ABB recently signed a contract with Votorantim Cimentos to provide its cpmPlus Expert Optimizer process optimisation system, for 11 new cement plants being built in Brazil and other Latin American countries. ABB will also upgrade the prior generation Linkman system with Expert Optimizer at eight other existing plants.
Some of these units are part of Votorantim’s ongoing “third wave” project, which further develops a mining exploration technique to optimise low content ores on large deposits. "We at ABB are delighted to work with Votorantim to support this new initiative, as well as help them to expand and modernise their current production capabilities" said Marcelo Schumacker, General Manager of Cement and Mining at ABB.
This contract represents an important cement segment opportunity for ABB in Brazil. The increasing local demand for cement, due to the boom in residential and commercial construction, along with the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, has accelerated the need to supply more cement and construction materials. The modernisation of the Brazilian infrastructure, such as ports, airports, roads, railways and power plants will continue to drive this increased demand.
To optimise cement production, the ABB’s Expert Optimizer uses neural networks, fuzzy logic and predictive control models. Divided into areas such as milling, kiln and cooler, Expert Optimizer becomes a virtual operator, making decisions and defining the best control strategies automatically for each specific area of the process.
"The efficiency gains are impressive when compared with manual operation, as Expert Optimizer improves the stability of the process and reliability of the equipment, maximizing production and reducing operational costs," says Schumacker.
Parente de Almeida anticipates that for the new plants a faster and more sustainable learning curve is expected, since the CPMPlus Expert Optimizer system is a very useful tool to ensure uniformity and operational stability.
For existing plants, it is expected that the acquired knowledge brings a better process optimisation of the cement manufacture.