Time for simplicity
Refractory maintenance can be a time-consuming and, therefore, costly necessity of cement plant operation. To optimise plant utilisation, cement works are keen to minimise the impact of refractory repairs. At Cementos y Concretos Nacionales SA, Mexico, the use of a single, specialised provider – Refratechnik Cement GmbH – resulted in such a minimal impact while still obtaining a very satisfactory performance of refractory materials. By Ángel Valtierra, Cementos y Concretos Nacionales SA, Mexico.
Cementos y Concretos Nacionales (CYCNA) is part of the Cruz Azul Group, Mexico’s third-largest cement producer after Cemex Mexico SA and Holcim Apasco SA, and accounts for around 19 per cent of domestic capacity. It has four plants with a total clinker capacity of 8.2Mta, comprising:
• Hidalgo: five kilns, 3Mta
• Tepezalá: two kilns, 2.4Mta
• Lagunas: two kilns, 1.6Mta
• Palmar de Bravo: one kiln line with 1.2Mta of clinker capacity.
At the Palmar de Bravo plant, each production campaign exceeds one year, enabling the cement producer to limit kiln stoppage to one per annum which is the key to ensuring high plant availability (see Figure 1).