Thinking ‘inside the box’
The increased size of preheaters and pyrolines has significant repercussions for the clinker cooler element of the cement production stage. Clinker coolers often need to be modified or changed when expansion projects could lead to potential bottlenecks. To ensure stable and efficient clinker cooling at UltraTech’s Grasim South cement plant, FLSmidth retrofitted a Cross-Bar™ cooler which has enabled the Indian cement producer to increase capacity while reducing downtime and improving energy savings. By Torben Frigaard, FLSmidth, Denmark.
In 2011, the Indian cement manufacturer UltraTech Cement, owned by the Aditya Birla group, decided to strengthen its position and further improve production. With a location close to sizable limestone mines and a well-developed local infrastructure, the natural choice was to explore such opportunities at the Grasim South plant in Reddipalayamm, Tamil Nadu. The existing facility included a 2500tpd pyroline which was supplied by FLSmidth in 1999. In 2004, the existing grate cooler was extended and the hammer crusher replaced by FLSmidth, thereby increasing production.
When deciding in 2011 to undertake further investments at Grasim South, UltraTech’s focus was to only modify the existing preheater tower, therefore eliminating the immediate bottleneck in the pyroline. It was determined that the minimum requirement to achieve the desired capacity of 3250tpd would be to modify the existing preheater tower into a five-stage, single-string, ILC preheater. However, this would leave the existing grate cooler pushed to the limit. As UltraTech was looking to reduce wear, cut maintenance time and costs, increase cooler efficiency and eliminate the risk of unplanned stoppages, the company also chose to carry out a retrofit on the clinker cooler.