Robert Schmaus, Prüftechnik, and Nazim Huseynov, Holcim, discuss how Holcim’s Azerbaijan Cement facility was able to cut maintenance costs by 96% using a condition monitoring system to track the health of production-critical machinery.
Established in 1999 and now a part of the LafargeHolcim Group, Holcim Azerbaijan Cement is the only cement and clinker manufacturing company in the former Soviet republic of Azerbaijan. The company delivers high-quality products to satisfy domestic demand as well as international customers.
As a continuous operation, the Holcim Azerbaijan Cement facility in Baku runs a strong condition monitoring programme to prevent unexpected equipment failures. In particular, the facility uses a Prüftechnik online condition monitoring system to track the health of production-critical machinery such as air compressors. This system has helped the company reduce its maintenance costs by 96%.
Production-critical machines are those directly involved in the cement production process and must operate without interruption 24/7. Many of these machines are large, with specialised components too expensive to keep in inventory, and which require considerable advanced notice to order replacements.
Data-collection devices play an essential role in continuously assessing the health of these machines. The online condition monitoring (CM) system at Holcim Azerbaijan Cement measures defined parameters that reflect the real-time operating condition of the devices, from vibration to temperature, rotational speed, and process parameters as required. As components in a machine start to wear, the corresponding measurement values also begin to change, well in advance of the actual failure.
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