Global cement producer achieves multi-site digitalisation

Posted on 8 Feb 2023 by Joe Bush

ABB has delivered advanced automation and digitalisation technologies to global building materials and sustainable solutions company Votorantim Cimentos, as it embraces Industry 4.0 in cement to simultaneously optimise production and decarbonise operations.

Industrial companies, including Votorantim Cimentos Europe, Asia and Africa Region (VCEAA) – which has the worldwide capacity to produce 55.7 million tonnes of cement per annum, is ramping up its efforts to ensure lower emissions and enhance digitalisation as governments and international organisations push for net-zero emissions by 2030.

Votorantim’s Toral plant in Spain is part of the recent digital implementation

Digitalisation solutions ABB Ability Expert Optimizer and ABB Ability Knowledge Manager have recently been installed in the customer’s plants in Spain, Turkey, Tunisia and Morocco with proven impacts for enhanced productivity, streamlined processes, reduced maintenance and energy savings. Expert Optimizer, deployed in Votorantim plants since the 1990s, ensures optimisation of the complete process and reduces emissions significantly while Knowledge Manager helps in standardising and ensuring consistency in collecting and analysing laboratory data across the plants.

Expert Optimizer will minimise energy costs while maximising the use of alternative fuels and at the same time maintaining and improving the quality of the product. Working closely with Votorantim in engineering and project management, ABB has also provided the Expert Optimizer RMP module to the raw mix to enhance the quality of raw material products going to the kiln. Regarding cement, discrete lab data is combined with continuous process data to optimise production while maintaining cement quality.

“Votorantim Cimentos has committed to a substantial reduction in CO2 emissions by 2030,” said Juan Antonio Gimenez Soriano, VCEAA Maintenance and Sustaining Capex Manager. “We are increasing our efforts to drive energy efficiency to meet our emissions targets. With the recent ABB installations showing better than expected results, our other plants are also pushing for the implementation of the ABB solutions.”

“ABB has proven for many years to be a reliable partner in developing one of our strategical pillars, to be the best-in-class in operations,” said Jose Maria Hidalgo, VCEAA Process Manager. “This, together with the ability of their managers and technicians to understand the cement process challenges and needs, has made us decide to continue with them in the current projects on digitalisation and decarbonisation.”

“Votorantim Cimentos is placing more focus on running an intelligent plant and this will ensure less impacts on the environment,” said Marie O’Grady-Hills, Global Sales Manager, Process Industries, ABB. “We are working with a forward-thinking and modern company focused on productivity but also on contributing to building a sustainable and safe planet. We look forward to supporting Votorantim in future digital endeavours while ensuring their operations remain economically viable.”

ABB has the expertise to ensure higher efficiency in the cement industry using tailored processes and laboratory reporting products. The variability of the feed and fuel will be optimised with the main aim to save money for the plant. During all this, the emissions will be controlled and reduced making the process more environmentally friendly.

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