A cut above the rest

Published 11 March 2014

Tagged Under: kiln optimisation 

Irish Cement, part of the CRH Group, has been producing cement for more than 60 years. To maintain its competitive advantage the company must operate its facilities in optimal working condition. So when the cement producer was faced with removing a section of the kiln at its Limerick plant in County Limerick, Ireland, it turned to Gullco International to facilitate the removal and replacement of one of the kiln tyres. By Nick Drake, Gullco International Ltd, UK.

Irish Cement replaces kiln section

The project at Irish Cement's Limerick works called for high-precision cutting. The section to be removed had to be accurately cut out because it would be replaced after the new tyre was fitted. This involved not only making bevel cuts on the section that had to be removed but also on both remaining kiln sections, so the new section could be fitted together precisely for reattachment.

Due to the time required to make the appropriate cuts and the importance of accuracy, cutting automation was chosen to overcome these challenges.

The solution

Gullco International UK Ltd was asked to supply the equipment for this specific cutting application as well as provide engineering expertise to make the appropriate cuts accurately. A team of Gullco professionals and a technician were sent along with the equipment to oversee the installation, set-up and cutting of the Irish Cement kiln.

The equipment supplied for the job was assembled quickly and easily due to the design of the automation equipment supplied by the British division of the Canadian-headquartered company. For example, the flexible track, which was used to bend around the 4m diameter structure, comes in 8ft sections and has interlocking ends to make installation fast and simple.

KAT® Automated Travel Carriage cutting

KAT® Automated Travel Carriage with cutting

The KAT® Automation Carriage was combined with the cutting package and the cuts were completed without any problems and within the allotted time.Gullco flexible track and KAT® carriages can be used for flame cutting, water jet cutting, plasma cutting and most welding applications. Moreover, versions of the KAT carriage are available with hydraulic drives for use in hazardous areas.

Article first published in International Cement Review, March 2014.