delivering the needed improvements in production and energy consumption. To realise the upgrade, JK Cement turned to its technology partner of almost 50 years, FLSmidth. The Danish engineering company, which this year is celebrating its 140th anniversary, has installed more than 115 HRPs since 1986. These flexible pieces of equipment are suitable for both new installations and, as at JK Cement, upgrades of conventional ball mill circuits, where they can more than double production capacity and reduce specific energy consumption by 30%.

This combination of economy and sustainability makes HRPs a competitive, cost-effective step on the journey to low-emission cement production – a key aim of FLSmidth’s MissionZero strategy.

The results at JK Cement proved again the benefits of HRPs in an existing ball mill circuit. At the Mangrol plant, for example, production increased 127% following HRP installation, while specific power consumption fell by more than 25%.

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