ES Processing applies the latest Advanced Process Control (APC) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) – technologies proven in other industries – to cement process. Our Cement Mill Optimizer (CMO) solution enables cement industries to fully autopilot the cement grinding process for assuring optimal manufacturing conditions. At a high level, this is achieved through our ‘soft sensors’ that provide near-continuous quality prediction of Blaine and residue every 30 seconds (versus the 1-2 hour lag time required for conventional manual lab testing), and then auto adjust the process Manipulated Variables every 30 seconds based on tailor-made mathematical transfer functions, sophisticated algorithms & MPC rather than subjective operator expertise.
The cement industry is facing new challenges in the form of rising competition, ever-increasing raw material and energy prices, and the need to comply with stricter environmental protection policies – challenges that can no longer be faced with the traditional tools used by the industry prior to 2014.
We’re helping the cement industry meet these challenges by bringing them into the digital factory/industrial automation revolution with advanced process control and artificial intelligence. Our proprietary solutions are enabling the cement industry to make intelligent use of big data and transform it into algorithms and models that can serve as an ‘autopilot’ to achieve an unprecedented level of process optimization – and enhance quality and productivity and reduce energy consumption.
While Advanced Process Control has proven its capability to maximize production efficiency and product quality, cement manufacturers have been unable to take advantage of it. Continuously measuring the quality of cement manufacturing in real time has been an impossibility since any measuring instruments that might be installed inside a mill would be destroyed. As a result, cement manufacturers have had to rely on a manual sampling process performed on finish product, and then testing the fineness and residue of the samples in the lab. Given the 1-2 hour delay this manual process requires, results are often not available until after production conditions have already shifted or finished product is already in storage silos – too late to correct product quality issues.
Adjustments have also been a manual process. Based on test results, the operator must select new combinations of mill fresh feed and separator speed hopping to achieve target fineness, based on their own experience and personal judgement rather than hard data. By implementing CMO autopilot based on hard data rather than operator expertise, our Advanced Process Control solutions empower you to achieve a much higher consistency of product quality and production efficiency.
The inherent imprecision of a manually controlled process usually results in high standard deviation from the quality target and in non-uniform product. Quality suffers. Plus, less frequent larger adjustments that rely on subjective human judgement results in higher-than-necessary electricity usage and greater wear and tear on machinery. ES Processing enables cement mills to leverage data-based APCs to assure consistent product quality.
The above diagram contrasts the wide variances that occur under manual operation versus the stable parameters achieved through our automated CMO system.
Data Input: Big data based on historical process data and onsite tests are combined with laboratory data to build a ‘Soft Sensor’ that can accurately predict fineness and residue based on the full range of performance parameters.
Soft sensors: Our soft sensors are very sophisticated models formed by combining our multiple data-based algorithms adopted from machine learning and based on linear and non-linear identification techniques, PLS, and genetic algorithms. Capable of determining the best correlation between different process parameters and fineness results, they’re able to predict very accurately the Blaine and residue every 30 seconds.
MPC: Our MPC is a highly complex multivariable model based on transfer functions that we build by performing different impulse tests for each mill. Handling complex plant dynamics including long-dead times, non-minimum phase behavior, constraint handling, hierarchical and weighted optimization, and predictive control, it’s able to adjust process manipulated variables such as separator speed and fresh feed every 30 seconds.
Prediction Validation: The customized model produced by our algorithms is then validated through extensive testing on both historical and live data.
At each interval, the ‘Soft Sensor’ predicts the Blaine fineness and the residue value based on several inputs of mill measurements (weight feeders t/h, mill inlet/outlet pressure, bucket elevator Kw, Main Motor Power, Separator speed, Reject, etc.) The Blaine and residue inferred values, are sent as a measurement inputs along with the current Rejects to the Model Based Optimizer or Model Predictive Controller to calculate new optimum setpoints for process manipulated variables such as separator speed and mill fresh feed.
Using this approach, mill operation is consistently pushed to the operational ideal targets due to the continuous prediction of Blaine fineness combined with the optimal adjustments of operating conditions.
Our Cement Mill Optimizer system, is a parallel intelligent solution that acts as an autopilot for the cement grinding circuit. It optimizes the cement quality and increases the overall production by keeping the cement product fineness closer to the ideal targets or in other words keeping a low standard deviation of the final product particles volume. In addition, it decreases cement rejects vis-à-vis the consistency of the final product fineness, thus reducing specific electrical energy consumption.
Without this methodology, the mill operation will be limited by 1-hour laboratory measurement delays and unreliable random setpoints which will lead to poor quality and more off-spec products.
What is your greatest challenge? Being able to assure consistent product quality? Achieving greater output with existing equipment? Decreasing staffing and/or electrical costs? Whatever your challenges may be, we can provide an in-depth and upfront ROI analysis of precisely how our Cement Mill Optimizer solution help – at no cost to you.
Our Cement Mill Optimizer represents the state-of-the-art in process control for cement manufacturing and can provide the greatest gains in production output and efficiency, product quality and cost savings. However, we offer a long track record of success in the design and engineering, integration and installation, and support and maintenance of conventional DCS & process control systems as well.
ES Processing will provide an upfront study, to assess your operation and production data to identify how we can increase your product quality and output while decreasing cost.