Customer story: Cement plant implements MPC platform
Buzzi Unicem USA has deployed ABB’s MPC based Expert Optimizer platform at their Signal Mountain cement plant near Chattanooga, TN.
Buzzi Unicem USA has deployed ABB’s MPC based Expert Optimizer platform at their Signal Mountain cement plant near Chattanooga, TN. This new system now controls the vertical raw mill and cement mill, helping alleviate production bottlenecks in both of these process steps.
Part of a larger plant upgrade project, Buzzi began the installation in September, 2007 and had the system fully commissioned about a month later. ABB reports that both the raw mill and cement mill increased production after the installation, helping improve areas that had historically caused a drag on production. This has translated into an increase in clinker production. Expert Optimizer has also improved process stability by providing a more consistent feed to the kiln.
Both the raw mill and cement mill increased production after the Expert Optimizer installation. Expert Optimizer’s MPC technology helped reduce restrictions by improving the mills’ performance. Scott Henninger, production manager at Signal Mountain reports, “We’ve been really pleased with how the installation went and, of course, with the outcome. Having Expert Optimizer installed with its MPC has been a real improvement to production and the business.”
ABB’s Expert Optimizer advanced process control software helps customers achieve continuous process optimization. Part of ABB’s collaborative production management suite, it coordinates the setpoints of the different parts of the process and immediately detects deviations across an entire operation. By expertly applying MPC, Expert Optimizer is able to stabilize and then optimize the process, which helps plant management to reach profitability and sustainability goals.
Annual Salary Survey
After almost a decade of uncertainty, the confidence of plant floor managers is soaring. Even with a number of challenges and while implementing new technologies, there is a renewed sense of optimism among plant managers about their business and their future.
The respondents to the 2014 Plant Engineering Salary Survey come from throughout the U.S. and serve a variety of industries, but they are uniform in their optimism about manufacturing. This year’s survey found 79% consider manufacturing a secure career. That’s up from 75% in 2013 and significantly higher than the 63% figure when Plant Engineering first started asking that question a decade ago.