Power efficiency, automation for Arizona cement company

Integrated power and automation based on ABB System 800xA will help new Drake Cement plant exceed industry standard productivity and efficiency levels, ABB said.


A power and automation solution for a new cement facility in the Southwestern United States is expected to exceed industry standards, according to those involved. Owned by U.S. cement manufacturer Drake Cement, the new state-of-the-art facility is located in the southwestern state of Arizona, where it has the distinction of being the first cement facility to be built in the country’s fifth-largest state for 50 years.

The greenfield facility was officially inaugurated in June 2011. It has a production capacity of 660,000 tons of clinker, which is processed at the site into high-quality Portland cement products. 

“ABB has delivered an outstanding solution that will help us achieve efficiency and productivity levels beyond industry standards.” Marcos Gomez-Barrios, President and CEO of Drake Cement. ABB was reportedly selected by Drake Cement in 2008 to be the main electrical and automation contractor (MEC and MAC), and provide a turnkey integrated power and automation solution for the entire site and cement making process.

ABB’s supply includes detailed engineering, design, supply, installation and commissioning, as well as the complete scope of electrical, control and instrumentation products and systems.

Among the many ABB products and systems in the solution are medium and low voltage motors, a low voltage multidrive system, transformers, switchgear, a power factor correction system, instrumentation, process gas analyzers and FTIR emissions monitoring system, and ABB’s plant automation system, System 800xA. 

Key benefits

One of the key benefits is the integration of the process automation and electrical automation systems into a common control platform. Based on ABB’s System 800xA extended automation system, the platform provides Drake Cement with full plant integration by also interfacing with the plant laboratory, emission monitoring system, SAP system, and the company’s corporate headquarters in Peru.

Benefits of wide-ranging integration, said to be unique to System 800xA, include one plant-wide automation environment for operations, engineering, maintenance and management, and enables seamless collaboration between the various control and information systems.

This in turn improves process and energy efficiency, increases equipment availability and plant productivity, and reduces maintenance, engineering and life cycle costs.

Drake Cement’s $300 million investment is now in full production and is reportedly expected to have an operating life of between 50 and 100 years.


The ABB Group


Drake Cement

- Edited by Chris Vavra, Control Engineering, www.controleng.com

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