Cement Factory Maintenance Course

By David Hargreaves

A 6 week modular course exploring the maintenance of cement factories, including the different maintenance challenges faced by different cement factories around the world, the assessment of cement manufacturing equipment condition, common maintenance and reliability problems, their solution and the organisation of the maintenance function on a cement factory.

Course Content

In module 1 the course explores the different maintenance challenges presented by cement factories, dependent on their scale, location, number of lines operated and vintage. Also the ways in which maintenance will be judged, not only from the availability of the equipment and the costs of maintenance, but also from the overall equipment effectiveness. Availability of spare parts will make a vital contribution to the effectiveness of maintenance, but what level of spare parts can or should be provided? Many factors which will impact on the effectiveness of maintenance throughout the life of the cement factory are determined when the factory is laid out and the equipment is designed. These factors need to be taken into consideration when cement factories are first established as they will never be able to be changed in the future.

In module 2 of the course the inter-related issues of cement factory condition assessment, common problems and their resolution are explored. Cement kilns must operate for long, continuous campaigns to minimise their thermal energy consumption. In order to do this, their mechanical condition must be regularly assessed and adjusted, if necessary, to prevent long-term damage and the requirement for major repair involving massive loss of time and clinker production. A cement kiln is in fact an assemblage of inter-connected sub-systems which must all operate reliably. The kiln is only as reliable as the weakest of these sub-systems, so the raw meal preparation, kiln feed system, fuel preparation and delivery, clinker cooling and transport and the exhaust gas venting and dedusting systems are all expected to operate for these long campaigns. There will be some overtaking capacity in some of these sub-systems allowing limited time for maintenance, but all will be expected to give reliable performance.

In the final module of the course the theories of maintenance organisation, as they relate to cement factories, are explored. What is the role of breakdown, preventive and condition based maintenance in cement factories? How do approaches such as Total Productive Maintenance and Reliability Centred Maintenance apply to cement factories? What changes on the organisation of maintenance and the skills of the maintenance personnel are required to implement these changes in cement factory maintenance philosophy? Computerised maintenance management systems make a vital contribution to these approaches to maintenance and are a prerequisite for the effective maintenance of a modern cement factory.

Course Material

Throughout the course the lectures are supplemented with exercises allowing participants to relate the course material to their cement factories, or the cement factories of their clients in the case of equipment or service suppliers to the cement industry. Certification is achieved by completing a satisfactory level of exercises, and by end of module exams.

The course is complete with downloadable handouts of the lectures, exercises, and reading material for the training record.