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Getting the measure of things

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World Cement,

Felix Bartknecht, Ferdinand Kaschewski, and Sriparthan Sriraman, SICK, consider the best solutions for monitoring the status and health of kiln inlet process gas analysis systems in order to achieve the highest plant availability and product quality.

Kiln inlet process gas analysis systems are crucial tools for optimising the combustion process, preventing production downtime, increasing product quality and reducing emissions. Hence, monitoring the status and health of this highly important measurement equipment is crucial to achieving the best possible plant availability and product quality. SICK’s Monitoring Box and condition monitoring services give cement plant operators the chance to visualise and evaluate the status data of their gas extraction probes, cooling systems and multi-component gas analysers, anywhere and at any time.

Driven by a high competitive pressure and an increase in environmental awareness, more cement plants have started to feed their pyro process with an increasing percentage of alternative fuels. While burning alternative fuels may have many benefits, they can also have a severe impact on the kiln availability, the quality of the clinker produced and flue gas composition. By analysing the gas composition in the pyro process, gas analyser systems like SCPS3300 (SICK Cement Probe System 3300) provide valuable insights into the process quality in the rotary kiln. This information allows for better process control, and an optimised usage of alternative fuels. Furthermore, process gas analysis systems provide indications on how to control the sulfur/alkali ratio and therefore help to reduce blockages and prevent undesired kiln shutdowns. In other words, the overall plant availability is linked to the availability of the pyro process and the availability of the pyro process is, at least to some extent, linked to the availability of the process gas analyser system.

With its Monitoring Box SICK provides a new digital service that helps to increase the availability of process gas analyser systems at the kiln inlet, which also improves the overall plant availability at the same time. SICK Condition Monitoring keeps an eye on all vital parameters that indicate the health of the overall system, including the gas analyser, the sampling system, and all auxiliaries like the cooling system for the water-cooled gas extraction probe tube or the PLC. With this information, problems are identified before they occur. For plant operators, this results in an extended product lifecycle and an increase in return on investment. Further, the solution allows SICK to optimise maintenance and enables immediate troubleshooting, which reduces travel expenses and labour hours for service engineers. These cost savings are passed on to the cement producers directly. In addition, detailed remote health checks increase the data quality of the analytical systems. These improvements increase overall maintenance efficiency and can extend the lifecycle of machines and plants.

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