ABB motors, drives enable new cement plant process

Inspiration and perspiration get the credit, but most innovations become reality thanks to the right tools and available resources. For instance, a new semi-dry process is nearly doubling capacity at Lone Star Industries' cement plant (Greencastle, Ind.) from 750,000 tons per year to 1.3 million tons to keep up with demand.

09/01/2000


Inspiration and perspiration get the credit, but most innovations become reality thanks to the right tools and available resources. For instance, a new semi-dry process is nearly doubling capacity at Lone Star Industries' cement plant (Greencastle, Ind.) from 750,000 tons per year to 1.3 million tons to keep up with demand. However, several key ingredients were needed to make the process economically feasible.

"It's the first semi-dry cement production process in the U.S.," says George Glassburn, Lone Star's electrical superintendent. "This new process allows the plant to retain its wet-feed process, which includes two-million-gallon slurry tanks, pumps, pipelines, and all our knowledge about making slurry."

Availability of relatively low-cost electricity, using energy efficiently, and the plant's ability to use alternate fuels make Lone Star's products competitive with dry process facilities. However, this requires Lone Star's engineers to maximize capacity and uptime by managing and maintaining the plant's electric equipment, such as motors, drives, and controls, for efficient, round-the-clock operation. Their latest effort involves a $75 million capital improvement and retrofit program, which was completed in spring 2000, and included 40 ABB floor- and wall-mount variable frequency drives (VFDs) on key motors. Renovation mainly involved shortening the plant's 580-ft kiln to 255 ft and adding a 322-ft, one-stage preheater tower. The project was managed by Fuller Engineering and required six weeks of downtime.

Efficient electronics essential

Lone Star has upgraded many of its electrical motors to increase efficiency in the past decade because a failure of any one piece in its equipment sequence could halt the production process. The plant's standard ac VFDs power motors in the 3-800 hp range. VFDs also control the primary OSEPA exhaust fan, which uses a 300-hp drive from ABB that has logged more than 40,000 hours since 1993 without one incident or trip. The plant's new ac drives include ABB's AC 600 controller with DTC (direct torque control), which can sense a motor's capabilities without a feedback device.

To increase the shortened kiln's speed from 1 to 3 rpm, a new 900-hp dc motor and DCS 500 drive, both from ABB, were installed. For the first time, the plant also incorporated medium-voltage technology, which consists of a 5,000-hp ABB drive and motor to power the plant's ID fan in the one-stage preheater.

Standardization benefits

Correct load sizing helps Lone Star's engineers simplify the variety of motors and drive models used. "We size motors to the largest horsepower an application requires, and then we slightly oversize the motor," says Ross Tennis, chief electrician. "This allows us to specify the same motor to handle the variety of loads within a process, such as feeder weights or slurry pumps.

"Since the drives also have a common operating platform, technicians can be trained once, but they can operate drives throughout the plant, which cuts training time and minimizes mistakes. Common motors and drives also reduce the number of spare parts required."

Lone Star's managers add that the semi-dry process and their new equipment makes them optimistic that the plant will be able handle long-term increases in production capacity. They project the expansion will allow the plant to produce 4,000 tons per day (TPD) of clinker, up from about 2,160 TPD previously.

"By the time this plant is done, we're going to have more than 19,000 hp on line. That eats up kilowatts and costs money," says Mr. Glassburn. "In this business, if you can save 1% of consumption per year, that's a significant savings. And, if you can do it with a higher-efficiency motor—putting a VFD that controls a motor right up to the rpm you need—then you'll also save energy."

For more information, visit www.abb-usa.com or www.controleng.com/freeinfo .





The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America. View the 2015 Top Plant.
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
Each year, a panel of Control Engineering and Plant Engineering editors and industry expert judges select the System Integrator of the Year Award winners in three categories.
A new approach to the Skills Gap; Community colleges may hold the key for manufacturing; 2017 Engineering Leaders Under 40
Doubling down on digital manufacturing; Data driving predictive maintenance; Electric motors and generators; Rewarding operational improvement
2017 Lubrication Guide; Software tools; Microgrids and energy strategies; Use robots effectively
The cloud, mobility, and remote operations; SCADA and contextual mobility; Custom UPS empowering a secure pipeline
Infrastructure for natural gas expansion; Artificial lift methods; Disruptive technology and fugitive gas emissions
Mobility as the means to offshore innovation; Preventing another Deepwater Horizon; ROVs as subsea robots; SCADA and the radio spectrum
Power system design for high-performance buildings; mitigating arc flash hazards
Research team developing Tesla coil designs; Implementing wireless process sensing
Commissioning electrical systems; Designing emergency and standby generator systems; Paralleling switchgear generator systems

Annual Salary Survey

Before the calendar turned, 2016 already had the makings of a pivotal year for manufacturing, and for the world.

There were the big events for the year, including the United States as Partner Country at Hannover Messe in April and the 2016 International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago in September. There's also the matter of the U.S. presidential elections in November, which promise to shape policy in manufacturing for years to come.

But the year started with global economic turmoil, as a slowdown in Chinese manufacturing triggered a worldwide stock hiccup that sent values plummeting. The continued plunge in world oil prices has resulted in a slowdown in exploration and, by extension, the manufacture of exploration equipment.

Read more: 2015 Salary Survey

Maintenance and reliability tips and best practices from the maintenance and reliability coaches at Allied Reliability Group.
The One Voice for Manufacturing blog reports on federal public policy issues impacting the manufacturing sector. One Voice is a joint effort by the National Tooling and Machining...
The Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals an organization devoted...
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
Maintenance is not optional in manufacturing. It’s a profit center, driving productivity and uptime while reducing overall repair costs.
The Lachance on CMMS blog is about current maintenance topics. Blogger Paul Lachance is president and chief technology officer for Smartware Group.
The maintenance journey has been a long, slow trek for most manufacturers and has gone from preventive maintenance to predictive maintenance.
Featured articles highlight technologies that enable the Industrial Internet of Things, IIoT-related products and strategies to get data more easily to the user.
This digital report will explore several aspects of how IIoT will transform manufacturing in the coming years.
Maintenance Manager; California Oils Corp.
Associate, Electrical Engineering; Wood Harbinger
Control Systems Engineer; Robert Bosch Corp.
This course focuses on climate analysis, appropriateness of cooling system selection, and combining cooling systems.
This course will help identify and reveal electrical hazards and identify the solutions to implementing and maintaining a safe work environment.
This course explains how maintaining power and communication systems through emergency power-generation systems is critical.
click me