BHMR 2021

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Electrical integration into existing system Mechanical integration – client specified components to match existing plant Robust design and componentry Bespoke design specific to the application Dust containment, reduction, suppression and extraction solutions Compliance to H&S, Structural & Environmental Standards


CONTENTS STORAGE DOMES & SILOS 04 Silos in Sri Lanka Daniele Sciuto, Euromecc s.r.l., details the construction of the cement industry’s largest steel storage silos for the Tokyo Cement terminal in Colombo, Sri Lanka. 08 Intelligent Inspection Dennis Blauser, Marietta Silos, explains how artificial intelligence is being used to bring silo inspections into the 21st Century. 13 More Is More Rebecca Long Pyper, Dome Technology, explains how domes make massive clinker and cement storage possible and protect product in the process. SILO & STORAGE CLEAN-OUT 17 Air Cannon Advantages Jérémie Freliez, Standard Industrie, discusses applications for air cannon systems and reviews recent upgrades. 22 The Acoustic Advantage James Swindlehurst, Primasonics, explores the advantages offered by acoustic cleaners and shows how they can solve the three key problems encountered in silo storage. CONVEYING 28 Handle With Care BEUMER Group reviews a single-source solution for the handling of alternative fuels and raw materials at Lafarge Zementwerke GmbH in Retznei, Austria.

39 Keeping Conveying Clean ScrapeTec reviews a range of solutions for the efficient control of dust and spills, and the elimination of misalignment, abrasion and conveyor belt damage. 43 Confidence In Conveyor Conversions Peter Müller & Philipp Ludwigt, AUMUND Fördertechnik GmbH, discuss the history and evolution of the company’s conversion business. STACKING & RECLAIMING 47 Making The Right Choice Luis Sucre, InTechnik, discusses the selection criteria that need to be considered when choosing stockyard and blending bed equipment. 51 Progress Through The Pandemic Giuseppe Mapelli, Bedeschi Spa, provides an update on the company’s operations during the COVID-19 pandemic, and discusses new contracts covering a range of materials handling equipment. LOADING, UNLOADING & DISPATCH 55 Positioned For Success Austin Anderson, Vortex Global, explains how combining a loading spout with a spout positioner is key to an efficient and prompt loading system. BAGGING & PACKING 60 It’s In The Bag! World Cement presents a round-up of recent news and updates from the bagging and packing sector.

35 Taking The High Road Doppelmayr shows how ropeway technology combines the best of both conveyor and cable car systems, providing a flexible handling solution for cement producers.

ON THE COVER For an economical and sustainable operation, the Retznei plant of Lafarge Zementwerke GmbH relies on alternative fuels and raw materials to ignite its new calciner. In order to transport, store and dose the kiln-ready material efficiently, the manufacturer awarded BEUMER Group a contract to develop an individual single-source solution. The core of this system solution is a U-shape conveyor. Turn to p. 28 to read more about BEUMER Group’s solution for the plant.



03 Foreword


FOREWORD Managing Editor: James Little

Senior Editor: Elizabeth Corner

Editor: David Bizley

Editorial Assistant: Emily Thomas

Contributing Editor: Paul Maxwell-Cook Production: Gabriella Bond

Sales Director: Rod Hardy

Sales Manager: Ian Lewis

Digital Events Coordinator: Louise Cameron

Digital Administrator: Lauren Fox

Digital Editorial Assistant: Bella Weetch

Video Content Assistant: Molly Bryant

Administration Manager: Laura White



SUBSCRIPTIONS Annual subscription (published monthly): £160 UK including postage/£175 (e245) overseas (postage airmail)/US$280 USA/Canada (postage airmail). Two year subscription (published monthly): £256 UK including postage/£280 (e392) overseas (postage airmail)/US$448 USA/Canada (postage airmail). Claims for non receipt of issues must be made within 4 months of publication of the issue or they will not be honoured without charge. Applicable only to USA and Canada: WORLD CEMENT (ISSN No: 0263-6050, USPS No: 020-996) is published monthly by Palladian Publications, GBR and is distributed in the USA by Asendia USA, 17B S Middlesex Ave, Monroe NJ 08831. Periodicals postage paid New Brunswick, NJ and additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: send address changes to World Cement, 701C Ashland Ave, Folcroft PA 19032 Copyright © Palladian Publications Ltd 2021. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior permission of the copyright owner. All views expressed in this journal are those of the respective contributors and are not necessarily the opinions of the publisher, neither do the publishers endorse any of the claims made in the articles or the advertisements. Uncaptioned images courtesy of Adobe Stock. Printed in the UK. Palladian Publications Ltd 15 South Street, Farnham, Surrey GU9 7QU, UK Tel +44 (0)1252 718999 Fax +44 (0)1252 718992 Email: Website:

BMHR 2021 World Cement



nother year has flown by and it is once again time for me to welcome you to World Cement’s annual Bulk Materials Handling Review (BMHR) supplement. This special issue focuses on the often overlooked, but nonetheless essential, materials handling systems that keep cement production in full swing. Kilns and mills may grab the headlines and function as the vital organs of a cement plant, but it is the silos, conveyors, stackers & reclaimers, and all of the sundry other systems and components that keep the plant supplied with a lifeblood of raw materials and fuel, and ensure that finished products reach consumers. Recent years have seen ever growing demands placed on cement producers to increase efficiency and reduce emissions. As plants strive to meet these new demands, the vital role played by effective materials handling systems has come to the forefront, as the articles throughout this supplement will show. The following is a selection of a few highlights from this year’s BMHR: On p. 04, Daniele Sciuto of Euromecc s.r.l., kicks off the issue with an overview of a project to construct the cement industry’s largest steel silos for Tokyo Cement’s terminal in Colombo, Sri Lanka. The article reviews the challenges of managing such a significant construction project in the limited space available in Colombo’s port and with the added complication of pandemic travel restrictions. Our cover story on p. 28 comes from BEUMER Group and reviews the implementation of a single-source solution for the handling of alternative fuels and raw materials at Lafarge Zementwerke GmbH in Retznei, Austria. This article discusses a range of specialised conveying systems and explains how they meet the plant’s needs for a timely and steady supply of fuel and raw materials. Then on p. 47, Luis Sucre of InTechnik provides a detailed overview of the various factors that need to be considered when selecting stockyard and blending bed equipment, including recommended combinations of equipment and stacking patterns. And on p. 55, Austin Anderson of Vortex Global explains how combining a loading spout with a spout positioner reduces the time needed to position a vessel underneath, thus allowing for a more efficient and prompt loading system. These are just a few examples of the range of content we have coming up for you in this year’s edition of BMHR. On behalf of the World Cement team, I hope you enjoy. 3

Daniele Sciuto, Euromecc s.r.l., details the construction of the cement industry’s largest steel storage silos for the Tokyo Cement terminal in Colombo, Sri Lanka.



Sri Lanka S

ri Lanka represents the fourth-largest cement importer in the world. This is largely to the removal of import duties from some raw materials that cannot be produced domestically, and growing demand from large scale housing schemes, highways and small and medium-build projects. Although domestic production has been growing over the last few years, most cement still arrives from Vietnam, Pakistan, Malaysia and surrounding areas. In 2018 the market leader Tokyo Cement Co (Lanka) PLC, which has only one cement plant, located at Trincomalee, decided to improve its import capability by installing a 15 300 m 3/20 400 t storage facility in Colombo’s port. The project then was postponed due to a significant drop in

the domestic market together with the pandemic, and only shipped between February 2020 and January 2021. It finally went into operation in June 2021.

Storage The project was realised with three main cement silos of 5100 m3 each which, being the first ever produced with this size, set a new benchmark in the steel storage bolted silo industry. The silos have a diameter of 15 000 mm, and are installed over a 16 m drive-through carrying structure. This brings the total height up to 47 200 mm (43 500 mm without the filter). The shell is built in twenty radial sectors over three rings in order to limit the number of horizontal flanges down to four, all located on the external side and adequately protected with EPDM gaskets.


Discharge is achieved with a truncated 60˚ cone with an aerated 15˚ flat bottom to reduce the overall height and simplify the downstream distribution. The construction method of the cone follows the design used for the shell, and leads to a unit made up of 52 single pieces

connected by external flanges. On the inside, a complex bed of open airslides is responsible for the correct fluidisation and high-degree of emptying of each silo, which is served by a 700 m3/h blower. Another technical aspect of note is that the structure that is made up of ten Ø610 mm steel pipes with a thickness of 30 mm. During the manufacturing process, every leg went through an eight-hour phase of automatic welding for each end, where a bespoke position tool was used.

Filling and emptying

The installation was carried out with a precise order due to the narrow site and limited space available for storage and pre-assembly.

Silos are pneumatically fed directly from vessels through a 200 m 12 in. double pipeline. This new facility is in-ground and connected to the existing main pipeline served by a high-capacity pump. This setup allows different varieties of cement to be received by standard dry bulk cargo ships. At the top of the silos, every unit is equipped with an active filtering device capable of treating up to 15 000 m3/h, with a filtering surface of 180 m2. The electronics and control system ensure that silos are not overfilled, matching the loading data with the filling percentages detected by either mechanical and radar level indicators. On the emptying side, one of the main features of the terminal is its own ability to feed either trucks or an existing storage facility. To do so, every silo has an aerated three-way tank serving on one side a de-dusted loading spout with a capacity of 250 m3/h, and on the other an airslide system that conveys the material into a pneumatic pump. Under each loading spout, there is a dedicated 80 t weighbridge for operations. After a long architectural discussion, the final setup was designed in order to avoid any queue for bulk loading. Hence, every silo can be accessed with a 45˚ high-radius curve, and hosts a 4000 mm wide track underneath to avoid any waiting or crowding of the port facility, ensuring a one-way site.

Logistics and installation

Silos are connected to each other and have a wide platform at the discharge to host pneumatics and electronics, as well as protect them from the weather. 6

The full project was designed around site measures of nearly 25 m by 110 m. Therefore, with the available area being very narrow, the installation method had to follow a strict and precise sequence in order to not affect the viability of Colombo’s port. In particular, it was necessary to erect one silo at time and use a designated area for storage and pre-assembly. Due to this restriction, the total delivery of 84 containers was split into five different lots. World Cement BMHR 2021

Every container was packed using a special system of racks and connectors to prevent materials from damage or distortion during navigation and handling. The site was originally meant to be overseen by Euromecc during installation, however, due to the pandemic and the introduction of severe travel restrictions in the region, it was not possible to physically attend the site. Accordingly, in conjunction with a very detailed erection handbook and video-training, a team of Euromecc professionals was made available to remotely support the site throughout the installation period, in spite of time differences. Despite this entirely new approach, the results were still impressive and allowed the end user to fully install and set this major facility into operation, a process which was then verified and commissioned by a Euromecc project manager.

Conclusions This project represents one of the major investments encouraged by the Sri Lankan government to develop the country. Despite its apparent simplicity at first-glance, this project was characterised by two main challenges: Firstly, the use of a single upright steel silos to store approximately 6700 t of cement, the biggest ever realised for the industry, and secondly, the need to remotely oversee and manage such a complex project and its execution during a global pandemic. In the end, both challenges were successfully addressed, and the project has become part of Euromecc’s 30+ years of worldwide references.

About the author Daniele Sciuto is the Area Sales Manager for UK and Commonwealth regions at Euromecc. He has a Mechanical Engineering background, and has been involved in the costing and sales of several terminal projects all around the world since 2012.

A complex system of racks and packaging has been developed to prevent items from damage during sea transportation.




Dennis Blauser, Marietta Silos, explains how artificial intelligence is being used to bring silo inspections into the 21st Century.


egardless of the construction type, all silos are susceptible to deterioration and potential failure when a proper inspection schedule and regular maintenance programme are not followed. Like any construction material, concrete and steel are subject to wear from environmental conditions and structural stress from loading and unloading silo operations during normal usage. This stress can cause cracking and deterioration of silo foundations, walls and linings, roofs, discharge cones and floors, all of which are visible during routine observation of the structure, yet many other issues can only be identified through a more in-depth inspection process. As a result, many insurance underwriters are starting to require periodic silo inspections.

Collapses are often the result of preventable failures in silo structures that would have been identified during a routine structural inspection. Common issues that cause silo failure include foundation deterioration, roof collapse due to roof beam structural issues, improper material filling and unloading procedures, silo wall delamination or deterioration, silo discharge cone or bin floor issues. Much of this damage is easily preventable through routine silo inspection and silo maintenance, yet preventive measures are often ignored until it is too late. Third-party inspections, maintenance and repair services are the best way to manage silo safety on any scale. In addition, many structural issues can be easily and economically addressed if caught early.


Inspection intervals Keeping to a routine schedule for silo cleaning allows plant operators to choose the best time in the production schedule and is one of the best ways to prevent unplanned downtime. Cleaning helps production goals to stay on target by removing material build-up, which allows a proper material flow within the silo, protects the quality of stored materials, and ensures optimum storage capacity. Proper material flow through a silo helps with production and keeps the structure secure, as the improper flow of stored material can cause unequal pressure on silo walls. When combined with an inspection and the identified maintenance, regular cleaning also helps to prevent the need for more costly emergency services necessitated by neglect. Regular silo inspections can help identify issues that increase the risk of structure collapse at annual, two- or five-year intervals. A holistic review of the silo infrastructure and external loading systems can identify areas in need of repair to increase the useful life of silos, decrease material loss, or outline the need for decommissioning. Based on inspection results, preventative maintenance can be performed to avoid larger, more expensive repairs later. The cost of preventive care and restoration is minimal compared to the financial and physical toll that a full silo collapse can have on a company and team.

Inspection levels Marietta Silos LLC has significant experience of providing silo construction and restoration and offers a comprehensive inspection programme.

The company’s AI Supplemental Inspection incorporates powerful artificial intelligence software and drone capture technology to allow faster, more accurate exterior inspections. AI Supplemental Inspection uses drone capture technology to obtain images and videos of the entire silo or bulk storage container exterior. During the drone capture phase, detailed images of the entire silo are captured at precise intervals around the structure via a predetermined flight plan. This data is then processed, using proprietary software, into an interactive 3D model. AI algorithms identify damage or defects on the silo surface. Defect information, including type, measurement and exact location, is then ranked in order of severity. It can be used as a standalone, supplemental inspection service between regular inspections or combined with any other silo inspection level. Level I A Level I inspection involves a cursory visual inspection of the silo exterior by a silo inspector. It typically includes examining the silo foundation walls, roof cones and discharge configuration. A written report with recommendations is then provided and may lead to a higher-level inspection based on the findings presented within the report. Level 1 + AI adds the AI supplemental inspection. Level II Level II inspections consist of a Level I visual inspection coupled with a physical inspection of the structure interior with a confined space vessel entry and onsite observations to be reviewed by silo engineers. A written report of findings outlines recommendations based on industry best practices. Level 2 + AI adds the AI supplemental inspection.

A trained drone pilot follows the predetermined flight plan to collect the necessary data and limit the time on site. 10

Level III Level III inspections combine visual and physical examinations and potentially incorporate a complete interior inspection, an inspection by a silo engineer, or an engineering evaluation. All silo inspections examine aspects of silos known to be potential areas of failure, including foundations, walls, cones or discharge configuration, and roofs. Level 3 + AI adds the AI supplemental inspection. World Cement BMHR 2021

AI inspection adds several benefits: f Highly accurate AI software can detect even small defects (smaller than 0.1 mm) and map the precise location onto the captured silo image for future examination. f Faster crack and exterior defect mapping. f Customers receive a detailed PDF with damage mapping analytics that are ranked by severity. f When used annually, it provides a clear portfolio to track defect changes year by year and reduce liability from unexpected failures.

Case study Marietta Silos completed an AI inspection in December 2020 on a series of silos at a cement plant in the south-eastern US. The facility housed a total of 20 silos that were each roughly 105 ft tall with an internal diameter of approximately 26 ft. Railroad tracks ran alongside the silos, which posed an additional safety risk during routine inspections. Images and data were collected onsite over approximately six hours; a fraction of the normal time. By comparison, a non-technology-assisted inspection would typically take around five days. Even with typical access equipment like scaffolding or manlifts, there were still many areas that would be inaccessible or have limited accessibility due to site constraints, like railroad tracks, trucks, etc. The drone, however, could safely navigate the area with ease. Marietta Silos created a 3D model of all silos on site from the data collected and used the proprietary software to map damages on their exact location on the silo. The subsequent report presented from this data detailed the

exterior silo defects and categorised them based on severity levels (critical, high, medium, low). Of the 175 defects detected, 45% were critical. Marietta Silos could then recommend what repairs, if any, were needed to remediate issues. In combination with the still images and the 3D model, Marietta Silos was able to offer the most accurate repair estimates, which ultimately saved the customer money and reduced downtime. With this inspection completed, the facility can use subsequent AI inspections to create a robust portfolio that allows automatic data comparison to track defect changes more accurately.

Conclusion Prevention is the most effective method for guarding against silo collapse and structural failure. Valuable insight can be gained through casual observation during normal work activities. Yet, a proactive maintenance and inspection programme is crucial to extending a silo’s life and ensuring the safety of those working around the structures. Regular silo inspection and maintenance increases the useful life of silos, reduces unplanned downtime, and helps to uphold production goals. Inspections also ensure the continued safety of a silo. Marietta Silos’ Artificial Intelligence Inspection service provides a new way to detect and track silo defects. The proprietary AI software detects even minute cracks, spalling, corrosion, and damage in a matter of minutes. Damage is mapped onto a 3D model of the silo or silos in the exact location and is ranked based on severity. Customers are provided with a detailed PDF of the findings and restoration suggestions based on over a century of experience. The service provides data to help facility managers keep a closer eye on exterior changes between regularly scheduled inspections. In addition, annual AI supplemental inspections enable comparisons over time and help reduce liability from unexpected failures.

About the author

A 3D model created of some of the silos – coloured circles on the silo surface indicate mapped damage that is colour-coded based on severity. 12

Dennis Blauser is the CEO of Marietta Group, which houses Marietta Silos, Marietta Inspection Services, and USA Silo Service. World Cement BMHR 2021

MORE IS MORE Rebecca Long Pyper, Dome Technology, explains how domes make massive clinker and cement storage possible and protect product in the process.


he second-largest clinker storage dome in the world is currently being constructed by Dome Technology. This dome was designed to be 220 ft in diameter and 164 ft tall, and perhaps most importantly to the customer, it will store 190 000 metric t of clinker. When complete, it will be second largest in size only to a clinker dome in Romania, also built by Dome Technology, and will act as an important project in the construction company’s 40-year portfolio. A project this size does not simply kick into high gear overnight. Conversations started in 2017, and after pinning down the essentials – maximising

site dimensions, required live reclaim percentage and personnel safety – Dome Technology’s team presented different dome shapes and sizes with solutions designed to meet customer needs. In the end, the customer chose three on-grade reclaim tunnels to increase the percentage of live reclaim and to accommodate the conveyor layout on the site. The above-grade tunnels are backfilled with limestone, and the backfill is held below the top of the tunnel hopper so that when the clinker is reclaimed by a wheel loader, the operator can easily reclaim the stored material without accidentally disturbing the tunnel backfill.


This ‘floor’ will minimise the likelihood of limestone inadvertently being picked up with clinker product. It will also have the added benefit of lowering construction costs. When complete, the major benefits of this dome will be seen in construction and maintenance cost savings. Rather than an aluminium or steel dome roof atop a concrete wall, Dome Technology is building a monolithic reinforced-concrete dome without seams;

In 2008 Dome Technology built this clinker dome in Romania for Lafarge – it is still the largest clinker storage in the world with a capacity of 193 000 mt.

the lack of access points eliminates moisture entry as an issue of concern. Also, many foundation systems complement concrete domes, which often cuts costs. A cement-storage dome’s specifications are limited only by a customer’s imagination. Today’s options include a model with drive-through capability, one for space-restricted sites, and another that maximises large parcels of land where height restrictions are a concern. New ideas are also encouraged and embraced, and since each dome is custom designed, each has its own look and function. Dome Technology was founded by an inventor, and the pursuit of new ideas is an important company tenet. “We certainly consider (customer) ideas and look at the merits – we don’t have any issues with someone coming up with a better mousetrap. It’s their project, and we are happy to work with them and advance the technology,” said Lane Roberts, Sales Manager. “If it’s a great idea but we can add some extra value to it, we will share that with them.”

Dome Technology’s Drive-Thru DomeSilo allows companies to fill truck or rail directly from the storage structure, speeding up the process of product reception to delivery.

To meet anticipated demand, concrete producer Ozinga contracted with Dome Technology to manage the entire scope of a new state-of-the-art facility, from the barge unloader and DomeSilo to the reclaim system and truck load out. 14

Storage solutions Three dome styles are popular with cement companies. The most common is the DomeSilo, a design that is taller than it is wide and allows companies to stack product deeper on a smaller footprint, requiring less property at the site. The increased capacity is made possible by geometry: The double curvature of a dome lends itself to the ability to build up, rather than out, and the curve provides strength at all points of the structure, even at the apex. The entire interior can be used to contain product. In recent years Dome Technology has introduced a Drive-Thru DomeSilo to the marketplace, a model that allows companies to fill truck or rail directly from the storage structure and speed up the process of product reception to delivery. Continental Cement Company was the first to adopt this model, and in 2018 a Drive-Thru was built at a recently acquired Continental Cement site in Memphis, Tennessee, USA. While the existing silo and adjacent scale had not been used for some time, complete upgrades of these assets along with a new dome, barge unloader and dock upgrades have allowed Continental Cement to become the leader in service in the Memphis market. The company has been pleased with the efficiency of the overall system: “We can load trucks at the same time we can replenish our inventory via barge unloading — all of this while being basically dust free, which is important to our customers and to our community,” said Area Supervisor Dustin Whited. With dimensions of approximately 100 ft tall and 50 ft in diameter, this Drive-Thru World Cement BMHR 2021

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can be supplied by barge from any one of Continental Cement’s plants. The engineering design of the new barge unloader allows discharge into either the Drive-Thru DomeSilo, storing 5000 t of cement, or the 3000 t traditional silo. New aeration of the existing silo allows for a much-increased truck-loading rate. The Drive-Thru delivers 100% live reclaim from a fully aerated floor. Product flows through a hopper for loading into trucks and, potentially in the future, rail. An in-line lump crusher on the loadout stack-up ensures that lumps passed through the receiving system do not make it into trucks. The dome can receive 350 mtph from the barge unloader and load out at 320 mtph. According to Whited, the biggest advantage of this model is the ability to load directly from the floor of the dome. The third dome model that Dome Technology continues to build is the hemispherical dome, particularly at sites with a height restriction. These domes are essentially a sphere sliced in half. These structures are the original dome storage model and are also an economical solution. Reducing the size and cost of the reclaim system also plays a major part in overall project cost. This often helps determine the most economical dome geometry and efficient storage solution.

Dome storage benefits Storage is often one of the largest components in any new facility, and a dome is built with an unlimited lifespan – its concrete shell and geometry boast unrivalled strength. Dome construction methods require no interior trusses, so the entire inside volume can be utilised for storage or reclaim systems. All domes provide ideal conditions for stored materials requiring a controlled environment. Monolithic concrete construction, coupled with a fabric membrane surrounding the entire dome, prevents water and moisture from seeping in. The dome’s insulated nature reduces heating and cooling of the walls and air inside, preventing condensation from forming on the interior. Foam and concrete provide humidity control and moderate externally generated temperature fluctuations. A dome’s strength and geometry also provide a tolerance for differential settlement. Those qualities combined with geotechnical engineering and site analysis ensure proper foundation selection and performance.

Custom storage and turnkey construction Based on customer must-haves and a firm budget, Dome Technology can execute an entire project from design to completion through its design-build process. After more than 40 years of experience in bulk construction, the company’s network of bulk-storage vendors and subcontractors is wide and deep, allowing the team to partner with industry leaders.


To start a project, a customer provides a list of required features, objectives and constraints; value-design concepts are backed by many years of engineering and construction experience and then provided to the customer. The customer and Dome Technology work together to optimise the design and project cost to achieve the facility a customer needs within budgetary constraints. The following factors guide early conversations: f Capacity requirements: How much cement needs to be stored and transported annually? f Geographical and geological position: Define the site requirements and determine the site-specific geotechnical information. f Expansion: Is this a project extending a facility’s original scope? Is future growth likely? f Product consideration: A turnkey builder like Dome Technology can provide counsel on designing unique storage for each specific stored product. f Operations: What are the company’s plans for filling, reclaim, product management and controlling inventories? If these are not known or defined, help is available. Two major advantages with design-build are that change orders are reduced and schedules are usually met because each phase of the project is built into the plan. These often yield cost savings and a smoother construction experience. Besides costing less to build and operate, domes are also cost-efficient. Domes are built with locally available concrete and reinforcing steel, and local crews are often hired for assisting in construction, which is a benefit for city economies as it provides jobs and pumps money back into the marketplace. Additionally, a dome’s double curvature requires fewer construction materials with significantly less waste, and a dome can be built quickly; once the outer weatherproof membrane is in place, construction moves inside and continues regardless of the weather.

Construction in the cement industry If Dome Technology’s current project list is any indication, there is no slowdown in sight for the cement industry. At the time of writing, the company is working on four cement or cement-product projects and is in conversations for multiple future contracts. With sophistication on the increase, customers can secure the facility they want, and the process is made easier by selecting a construction company that can oversee the project from start to finish.

About the author Rebecca Long Pyper has been a writer with Dome Technology for six years. She holds a Master’s degree in communication and previously taught college writing and worked as a newspaper section editor.

World Cement BMHR 2021



Jérémie Freliez, Standard Industrie, discusses applications for air cannon systems and reviews recent upgrades.


ir cannons act to prevent material build-ups by firing regularly. They are an economical solution that uses air only when the shots are activated. With a wide range (tank capacity from 4 – 400 l), Airchoc and Macsys air cannons are suitable for many bulk areas. Using these air cannons also allows operators to stabilise and optimise industrial processes. Indeed, when unclogging occurs too late, it can result in a loss of material (solidified, for example), contamination or fermentation of products, or a temporary halt in production. The Airchoc system is designed to eliminate flow problems occurring in bins, silos, hoppers and chutes when bridging and rat-holing occur. A volume of accumulated compressed air is instantly discharged through a large outlet pipe, directly connected to the storage unit. The result of this impact force into the material corresponds to a shock-wave due to the sudden release of the compressed air. A wide tailor-made range, and a smart combination of mechanisms (standard or high temperature) and pressure vessels enables bespoke and personalised solutions to be developed for any build-up or concretion problems.


The Airchoc air cannon.

The Macsys air cannon.

Adapted from the Airchoc air cannon technology, the Macsys system has been developed as a solution to access problems in hard-to-reach areas, thus optimising personnel safety during maintenance. A volume of accumulated compressed air (200 l) is instantaneously released through a large outlet pipe in DN100 or DN150 at a pressure of 6 – 10 bar. The system is placed at a distance from the area to be cleaned and is connected to blowpipes thanks to flexible hoses especially designed for this system with DN100 or 150. As with the Airchoc system, the sudden release of compressed air impacts the material and sends a shockwave through it. By using a custom combination of outlets and nominal diameters, it is possible to account for the distance between the Macsys system and the area to be cleaned, without a loss of efficiency.

Air cannon applications and installation

The Macsys system installed on the tip of the cyclone.

The Airchoc can be installed on raw material storage units (cement, lime, sand, powders, flours, grains, wood chips, peat, etc.). The system can also be found at the end of the process on fly ash or lime silos. When used on the preheating tower, for example, Airchoc air cannons, placed at the level of the cyclones, and at the kiln inlet, ensure continuous flowing production, and allow operations to continue without unplanned outage. When overseeing an installation, Standard Industrie technical teams carefully study the clogging factors, the behaviour of the clogged product, the inclinations of the storage unit, and any relevant productivity issues, etc. This complete diagnosis allows for an optimal installation recommendation according to the environment of use (various risks, high heat zone, corrosiveness, type of fuels burnt) to be established. The recommended solution will also consider the need for the precise orientation of the shot, the number of shots, the diameter of the blow pipe according to the available pressure, the volume of the tank and the blow pipe length.

System enhancements

The Macsys system installed on the duct. 18

In order to meet customer requirements, Standard Industrie’s design team spent more than a year developing modifications for the Airchoc system, in order to make it more efficient and economical to operate. The latest improvements include: Reduced compressed air usage: This is thanks to improved sealing of the piston and World Cement BMHR 2021

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the possibility of shooting using only part of the air contained in the tank. There are also plans to allow the system to be programmed for a sequence of multiple shots. Improved reliability: No air passes through the piston seal, meaning that no seal wear is encountered. Spare parts: The solenoid valve, the valve, or the silencers, rationalised and selected for their durability, allow for a simplified maintenance process. In this respect, Standard Industrie has also created an Airchoc maintenance kit that avoids the need for time-consuming and costly interventions for production site operators. Since December 2020, Standard Industrie has been offering customers fleet audits to evaluate their needs in terms of equipment renewal and

A wireless Airchoc system with control panel and transmitter.

homogeneity. The transition to the new version of AIRCHOC ensures the continuity of supply of compatible spare parts. The conversion of the fleet only concerns AIRCHOC heads, so a change of tank is not required.

Case study: LafargeHolcim Carboneras Customer LafargeHolcim Carboneras Cement plant – Spain Problem This client consulted Standard Industrie to solve a problem of build-up in a rising shaft at the level of the preheating tower and a clogging problem on the tip of a cyclone. Two solutions were offered: f The installation of a conventional Airchoc system. f The installation of Macsys. Solution The installation of five Macsys DN150, four on the rising duct and one on the tip of the cyclone was the chosen option because it was able to solve the plant’s problems at a lower cost. The Macsys solution allows access to the areas to be treated by lengthening the nozzles, thus removing the need for additional platforms or structures necessary for the maintenance of any industrial equipment. Other advantages include reduced maintenance costs due to the distance of the Macsys from the heat points, and safe access for maintenance personnel. Result This cement plant is satisfied with the results, as the clogging problems (pre-clinker) have been resolved. The Macsys solution contributes to the smooth and efficient operation of this preheating tower, the heart of any cement plant.

Case study: Beton Montois Customer Beton Montois concrete manufacturer – France Problem The sand silo with a grain size of 04 had issues with clogging that prevented the material from descending. The customer was ringing the silo, which creates a high risk of accidents because of the moving skip, which picks up the material and brings it into the hopper.

Four AIRCHOC 520 Atex with tapping on a biomass hopper. 20

Solution f Installation of a wireless Airchoc air cannon (50 l). f Extended blowpipe and sleeve for the Airchoc installation outside of the process area. World Cement BMHR 2021

f Manual triggering of the Airchoc via remote control from the control station. Result Elimination of clogging and safety for the operator.

Case study 3: Biomass power plant Customer Biomass thermal power plant. The lessons here can also be applied to biomass facilities in cement plants. Problem This customer is facing clogging problems (bridging) both in the feed chutes of the biomass boiler and in the hopper above the augers. This clogging is mainly due to the low density of the material and its moisture content.

air cannon systems, such as those detailed in this article, offer the following advantages: f Effective declogging of structures without interrupting the production process. f The risk of feed restrictions, blockages, and resulting production downtime is eliminated. f Enhanced safety. f A fast return on investment.

About the author Jérémie Freliez is in charge of the design office at Standard Industrie. For more than 3 years, with his team, he has participated in the evolution of the AIRCHOC air cannon.

Solution Eight Airchoc 0.5 l air cannons were strategically installed on the chutes and four Airchoc AC520 were placed on the hopper to prevent material deposits. All Airchoc installations complied with the ATEX zone 20 certification. Result This device allows the customer to reduce outage risks and to maintain its production of 20 MW/hr.

Conclusion Over the years, many industries have successfully replaced manual cleaning with air cannon systems. Manual cleaning requires qualified personnel and high levels of supervision, moreover extra safety measures have to be taken and sometimes may even lead to unplanned shutdown, and a resulting loss of production. This type of human intervention is both difficult and dangerous, and can cause serious or even fatal accidents. In contrast,

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James Swindlehurst, Primasonics, explores the advantages offered by acoustic cleaners and shows how they can solve the three key problems encountered in silo storage.


coustic cleaning encompasses the realm of sound transmission through solids. It is best described by the creation of rapid pressure fluctuations. These pressure fluctuations are transmitted into the particulate matter or ‘bonded’ dry material causing the solid particles to resonate and dislodge from the surface they are deposited on or bonded to. Once dislodged, the materials fall, either due to gravity or are carried away by the gas or air stream within the process. Acoustic Cleaners are widely employed wherever ash, dust and powders are generated, processed, stored


or transported. Primasonics acoustic cleaning systems ranging from 60 – 420 Hz in fundamental frequency have been beneficial in both preventing material hang-ups and maintaining maximum continuous material flow in a range of industrial processes including in silos and hoppers. Primasonics acoustic cleaning systems have been installed in over 80 countries worldwide with some of the company’s most challenging but successful applications taking place within silos that contained dry materials such as cement, carbon black and fly ash, to name a few common examples.




Operational advantages It is important to understand several main advantages that acoustic cleaners have over alternative cleaning and material handling methods that have been employed to try and aid material flow. Primasonics acoustic cleaners operate at fundamental frequencies much higher than the natural frequency of the silo construction, thus preventing resonance leading to vibrational/structural damage. Instead, sound at an extreme pressure level is focused into the bulk material directly which is used to break the adhesive and cohesive bonds between the bulk material particles and the walls of the silo. This is quite unlike vibrators which, by their very nature and method of installation, cause vibration and stress weaknesses within the vessel or structure to which they are attached. The vibration resonances from the vibrators first have to pass through the vessel wall before reaching the material. With the acoustic cleaner the sound is not used to ‘drive’ the vessel, and with the fundamental frequencies produced being much higher than the natural resonance frequency of the silo structure, 100% of the sound energy is focused into the material.

Air cannons/blasters seek to provide a very localised cure for a blockage problem which has already occurred. In many cases the air cannon simply ‘blows’ a localised hole through the blockage, necessitating the installation of many air cannons within the general problem area. This differs from acoustic cleaning as the problem is approached with a totally different philosophy – by preventing the build up from occurring in the first place with a frequent periodic sounding cycle.

How do acoustic cleaners work in silos and hoppers? Primasonics Audiosonic acoustic cleaners are simple in their operation, requiring only normal plant compressed air for their initial energy source. Compressed air enters the Wave Generator and forces the only moving part, the ultra-high-grade titanium diaphragm to reverberate very rapidly within its specially designed housing. These rapid reverberations set up the standing sound waves which are then amplified from the base tone to the selected key fundamental frequency set by the bell section itself. The current range of models produce set fundamental frequencies between 60 – 420 Hz. The lower frequency models produce a longer wavelength of sound and, in general, are used to cover larger applications than the smaller higher frequency units of which the specific requirements are quoted on a case-by-case basis.

Three key problems

PAS120 on a salt silo to prevent material ratholing.

PAS75 used to prevent silo ratholing. 24

Irrespective as to whether the bulk storage facility is under 500 kg or over 10 000 t in terms of capacity, acoustic cleaners can be used to eliminate the three key problems that occur in silos. The first of these is ‘bridging’, which is caused when the design of the conical section has an insufficient angle of repose, side walls with excessive frictional properties or an insufficiently sized outlet for the material being contained. Consequently, these problems can become severe if a silo is used for other materials than those it was designed for, either through process or plant layout changes over time. To combat bridging, an acoustic cleaner is mounted close to the outlet just underneath where the bridge is known to typically form. When the unit sounds, single particles and clusters of particles move at different speeds thus causing the bridge to collapse and material flow to be restored. Once the acoustic cleaner has ceased to sound, new bridges will begin to form. To World Cement BMHR 2021


FLYINGBELT, CABLE CR ANES, MATERIAL ROPEWAYS, CUSTOMIZED CABLEWAYS. Since 1861, reliability, performance and innovation have been our values. Agudio is a leading brand in engineering and construction of rope-hauled material transportation systems.





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counter this, the sounding may be controlled in one of two ways, either simply on a timer device typically set for a few seconds every 5 – 10 min. during material discharge only or alternatively it can be controlled automatically via a flow sensor downstream of the outlet or even from load cells.

The next problem associated with material build up in silos is ‘ratholing’ or ‘funnel flow’ which, as the name suggests, is material adhering to the sidewalls and causing reduced working capacity within the silo itself. This usually occurs with material that displays mechanical interlocking properties or very quickly bonds without compaction, for example by means of solvent evaporation. To defeat ratholing, acoustic cleaners with a long wavelength are placed on the top of the silo usually through an available existing manhole or inspection hatch. If there is a large amount of hardened material that has built up over an extended period of time then the silo should be cleaned offline prior to the installation using a cleaning method such as the GyroWhip system. This is because if an acoustic cleaner were to be sounded in a silo with these thick hardened build-ups, and the adhesion forces between particles were greater PAS350 to prevent Carbon Black bridging in a filter hopper. than those between the side walls of the silo, there may be a chance that the material could be dislodged in slabs and cause an obstruction to the outlet. This is due to the power of low frequency acoustic cleaners, which continue to sound their transmission through the bulk material until the reflective surface of the silo is reached. Take, for example, a full silo which is prone to ratholing being slowly discharged and emptied – it is possible to imagine the central core of the material lowering a small amount while an outer ring close to the side walls remains at the same height. Without acoustic cleaning this process would continue until eventually the central core was discharged and the outer ring was left adhering to the side walls. The control engineer must determine whether to remove the silo from active process lines while offline cleaning takes place, or to refill the silo and risk lower control over the quality of product as older adhered material mixes with new material. When using acoustic cleaners, once the central core has lowered slightly, the cleaner will sound and the bonds holding the outer ring of material will collapse. This will form a flat surface along PAS120 housed within mounting tube on an ID fan. 26

World Cement BMHR 2021

the top of the material in the silo. This pattern is repeated as the silo empties, even if the silo refills before complete discharge has taken place. This now allows a ‘first in, first out’ mass flow pattern. Again, the acoustic cleaner can be controlled by a simple solenoid valve and timer arrangement or via PLC of central DCS system. The third problem area in silos and hoppers that acoustic cleaners can help with is through the prevention of material batch cross contamination. Taking the example of a weigh hopper, sometimes not all material is discharged before the next batch enters. This can lead to product contamination, which can in turn lead to quality control problems. The reasons for material failing to discharge from hoppers are similar to those already mentioned, but in weigh hoppers or similar batch filled vessels, an additional problem occurs. Material can make contact with cold side walls and moisture precipitates from the bulk material onto the side wall. This moisture forms a meniscus between the side wall and the particles which holds the powder in place so that even after discharge, a thin layer of powder remains. In this instance, the acoustic cleaner is activated when the bin is being emptied; the alternate compressive and rarefactional forces break the surface tension of the moisture and

textile packaging l recycling

allow this material to flow out, leaving the vessel to completely empty.

Installation Acoustic cleaners are easy to install by either using the Primasonics standard connecting flange, mounting tube assembly or custom mounting arrangements designed specifically to suit the application. The fundamental frequency and therefore model required along with the quantity are determined on a case-by-case basis dependant on a number of factors and parameters within the application itself. A dimensional drawing outlining each elevation of the application along with specific questionnaire are requested prior to being able to quote. The possible mounting positions are also taken into account in being able to calculate the unit(s) required for effective coverage. The systems are extremely low maintenance with the only consumable part being an aerospace specification titanium diaphragm, which should provide a minimum of two years of uninterrupted service before requiring replacement. This is then a very simple and short task taking approximately 10 min. to remove and replace and can usually be undertaken while the system remains online with acoustic cleaner isolated.

l Let our experience work for you!

Handle with


BEUMER Group reviews a single-source solution for the handling of alternative fuels and raw materials at Lafarge Zementwerke GmbH in Retznei, Austria.

n order to maintain an economical and sustainable operation, Lafarge Zementwerke GmbH’s Retznei plant in Austria relies on alternative fuels and raw materials to ignite its new calciner. BEUMER Group was awarded a contract to develop an individual, single-source solution to transport, store and dose the kiln-ready material efficiently. The core of this system solution is a U-shape conveyor. In Austrian Styria, the small village of Retznei lies directly on the Mur river. Many inhabitants in this area make their livelihoods growing grapes, fruit, pumpkins and beans. However, the largest employer in the region does not operate in agriculture but cement production: Lafarge Zementwerke GmbH, a company of Holcim headquartered in Rapperswil-Jona in Switzerland. “Cement has been produced in Retznei since 1908,” says Franz Wratschko of Lafarge Zementwerke, who is an investment manager at the Retznei plant. If, at that time, the first owner of the plant, the Ehrenhausener Portlandzementwerke, had a yearly production reaching between 4000 and 4500 wagons, as stated in an old report, nowadays the yearly production is approximately 625 000 tpy. “Our plant is known as an economic motor for this region,” adds Wratschko.



Lafarge Zementwerke places particular value on high-quality products, but also on a sustainable, energy-efficient and environmentally friendly manufacturing. In order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and lower production costs, the company has focused more on the use of alternative fuels for firing the new calciner. Instead of coal and oil, only

pre-processed and selected recyclable materials of the waste disposal are fed into the kiln. This is already a low calorie material with a calorific value of approximately 14 000 kJ/kg, which represents a practical, cost-effective and environmentally friendly alternative to the conventional deposition and combustion process. “However, the thermal exploitation of these materials in cement plants offers further advantages,” explains Wratschko. “The temperatures of approximately 2200 to 2400˚C prevailing in the rotary kiln ensure that the organic pollutants are completely destroyed. During the combustion process, ashes are completely eliminated, and the combustion residues are incorporated in the cement clinker”. The manufacturer awarded BEUMER Group a contract to install a conveyor line, which feeds material into the calciner at a capacity of 15 tph.

Improving economics For economical and sustainable operation, Lafarge Zementwerke GmbH in the Austrian Retznei plant relies on alternative fuels and raw materials to fire the new calciner.

The BEUMER Group developed a customised complete solution.

BEUMER Group supports producers of cement in the alternative fuels and raw materials field (AFR). “Our know-how and tailor-made systems permit us to offer optimum support to our customers”, says Jan Tuma, Chief Sales Officer at BEUMER Group in the Czech Republic. The system provider supplies and installs the whole chain from the acceptance and unloading of the delivery vehicle, up to the storing, conveying and feeding process of the solid alternative fuels for the specific user. The customer receives everything from one source, thus having a unique contact. The alternative fuels and raw materials have to fulfil specific quality requirements. Only pre-processed waste with a minimum calorific value of 22 000 kJ/kg and correspondingly low heavy-metal contents may, for example, be used. The material is supplied by Geocycle. The waste disposal service provider is part of the Holcim Group and pre-processes construction and mineral production waste for the clinker production in the recycling centre at Retznei. “The material we receive has a particle size of 120 x 120 x 20 mm and a density of 100 kg/m3,” says Tuma, “The moisture content amounts to 30%”.

Smooth running

The BG OptiFeed is a screw conveyor with load cells. This allows the material to be continuously metered. 30

The kiln-ready material is supplied by Geocycle in moving-floor trailers. The hydraulically controlled moving floor moves the load outwards on the conveying system. “All conveying systems supplied and the accompanying equipment are intertwined to ensure steady fuel feeding,” explains Tuma. “We have installed our unloading station BG OptiBulk”. A chain belt conveyor with World Cement BMHR 2021

“SUITED FOR HARSHEST CONDITIONS” DISCOVER A HUGE PRODUCT RANGE OF A LEADING MANUFACTURER OF CONVEYOR CHAINS AND SPROCKETS S – SINCE 1925. h noise Sprocket with reduction technology Central bucket elevator chain with forged link plates

Reclaimer chain with SCS PO and HE-Roller on a Click-On Mounting System

Cutting-edge chain technology Designed & manufactured by KettenWulf

The BG OptiBulk-AF is equipped with a special housing that protects the environment from dust leakage and the material from environmental influences.

The double discharge screw conveyors of the BG OptiLock series: The air-lock principle protects the material from the false air from outside that can arise in the combustion processes.

a length of 15 m and a belt width of 2.8 m conveys the material to this unloading station at a height of 6.6 m. The BG OptiBulk is equipped with a special housing, which protects the environment from dust escape and the material from environmental stress. This station enables the unloading of up to 150 m3/hr. The material, which is delivered by trucks, falls from the unloading station into the BG OptiFeed screw weigh feeder in a container of 20 m3. A conveying system transports further combustible material of the waste disposal service provider Geocycle to a second BG OptiFeed in a container of 50 m3. “In order to enable a continuous controlled feeding of the material, we have installed one BG OptiFeed for each material flow,” explains Tuma. The screw conveyors with weighing cells are suitable for completely different materials, which makes them well suited for the continuous feeding of alternative fuel or raw materials. Since the screw conveyors are positioned on the weighing cells, it can always be seen how much material is extracted. The feeding speed to the following conveying elements amounts to up to 15 tph. The system is dimensioned for bulk densities reaching between 0.08 – 0.15 t/m3, the regulation ratio is 1:20 and the maximum feeding accuracy is between 1 and 2%. In addition, the completely closed screw weigh feeder is protected against dust. “Thus we can feed the downstream U-shaped conveyor with up to 15 tph of material,” says Tuma.

Reliable U-shaped transport

The core of the system solution is a U-shaped conveyor: The conveyor system transports the processed waste in an environmentally friendly, dust-free and low-energy way. 32

The U-shaped conveyor is the key component of the entire system. A range of different variants of mechanical conveying systems were considered, but ultimately this conveying solution was decided upon. U-shaped conveyors can be simply integrated and are also suitable for long distances and rough terrain, as well as horizontal and vertical curves. The material conveyed is protected against external influences such as wind, rain or snow and the environment against possible dust emissions. “What is special about this solution is that it combines the advantages of open trough and closed tube belt conveyors. World Cement BMHR 2021

The troughed belt conveyors, for example, allow high mass flows even with heavy and robust materials. They have an open design and are therefore suitable for coarser materials and very large volumes. Because of the open design, conveyed material can be skimmed off in the rare event of overfilling. These conveyors can be quickly delivered, erected and also well maintained due to their simple design,” explains Tuma. With the proven components such as belt, idlers, drums and drives, they work reliably and, depending on the thickness of the trough, can also be designed as curve-compliant overland conveyors. Tubular belt conveyors, on the other hand, offer other specific advantages. The idlers form the belt into a closed tube. This protects the conveyed material from external influences and the environment from emissions such as material loss, dust or odours. Bulkhead plates with hexagonal cut-outs and support rollers in staggered arrangement keep the tube shape closed. With the pipe belt conveyor, it is possible to implement tighter curve radii and larger incline and decline angles than with a troughed belt conveyor. The system requires little space and can be adapted to the topography of the terrain. Because transfer towers and power supply equipment can thus be reduced, the operator saves money. With both the troughed belt and the tubular belt conveyor,

it is possible to transport different materials simultaneously in the upper and lower runs.

U-conveyor versus tube belt conveyor To protect fine materials such as ash and ore concentrates or industrial waste from external influences, the closed tube belt conveyors are the ideal solution. However, the higher the conveying capacity, the larger the entire system must be dimensioned. The diameter has a direct effect on the width of the conveyor and the minimum curve radius. What if there is not enough space? “We offer our U-conveyors in various designs. It depends on the respective application,” reports Tuma. The P-U conveyor offers the functionality of a tube belt conveyor, but can transport coarser materials. In this version, the upper run is formed into a U, while the lower run remains in the tube shape. This saves space and avoids material loss. Compared to the tubular belt conveyor, the operator gets a significantly higher transport capacity with the same belt width by using this solution. The tube belt conveyor is a volumetric system. Based on a pipe diameter of 150 and a belt width of 600 mm, the conveying capacity is 100 m3/hr. With the same size, the P-U conveyor manages a capacity of 170 m3/hr. It is thus possible to offer a conveying capacity that is around 70% higher.

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U-conveyor versus troughed belt conveyor

example, when tighter curve radii are required or there are route sections that require a narrower The T-U conveyor, on the other hand, is suitable if design. For example, it is possible to install a the operator relies on the advantages of a troughed troughed belt conveyor for the routing outside a belt conveyor, but has to cope with specific tunnel, while in the tunnel itself the design of the topographical conditions. This is the case, for conveyor changes to a T-U conveyor. “Compared to a troughed belt conveyor with a capacity of 500 tph and a belt width of 650 mm, I achieve the same capacity with a T-U conveyor, but save 150 mm of space,” Tuma explains. “The larger the troughed belt conveyor, the greater the space savings related to it.” The U-conveyor is suitable for all industries, especially when large grain sizes need to be transported or there is not enough space for an open troughed belt conveyor. This conveying solution is suitable for coarse but also for very fine material. The system in Retznei has a diameter of 250 mm, a conveying length of 253 m and navigates at a speed of 1 m/sec. a height of 32 m with a maximum inclination of more than 20˚. “At the feeding point, the U-shape conveyor U-shape conveyors are easy to integrate and are also is open as a traditional belt conveyor,” suitable for horizontal and vertical curves. explains Tuma. “A special idler configuration brings the belt in a U-shape”. This way the bulk material reaches the discharge station. An idler configuration similar to that for the shaping is used for opening the belt. Compared to the pipe conveyor, the U-shape conveyors have, among other things, considerably higher feeding rates because a smaller belt is used. The U-shape conveyor transfers the material to a double discharge screw conveyor of the BG OptiLock constructions series. The airlock of this system solution protects the pyroprocess from the infiltrated air from outside, which can arise in the combustion The conveyed material is protected against external process. The BG OptiLock is also equipped influences such as wind, rain or snow, and from with weighing cells. As a result, the owner the environment against potential material loss and always has an overview of the actual material possible emissions. load. The discharge screw conveyor transfers the bulk material continuously on a screw conveyor, which feeds the calciner. As the material can catch fire, the system provider has designed all supplied systems according to the ATEX directive for the zones 21 and 22. “We are very satisfied with this single-source system,” states Wratschko. “The conveying systems and the accompanying equipment are intertwined to ensure steady fuel feeding”. BEUMER Group has demonstrated substantial competence with regard to the handling of alternative fuels in the cement industry and in supporting their customers efficiently – all within a short period of time: The contract for this order was signed in May 2018 and in January 2019 the system The alternative fuels are transported to the calciner via was put into operation. the conveyor. 34

World Cement BMHR 2021

Doppelmayr shows how ropeway technology combines the best of both conveyor and cable car systems, providing a flexible handling solution for cement producers.


ardon Hill Quarry in Leicestershire is one of the United Kingdom’s oldest continuously operated quarries. Aggregate Industries UK Ltd has recently developed a new quarry extension at this strategically important site. In order to sustain quarrying activities, a separate material handling system is required to extract, process and transport overburden for emplacement within the existing quarry as part of its restoration.

Developing a solution Doppelmayr Transport Technology has worked closely with Aggregate Industries UK Ltd to develop a custom solution that is designed to significantly reduce CO2 emissions and environmental impact compared with road haulage or the footprint associated with a conventional surface conveyor system.


The Bardon Hill quarry site, Leicestershire, UK. Table 1. Case study statistics. Bardon Hill Section 1 Length

470/494 m

Difference in elevation

-145/-55 m

Conveying capacity

1000 tph


3.3 m/s

Motor rating continuous

-371/-74 kW

Section 2 Length

100 m

The RopeCon® system is a combination of ropeway technology and conventional conveying technology. The system offers the benefits of a belt conveyor, as well as those of a cable car, by combining the best of both technologies. It essentially consists of a cross-reinforced continuous flat belt with corrugated side walls which is driven and deflected by a drum in the head or tail station. The belt is fixed to axles arranged at regular intervals, which support the belt. Running wheels are fitted to either end of the axles. These run on track ropes with fixed anchoring and guide the belt. The three track rope pairs form the line structure for the system and are elevated off the ground on tower structures. The system therefore requires only a minimum amount of space on the ground and is ideally suited for difficult terrain and is able to cross obstacles of all kinds. At the Bardon Hill Quarry project, track ropes will span 850 m across the entire pit upon which the belt which transports the overburden will travel. The RopeCon system includes a reversible second belt that will enable simultaneous conveying and emplacement activities. During the life of the operation, the track ropes will be periodically retensioned to allow the system to be lifted above the placed material. This ability to control the drop height will minimise the impact from noise and dust during operation of the system. Currently under construction, this will be the first such installation in the UK and will transport up to 1000 t of overburden per operating hour.

Difference in elevation

0/4.5 m

Conveying capacity

1000 tph


2.6 m/s

Case study: Guatemala

Motor rating continuous

7/35 kW

The RopeCon technology is currently in use for a variety of material transport applications. For instance, Cementos Progreso, S. A. chose the technology for the transport of limestone. The system is used as a means to cover the distance between the crusher and the processing plant of San Gabriel. RopeCon is well suited for the hilly terrain and for the crossing of wooded areas. The San Gabriel cement plant is located some 35 km northwest of Guatemala City, and produces some 2.2 million tpy of cement for the local market. The limestone needed for the process is mined in a quarry located approximately 200 m lower than the cement plant. The terrain between the crusher in the quarry and the plant is hilly, wooded and stretches over a distance of approximately 1.6 km. By using RopeCon to transport the limestone between the crusher and the processing plant, Cementos Progreso, S. A. is able to cross

Progrefa Length

1583 m

Vertical elevation

196 m

Conveying capacity

2100 tph


3.6 m/s

Number of towers


Motor rating continuous

1680 kW

Berber Cement Length Difference in elevation

3465 m 14 m

Conveying capacity

700 tph


3.3 m/s

Number of towers Motor rating continuous


5 185 kW

World Cement BMHR 2021

that terrain in a straight line despite the difficult topographical situation. A gradient of 22˚ is reached where the terrain is steepest, however, because the belt is fitted with axles with running wheels at regular intervals, no additional cleats were required. The system requires no more than four towers over its entire length. Thanks to the long rope spans between the towers, the amount of space required on the ground can be reduced to a minimum. The need to interfere with vegetation remains limited to a small number of points and the track does not represent an insurmountable obstacle for wildlife or humans. The material is loaded by a feeder conveyor and is unloaded at the unloading station via a housed-in chute. The system is designed to transport 2100 tph of limestone and marl to cover the demand for cement production.

Case study: Sudan RopeCon’s ability to deal with the crossing of obstacles also has advantages outside of hilly terrain. To meet the daily demand of 9000 t of limestone for Berber Cement Company’s

The RopeCon system transporting limestone between the crusher and the San Gabriel processing plant for Cementos Progreso S.A.

Crossing the River Nile and transporting 9000 tpd of limestone for Berber Cement. 38

new cement plant, a modern crushing plant was installed 8 km away on the western side of the River Nile. Land transportation of 9000 tpd encounters a massive natural obstacle: The Nile, the world’s longest river which is approximately 850 m wide in this area. The transport of the material from West to East can only be carried out by constructing a bridge across the river, by using small barges, or by using a ropeway-type system crossing the river between two towers. When all conventional options to transport the material from one side of the Nile to the other seemed to meet with certain difficulties, Berber Cement decided to look into a RopeCon solution for its problem. The loading station is located right on the western shore of the river, immediately behind the crusher. The material arrives on trucks. The crushed stone is loaded via a feed conveyor and a chute. The system spans the Nile with a single large rope span between two tower structures positioned on either side of the river. It is not necessary to have a support structure in the river. The total length of the Berber Cement RopeCon is approximately 3465 m from the loading station to the discharge station. Its transport capacity is 700 tph. Due to river navigation, the minimum clearance between the system and the high-water level of the Nile must always be 21 m. The tallest tower is almost 80 m in height. Apart from the crossing of the river, other aspects of the transport were also taken into consideration, one of them being the space requirements of ground mounted systems: In this desert country, the shores of the Nile form one narrow corridor of fertile land which is used for farming. A road would cut right through this valuable strip of land. RopeCon, a system that is elevated off the ground, is able to span this corridor with just a few tower structures and requires no division of the valuable farm land along the shores of the river. On the eastern shores of the river, several settlements border on the farm land. A transport solution that was to rely on trucks would expose residents to a considerable amount of noise and dust. With RopeCon such truck runs and the associated noise and dust pollution can be avoided. The system’s low rolling resistance helps keep operating costs low, whereas the maintenance of an entire fleet of trucks as well as of a road would have resulted in considerable expenses. Virtually all moving parts of the system are mounted on the belt, which means that they keep travelling through the stations where they can be easily maintained. No complicated maintenance lines or platforms are required. Any inspections of the line can be performed with the inspection vehicle. World Cement BMHR 2021

KEEPING CONVEYING CLEAN ScrapeTec reviews a range of solutions for the efficient control of dust and spills, and the elimination of misalignment, abrasion and conveyor belt damage.


ompanies around the world are continually looking for more efficient, dependable systems to alleviate problems associated with dust generation and belt misalignment in bulk handling. Common difficulties include dust, spills

and contamination at the transfer points of conveyor systems. Misalignment, abrasion and subsequent belt damage are other problems industry faces. Industries must also be equipped to cope efficiently with the challenges of moist and sticky materials.


ScrapeTec has developed advanced solutions for conveyor systems used in diverse sectors, including the handling of difficult bulk materials, such as cement, fertilizer, coal and minerals. The AirScrape and TailScrape systems are designed to prevent dust formation, reduce material spill, enable thorough belt-cleaning and minimise the risk of explosion at critical sections along the conveyor route and at transfer points. Also in the range of ScrapeTec conveyor components, is the PrimeTracker belt tracker, which is aimed at eliminating other problems associated with conveyor belt systems, including misalignment, abrasion and belt damage. Conventional dust control measures – which include side seals, covers, shrouds or enclosures around a dust source – do help to

suppress dust generation and dispersal in the short-term, but many of these measures quickly wear-out as a result of friction and can damage the belt of the conveyor during extended periods of use. There are benefits to be found when combining a number of systems in a single conveyor system. The PrimeTracker ensures that the belt remains in the correct position during operation, thus eliminating problems with belt mistracking, while the AirScrape and TailScrape control dust, prevent material spills and minimise explosion risks.

Managing moist and sticky materials

The ScrapeTec team recently installed a system comprising of the ScrapeTec AirScrape, TailScrape and PrimeTracker belt tracker on a conveyor system at a cement plant, which received positive feedback from the customer. According to the plant manager, since the installation of this system over a year ago, dust and material spillage problems have been significantly reduced. The plant manager also notes there is no longer any reason for extensive cleaning operations, and maintenance work on the conveyor belt is minimal. Prior to this installation, the plant team had to spend hours each day, cleaning the belt periphery and all transfer points, due to unplanned material spills and remnants of product. The plant manager had previously tried various methods The contact-free AirScrape conveyor belt skirting to cope with annoying material spills in system is designed to reduce material spill, dust the plant’s moist and sticky environment formation and explosion hazards at transfer points and without success. This efficient conveyor other critical sections in the conveyor chain. system means the plant team can now spend more time on productive work at the plant. Studies in other projects show that, even five years after installation and with continuous use in harsh conditions, these systems show minimal signs of wear. Operational costs are also reduced because there is no need for spillage collection, regular maintenance, or replacement parts.

Dust control The TailScrape system, which enhances performance of the AirScrape, is available in small, medium and large designs, suitable for all belt widths. TailScrape is mounted precisely to the existing AirScrape system, so that it seals the transfer to the bend, averting dust generation and material spillage, while also reducing the risk of explosion. 40

The contact-free AirScrape conveyor belt skirting system is an effective side seal that lies over the conveyor belt, without contact and creates negative pressure on the belt, due to its specially-designed lamella structure. Because the system hovers freely above the conveyor belt, skirt friction and belt damage are eliminated and World Cement BMHR 2021

the service life of every component of the conveyor is extended. The AirScrape system encompasses inward facing, hardened-steel diagonal blades and operates according to a new principle where it hovers 1 – 2 mm, on the left and right side above the conveyor belt. These blades deflect larger particles inwards, while using the air-flow of the conveyor belt and conveyed material to create an inward suction, forcing any dust and fine particles back into the product flow. Through these diagonally fitted plates and the speed of the running belt, air is drawn from the outside inwards. As a result, neither the dust nor material can escape. Conventional skirting is pressed against a conveyor belt to keep dust and material in the middle of the belt, but after a period, wear of the skirting and belt can be so severe, that material and dust escapes. Material spillage at transfer points needs to be removed and regular maintenance of belt skirting and transfer points is necessary. With this dust-free and contact-free side-sealing system for belt conveyors, there is no skirt contact and therefore no belt wear or damage. Motor power requirements are reduced as there is no belt-skirt friction and because there is continuous skirting with no gaps, product loss is minimal. The system is fitted using spacers, floating the blades just above the belt. It is attached to the outside of the chute by utilising existing skirt clamps or a simple bolt and nut system. It is longitudinally adjustable to follow the contours of conveyor belt rollers and the belt trough angle.

the conveying area, preventing the escape of materials. Dust is kept in the material flow by air intake. TailScrape is mounted precisely to an existing AirScrape system, so that it seals the transfer to the bend, averting dust generation and material spillage, whilst also reducing the risk of explosion. The system operates without contact to the conveyor belt, which means there is no belt or skirting wear and because the load on the drive system is reduced, there is no belt friction. This system, which can be operated permanently, reduces maintenance requirements and replacement costs, while also extending the service life of components.

Beltracker benefits

For optimal performance of a conveyor system, it is critical that the belt always runs straight on the conveyor, without sideways movement. The PrimeTracker belt tracker has been designed to automatically guide a conveyor belt back into the correct straight-line position, to prevent costly downtime and component replacement. An advantage of this device is that it is operates in the idling position at all times, unless there is sideways movement of the belt. The system corrects misalignment by guiding the belt back into the correct position, with no damage or abrasion to the belt or tracker. This is unlike conventional belt trackers that slide over the belt surface, risking potential abrasion and belt damage rather than adopting free rotation. Conventional belt trackers, with tapered edges, never idle and are always in a Transfer tail skirting system braking mode. Similar to the AirScrape, the TailScrape system What is also notable, is the cylindrical shape and pivot bush that allow this belt tracker to utilises the Venturi concept to prevent dust swing and tilt during operation and to always generation and material spills. The intelligent be in full contact with the belt. Additionally, the blade structure on the underside of the system system has the same peripheral speed over ensures that negative pressure is created in the entire surface of the belt, where traditional crowned rollers have different speeds at the centre and edges of the system. Other advantages include easy installation, low maintenance requirements and protection of belt edges and structure of the conveyor belt. A strong corrugated EPDM rubber hose protects this system from dust and sand, while the rubber pivot offers soft suspension of the tracker shaft, ensuring extended service life of the system. PrimeTrackers are designed to eliminate problems This system can be installed in front normally associated with conveyor belt systems, including of every return pulley, above and misalignment of the belt, which results in costly downtime below the belt. and abrasion and belt damage. 42

World Cement BMHR 2021

CONFIDENCE IN CONVEYOR CONVERSIONS Peter Müller & Philipp Ludwigt, AUMUND Fördertechnik GmbH, discuss the history and evolution of the company’s conversion business.


t is important to consider modifications to existing conveying equipment, both for technological reasons and for operational cost-effectiveness. AUMUND Fördertechnik GmbH focuses principally on belt and chain bucket elevators and pan conveyors. Based on many years of experience, the company’s conversion business has seen five significant stages of successive development. The first step was taken in 2001 with modernisations carried out on machines it had previously supplied. The latest of the five stages began in 2020 with the establishment of AUMUND CompetenceCentre Conversions, where the conversion know-how of the entire group of companies is bundled. Each individual conversion is carried out in one of three Conversion Levels: I, II and III.

History and on-going development Stage 1 20 years ago Franz-W. Aumund had an idea: Instead of supplying spare parts for bucket elevators that have been in operation for decades, and are no longer operating at current technological standards, these machines should be modernised and modified to bring them up to date with the latest developments. The advantages are clear: outdated chain ranges need no longer be kept in stock, and the spare parts portfolio can be streamlined to contain only the latest parts on the market. Customers benefit from a technological upgrade of their plant, which adds value. The Conversion Department of AUMUND Fördertechnik carried out 25 conversions in its first year of existence, 2001. The 3-Level Strategy is determined by the interfaces that define a project The fundamental consideration in any conversion project is the interface between existing, repurposed, and new components.


The interface situation is the factor by which the conversion level is determined. Level I consists of a simple exchange of key components such as chain or belt. This type of conversion is only possible if the original machine is of an identical or sufficiently similar construction to an AUMUND machine, and if the basic conveying principle corresponds to the AUMUND principle. If this is not the case, a Level II conversion must be carried out, and the original machine will

Figure 1. Using measuring tools. (All images courtesy of AUMUND).

Figure 2. Apron feeder.

Figure 3. Chain bucket elevator head. 44

be completely gutted with only the shell being re-used. This type of conversion may lead to increased performance and/or improvements in energy efficiency. If, in addition to an exchange of components, a modification of the geometry such as an increase in centre distance is required, a Level III conversion will be required. On top of the Level II adjustments the steel structure will also be adapted and/or extended. If the machine is changed substantially by the conversion, the range of safety measures to be implemented will be significantly influenced. A change is considered to be substantial if new hazards or risks are present which cannot be eliminated or sufficiently minimised by simple protective measures. In this case a risk analysis must be carried out for the conversion to the same extent as it would be for new equipment. If the change is not substantial, the assumption can be made that the safety of the original machine will not be influenced by the conversion. Stage 2 After Stage 1, where technology upgrades of AUMUND machines and mainly Level I conversions were the focus, Stage 2 saw an increase in the volume of conversions carried out on machines originally manufactured by others, which had to be implemented as Level II conversions. From 2005 to 2009 the average number of conversions carried out per year almost doubled. The increased success generated growth in interest in conversions. Alongside the upgrading of wear parts and provision of spare parts by the After Sales Service, energy efficiency is a third criteria that plays a large part in the decision to carry out a conversion. A change in the conveying principle, i.e. from a scooping bucket elevator to an AUMUND Bucket Elevator with direct filling, can improve the energy efficiency of the machine in the longterm. This leads to a reduction in operating costs. Another contributory factor to the attractiveness of conversions is the fact that companies often consider investment in conversions as operating costs, therefore these measures are easier to approve and implement than the procurement of capital equipment. This effect is further enhanced in economically challenging times, such as the current consequences of the coronavirus pandemic. In times of lower CAPEX budgets, a conversion to the latest standards, which can be covered by OPEX, is often an attractive alternative to new equipment. Other examples of reasons for a conversion are: that the original supplier is no longer operating and therefore it is difficult to obtain spare parts; the customer has other reasons for World Cement BMHR 2021

seeking an alternative supplier for spare parts; an increase in performance or an update to technology is required. In terms of sustainability, alongside improved energy efficiency, reuse of existing parts is also an advantage. These measures contribute to an overall reduced carbon footprint of the modified machine in comparison to a new machine. Stage 3 In order to simplify conversions of other manufacturers’ machines and to keep the costs as low as possible for customers, in 2010 AUMUND introduced a set of standards for the Level I conversion of the most frequently modified non-AUMUND machines. Alongside a range of standardised parts, measuring tools were introduced which simplified the dimensioning of the existing parts (Figure 1). As a result of these measures the number of conversions per year increased to over 100 in 2011 and the following years. This stage of evolution resulted in a further increase of almost 50% of the annual average. Stage 4 In order to optimise the processes and to standardise them internationally, the fourth

development stage began in 2016 with the aim of extending and improving standardisation so that a uniform conversion could be offered for an even wider range of machines. Although belt and chain bucket elevators make up the majority of machines converted, machines from the entire AUMUND portfolio, such as pan conveyors, drag chain conveyors and discharge machines, have also been modified over the years. Today, the conversion programme covers the complete range of AUMUND products and of course also many machines made by other manufacturers. During this phase the number of conversions carried out on average per year was increased again by more than 50%. 2017 saw the highest number of machines modified so far in one calendar year, at 199. 2020 was not far behind though. 2021 is set to reach the target of over 200 annual conversions. Stage 5 In the course of the fifth stage, the AUMUND CompetenceCentre Conversions was inaugurated in 2020, to centralise, coordinate and support the global strategic development of conversions. With the same aim, the company increased its headcount in Global Business Development. The CompetenceCentre

Conversions promotes internal exchange of experience by organising regular online meetings of the conversion experts across the AUMUND Group, and works with the support of the whole network on the development of new and existing standards. In this context a pivotal role is played by the use of the digital PREMAS® 4.0 System for predictive maintenance and to train inspectors and site personnel to provide on-site advice to the benefit of customers.

Case study: belt bucket elevator conversion level I

f The problem: A customer reports a belt rupture on a belt bucket elevator made by a manufacturer other than AUMUND. As the bucket elevator is out of operation the customer is forced to stop the complete production line in its cement plant. In order to keep the loss of production to a minimum, a new belt must be supplied as soon as possible. f The original machine: The bucket elevator is almost 25 years old and was manufactured by a company no longer in existence. It was used for conveying up to 50 tph of raw meal at temperatures ranging from approximately 80 – 100˚C, to a height of 25 m. f Scope of supply: Heat-resistant bucket elevator belt, clamping connection, profile rubber strips, bucket fixing materials, friction lining. Replacing the friction lining on a belt bucket elevator fabricated by a different manufacturer can often be quite a challenge. If the friction lining cannot be replaced, for example if the dimensions are not compatible, a new drive drum must be supplied, which is more involved and more expensive. In the case in question the existing shell of the drive drum could be re-used by vulcanising a new friction lining onto it. If such parts

Figure 4. Chain bucket elevator.


can be re-used, more complex measures can be avoided and valuable time can be saved. An additional advantage is that the reconditioned parts can be reinserted without the risk of encountering dimensional problems at the interfaces. Buckets, steelwork, drive, drive drum and tension drum are re-used. f Belt production: With its own belt warehouses, and belt production carried out at several of its locations, AUMUND can react swiftly to such emergency situations. The belt production locations are stocked with standard AUMUND hole pattern templates as well as those most frequently required for conversions of third-party equipment. In this case, however, the required hole pattern template was not available so the belt punching had to take place externally. The holes in the belt must always correspond to the hole pattern of the existing buckets, so that these can be re-installed. A belt drawing will be provided. f Delivery: AUMUND won the order as it was the only supplier capable of providing the belt within 14 days. The main factor in determining the delivery period in this case was the external belt punching requirement. Despite this, only nine days elapsed between receipt of the order and delivery of the belt. Supervisors from AUMUND Group Field Service GmbH carried out the conversion in shifts around the clock and had the bucket elevator back in operation in only five days. The AUMUND CompetenceCentre Conversions also place an important focus on the subject of safety, which has been a high priority since the beginning of conversion activities. With the aid of a systematic residual risk analysis the safety of every conversion can be assured, even projects with quite critical safety aspects such as conversions of bucket elevators with central discharge or conversions including performance updates or centre distance increase. All phases of the conversion projects are implemented in conjunction with AUMUND Group Field Service GmbH, which can also offer remote services adapted to the current situation. In addition to the conversion, a thorough examination of the existing structures and adjacent equipment interfacing with the modified centre distance is carried out. These conversions therefore not only mean added value in terms of technology updates, but they also facilitate improvements in plant and process safety.

World Cement BMHR 2021

MAKING THE RIGHT CHOICE Luis Sucre, InTechnik, discusses the selection criteria that need to be considered when choosing stockyard and blending bed equipment.


everal factors need to be taken into account when selecting the optimum combination of stacker and reclaimer equipment for either a bulk blending bed or stockyard storage. This article will explain the steps to be followed to choose the right stockyard equipment combination for either a blending bed or a stockyard.

Stockyard equipment: Possible equipment combinations There are several types of stacking and reclaiming equipment specially designed to handle bulk materials. The store of a bulk product in a stockyard or blending bed may be achieved by using either a stacker or an elevated tripper car. The stackers may be supplied either with a fixed stacking arm, with luffing and/or with slewable movement. The reclaiming of the product, on the other hand, may be performed by using any of the following equipment: Bridge reclaimer, portal reclaimer side reclaimer or semi-portal reclaimer. The selection of any of the stacking and reclaimer equipment mentioned above will be determined by the process required by the plant, either a blending bed or stockyard.


The main purpose of the blending bed is to provide the necessary buffer storage of raw material between the quarry and the plant, and to stabilise as much as possible the chemical composition of the raw material coming from the quarry. The main function of the stockyard, on the other hand, is to provide large and efficient storage of bulk products. Table 1 shows the different combinations of stacker and reclaimer units and the expected storage result – either blending bed or stockyard.

Factors to consider The following information needs to be taken into consideration to select the proper stockyard/blending bed equipment:

Type of process f Raw materials f Fuel f Additives and correctives Material characteristic f Lump size f Free flowing f Angle of repose f Moisture content (%) f Sticky material (yes/no) f Hygroscopic material (yes/no) f Density (t/m3) f Grain size (mm) f Maximum lump size (mm) f Nominal stacking rate (tph) peak, if any

Figure 1. Stockyard selection process. 48

World Cement BMHR 2021

f f f f f

Reclaiming rate (tph) Storage/pre-blending Capacity (t) Indoor/outdoor storage Dedusting requested (yes/no)

Other information f Blending requirements with other materials f Homogenisation (lumps size and/or chemical composition f Available space at the plant f Future plans for expansion f Water ground lever or phreatic level f Plant production capacity f Plant working shifts per day and week

Figure 2. Bridge reclaimer and stacker unit. Courtesy of Duro Felguera.

Pile information f Stockyard capacity f Pile requirements: Circular or longitudinal » Pile dimension or available space for the stockyard: (length, width, height) » Diameter (circular pile) Site conditions f Minimum relative humidity f Minimum temperature f Maximum rainfall per hour f Altitude above sea level f Maximum relative humidity f Maximum temperature f Average yearly rainfall f Maximum wind velocity in operation (m/sec)* f Maximum wind velocity out of service (m/sec)* f (*) Only applicable for outdoor installations.

Figure 3. Side reclaimer. Courtesy of Duro Felguera.

Stockyard selection process As mentioned above, there are several factors that need to be considered for the right selection of the stacker and reclaimer combination. Figures 1 & 5 aim to summarise

Figure 4. Slewable and luffing stacker unit. Courtesy of Duro Felguera.

Table 1. Combinations of stacker and reclaimer units. Bridge reclaimer

Portal reclaimer

Semi-portal reclaimer

Side reclaimer

Tripper Car

Blending bed(1)

Stockyard (2)

Stockyard (2)

Stockyard (2)

Stacker with fixed arm

Blending bed(1)

Stockyard (2)

Stockyard (2)

Stockyard (2)

Stacker with luffing movement

Blending bed(1)(6)

Stockyard (2)

Stockyard (2)

Stockyard (2)

Stacker With slew-able movement

Blending bed(3)(6)

Blending bed(4)(5)

Blending bed (5)

Blending bed (5)

1. Chevron stacking pattern. 2. Cone Shell stacking pattern. 3. Windrow stacking pattern. 4. Portal reclaimer with one arm. 5. Strata stacking pattern. 6. Circular blending bed – Chevcon stacking pattern.

BMHR 2021 World Cement


the stockyard and blending bed equipment selection process, and to illustrate some of the steps to determine the optimum stockyard equipment and blending bed combination. These flow models take into account a stockyard and blending bed equipment selection based just on the following factors: Required blending efficiency, possible future production expansion plans, required reclaiming capacity, product particle size, segregation limitations, and stockyard covering requirement. Stockyard selection process flow As mentioned above, the main purpose of the stockyard is to provide reliable product storage, with efficient stacking and reclaiming equipment with enough capacity to guarantee an optimum dosing of material to the main

process. The flow process shown in Figure 1 is based on the premise that no blending of material is required. Blending bed – selection process flow The blending bed provides the necessary buffer of raw material to the plant to guarantee its optimum operation. One of the most important factors to be taken into consideration on the selection of the right stacker and reclaimer equipment in a blending bed is the required blending efficiency, mixture coefficient or blending ratio. This factor is calculated by dividing the standard deviation input flow of the curve of the %CaCO3, SiO2, LSF, etc., by the standard deviation of the curve of the output flow after passing through the blending bed. The flow process shown in Figure 5 is based on the main premise that a blending ratio is needed.

Figure 5. Blending bed equipment selection process. 50

World Cement BMHR 2021


he COVID-19 pandemic has had a severe and unforeseen global impact, and has forced all industrial sectors to make unprecedented choices and to rethink certain business models. From an economical point of view, the pandemic has hit consumption heavily and slowed down investments, especially in Q2 and Q3 of 2020, by affecting markets at a global level. However, in the second half of 2020, the construction industry recovered in most of the major markets, having suffered record declines in the first half amid the restrictions on activity imposed to contain the spread of the pandemic. Despite a renewed spike in infections in the latter part of 2020, the construction industry in general has been permitted to continue. GlobalData1 expects that global construction output will expand by 4.5% in 2021 considering that many governments will attempt to advance spending on infrastructure and transport and energy utilities.

Giuseppe Mapelli, Bedeschi Spa, provides an update on the company’s operations during the COVID-19 pandemic, and discusses new contracts covering a range of materials handling equipment.


Progress through the pandemic During this difficult period, Bedeschi established two priorities: to maintain a certain level of productivity while safeguarding employees. The company’s entire workforce came out in support of the company, backed the decisions made and demonstrated a sense of loyalty, highlighting how success depends on people and stakeholders. Customers also remained loyal, a fact that Bedeschi attributes to its ability to create stable and long-lasting relationships, as well as an ongoing focus on new applications and tailor-made solutions, and a commitment to reducing operating costs and pursuing environmental goals especially in the cement sector. In the cement industry in particular, the company’s activities have never stopped despite all the difficulties caused by the pandemic. The company recently signed a contract with Lafarge Cement. The new order for the plant in Poland will include the refurbishment of existing storage with the installation of two new semi portal reclaimers – Pal SP 130/18 for limestone at a capacity of 340 tph each and a new crushing system featuring two RI 450/1500 double roller crushers

to reduce gypsum, correctives and other cement additives. In addition to this, another order has been won from Dangote Ciment in Niger. The project scope includes the supply of a stacker STK with a capacity of 1000 tph, and a reclaimer PAL T with a capacity of 440 tph for limestone. There’s no doubt that the lockdowns and restrictions established in many countries made operations more complicated, but Bedeschi was still able to continue some plant operations. For example, in China (Yunnan), for the client Sinoma Nanjing, field operators were at site to oversee the supply of two reclaimers (type BEL C) and three stackers (type STK P) for a mix of clay and coal with a capacity of 470 tph. Technology focus The Bedeschi BEL C, is composed of an interconnected system with a tripper, two bridge stackers and one overhead bucket reclaimer, to provide a complete remote automatic material stacking and reclaiming process. The storage process foresees the making of two piles – one pile in stacking operation and the other one in reclaiming operation at the same time. The system has an automatic coordination of stacker and reclaimer to ensure safe operation without any risk of collision. Bedeschi Bel C works especially well with moist, plastic and sticky materials and it is able to: minimise spaces used, provide high homogenisation of materials in stock, and reclaim every type of raw material.

Port & logistics equipment

Bedeschi BEL C system for Sinoma Nanjing (China).

Bedeschi shiploader for cement for Al Sarh Trading Co. (Oman). 52

For the cement industry, Bedeschi also designs and engineers port logistics equipment. Indeed, the company’s latest project in Ghana (Port of Takoradi) includes the supply of handling equipment and services for bauxite and manganese for export and clinker for import. Bedeschi will supply three conveyor belts with a total length of approximately 3 km and an eco-hopper for handling clinker. The shiploaders and the eco-hopper will be delivered fully erected from the company’s shipyard directly to the client jetty via a dedicated heavy lift vessel. With regard to environmental standards, the project is state-of-the-art and has a dust collection and de-dusting system specifically designed for this application. Additionally, all the conveyors are closed, including the section where tippers and eco hoppers are in operation. World Cement BMHR 2021

Another client, Al Sarh Trading Co., has commissioned Bedeschi for the supply of handling equipment to operate in Oman (Khatam Malaha). The equipment includes three conveyor belts with a total length of 4.3 km and a capacity of 2000 tph for the handling of gabbro and other materials. The last section of the conveyor is engineered for offshore installation, with a self-holding galleries structure installed above pylons. Approximately 2 km out in open sea, there is a luffing and slewing shiploader, with a capacity of 2000 tph, designed to load vessels up to 55 000 DWT. It is installed on an offshore platform and is designed to work on both sides of the platform with boom of 30 m.

An eye on the environment Every item of equipment from Bedeschi is designed to be eco-friendly and meet sustainability standards. The prevention of pollution is the company’s primary objective throughout the supply chain. Thanks to investment into research and development and a commitment to green technology, the company is able to apply systems to control dust production, such as controlled flow spouts, filters and dry fog that use microdroplets of nebulised water to keep the surrounding environment clean, and much more.

Reference 1. GlobalData – Construction impact assessment, p. 84.

Example of a Bedeschi dust control system for green technology.

zKhZ KEs zKZ ^W / >/^d

Design & Manufacturing: ͻ Belt Conveyors ͻ Belt Elevators

Own engineering Project development Preassembled delivery Services: ͻ Technical Assistance ͻ Installation ͻ Commissioning ͻ Spare parts Ctra. N-232 Km.252a Utebo, ĂƌĂŐŽnjĂ (Spain)

Tel. +34 976 770 656



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Positioned for success Austin Anderson, Vortex Global, explains how combining a loading spout with a spout positioner is key to an efficient and prompt loading system.


he loading of dry bulk material into trucks and rail cars can be a complex endeavour. From flow rate, dusting concerns and equipment stack up heights – many factors are taken into consideration for each specific application. All of these elements can be attributed to the positioning of trucks as they enter and exit a loadout facility. The implementation of a loadout system incorporating a positioner at truck loadout stations can eliminate the need to reposition vehicles once they have entered the loading station, saving valuable time and preventing unnecessary wear and damage to a loading spout.


The Vortex Single-Axis Positioner allows spout movement along either an X-axis or a Y-axis. Depending on orientation, a single-axis positioner can either be moved from front-to-back or side-to-side above a loading vessel.

While many truck drivers master the art of positioning trucks for loadout, some find the skill more difficult. Frequent and improper repositioning of trucks can lead to a plethora of negative effects on the loading spout and loading process including damage and unnecessary wear to the spout, costly spout maintenance and material dusting within the facility and to the atmosphere. In the case of an improperly positioned truck, the spout scavenger is not seated properly into the hatch. This allows for dust to escape into the atmosphere causing both employee and environmental health and safety concerns. As facilities face tighter regulations and restrictions by local and federal agencies to protect their employees and prevent environmental pollution, controlling dust is a key component in loadout processes. Issues faced by employees in dust-ridden environments include irritated skin due to allergic reactions, irritation of the lungs due to inhalation of potentially toxic materials, and slips, trips and falls due to dust accumulation on surfaces. Fugitive dusts can also accumulate to form a dust cloud that can ignite, burn, and, in some instances, explode. In addition to dusting, the irregular material flow through the angled trajectory of a misaligned spout can exacerbate unnecessary wear to the interior cones and outer sleeve. Continuous and frequent wear leads to expensive maintenance and the chance for even more dust to escape.

Enhancing positioners

The Vortex Dual-Axis Positioner allows spout movement along both an X- and Y-axis, allowing it to traverse from front-to-back and side-to-side above a loading vessel.

This loading spout featuring a dual-axis positioner will be installed at a coal refinery. 56

Loading spouts provide fast and steady material flow during the loading of dry/bulk solid materials in open and/or enclosed vessels such as trucks, railcars, tank vehicles, ships, barges, and stockpiling. When paired with additional products from Vortex’s line of loading solutions products, such as positioners and filters, the loading process can become even more efficient. The company offers a complete line of telescoping loading spout systems for the loading process. These loading solutions systems can be custom engineered to meet the most demanding and complex loadout application requirements, including corrosive or hazardous materials, long distances, low and high temperatures, etc. The Vortex Loading Spout Positioner is used in conjunction with standard volume loading spouts to facilitate and speed up the loading of open or enclosed trucks and railcars at loadout stations. The positioner allows for the fast and accurate single-axis or double-axis World Cement BMHR 2021

placement of the loading spout, which eliminates the need to reposition vehicles once they have entered the loading station. Loading spout positioners are made from steel and can be designed and manufactured to meet individual project specifications to handle almost any flow rate and travel distance. These spout positioners are designed so that materials pass through a fixed inlet. Below, a traversing hopper slides across a fixed support pan. The support pan stays stationary, allowing the hopper to easily slide and find its destination. A loading spout is attached beneath the hopper to allow exact positioning of the spout above a truck or railcar waiting below. Depending on the application, positioners can be designed with a single or dual axis. The single-axis positioner allows spout movement along either an X-axis or a Y-axis. Depending on orientation, a single-axis positioner can either be moved from front-to-back or side-to-side above a loading vessel. A dual-axis positioner allows spout movement along both an X- and Y-axis, allowing it to traverse from front-to-back and side-to-side above a loading vessel. The inlet cone and traversing hopper are constructed from the same metal material(s) as specified for the corresponding loading spout’s material contact areas while the fixed support pan is constructed from A36 mild steel.

Case studies Cement plant utilises Vortex loading spout and dual-axis positioner A Vortex loading spout is being utilised by an American cement plant to load cement into trucks and features a dual-axis positioner for ease of loading.

Premium powder, premium packed 9īďĉ ­ķĴďĉ­ĴðÆ Å­æ ť ăăðĊæ ĉ­ÆìðĊÐ Ĵď ĮĴīÐĴÆì ìďďÌÐīȚ ďķī ÆķĮĴďĉðšÐÌ Ĩ­Æā­æðĊæ ĮďăķĴðďĊĮ ĉ­āÐ ĮķīÐ řďķī ĨďœÌÐīĮ ĉ­ðĊĴ­ðĊ ĴìÐðī ìðæì Īķ­ăðĴřȘ

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Application This 20 in. (508 mm) telescoping loading spout features a larger load rate capacity (400 – CFM). The Vortex Dual-Axis Spout Positioner allows the spout to traverse along both an X- and Y-axis (front-to-back and side-to-side).

œ­ĴÐīĨīďďå ­ĊÌ ÆďĉĨăÐĴÐăř ĮЭăÐÌȘ

Features & results The larger spout allows trucks to be loaded quicker than a spout having a smaller load rate capacity. The dual-axis positioner enhances faster loading because trucks no longer need to waste


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precious time to reposition themselves directly below the spout. Loading spout, positioner, and in-line filter handling hydrocarbon powder A coal refinery sourced three items from the Vortex Loading Solutions line to assist in the handling of hydrocarbon powder: A loading spout, dual-axis spout positioner and an in-line filtration system.

Application These Vortex Loading Solutions products will be used in the coal refinery’s processing of waste coal and turning it into a clean carbon fuel. Features & results The telescoping loading spout features a four-cable hoist system and CNC machined cable pulleys for less spout maintenance. The dual-axis positioner allows for 2 ft (0.6 m) of spout movement along the X- and Y-axis so trucks do not need to reposition when loading. An in-line filter traps dust during loading and reintroduces it back into the load, reducing waste, increasing profits and keeping the facility dust-free. Loading spout and positioner handling industrial sand In this application, a loading spout (14 in./355 mm) is attached to a traversing hopper that is part of a Vortex Dual-Axis Positioner. The system is used by a west Texas terminal to handle industrial sand.

A cement plant utilises a loading spout and dual-axis positioner to easily seat the spout into the hatch.

Application Loading is more efficient as trucks entering the loading bay do not have to spend additional time repositioning themselves directly beneath a fixed spout with no positioning capabilities. Wear to the spout’s internal cones is greatly reduced as material is properly routed (vertically) through the spout. Features & results The spout itself was ordered to provide 6 ft (1.8 m) of vertical travel down to a truck loading hatch. The positioner moves the hopper/spout along both an X- and Y-axis. This positioner was ordered to allow two feet (0.6 m) of travel in either direction.

Conclusion When properly applied to a loading process, a loading spout positioner can greatly reduce the amount of time it takes for the vessel below to position itself. When filling open containers, positioners also ensure material is distributed evenly throughout the vessel. A loading spout coupled with a spout positioner is the key to an efficient and prompt loading system.

About the author

A loading spout featuring a dual-axis positioner is installed at an industrial sand facility. 58

Now in his third year with the company, Austin Anderson is the Content Marketing Manager for Vortex Global. He has created numerous case studies and written articles for a range of global publications sharing news of Vortex products. World Cement BMHR 2021



he cement industry has experienced much growth over the last number of years with international trade in the sector growing in response to variations in supply and demand. Matching surplus production with the regions that are investing heavily in infrastructure that many not have sufficient clinker supply, has opened up many import and export opportunities for cement producers and consumers around the globe. This demand has driven a supply need from companies such as Telestack who supply mobile bulk material handling systems across the globe. The mobility achieved with Telestack equipment provides increased flexibility not only in terms of location but also in terms of the changing commodity needs of any multi-purpose port. In addition, the operational results achieved by using mobile equipment, ensures that metrics are easily reached in terms of performance, lower running costs and substantially lower initial Capex investment when compared to a more traditional or stationary system. Furthermore, their ability to customise the solution, after much pre-sales deliberation, ensures that the system will meet the needs of the operation in terms of performance, operational requirements, ground conditions, commodity characteristics, health and safety regulations and environmental concerns such as dust containment and suppression. Their range of standard and customised systems for the cement sector incorporate equipment for use in shiploading, ship unloading, truck to plant intake systems, warehousing and stockyard management. International Sales Manager for Telestack, Philip Waddell, comments, “We have recently won an order to provide a system to unload and stack cement clinker in a storage warehouse to enhance their clinker intake system. The system will include a mobile hopper feeder (fed from two mobile harbour cranes) which will feed a radial telescopic stacker. The main advantages of this equipment were to increase unloading rates, reduce operational costs, utilise full potential of storage area by increasing buffer stockpile capacities and reduce dust emissions compared to previous methods of importing. Its multi-functional ability allows the client to use the equipment to also load other cargoes back onto vessels thus opening up other markets for the client’s jetty.” “We invest heavily in the long-term partnership with our customers and take personal pride in every single install. We have designed and installed a range of ship/barge loading & unloading systems, radial

telescopic stackers for stacking in the warehouse or stockyard, static truck unloaders for use in ‘truck to plant’ intake systems, and link conveyors.” A recent feature was the incorporation of the All Wheel Travel system offering further flexibility to the operator. Telestack recently installed a fully mobile export system consisting of a hopper feeder, several Titan Truck Unloaders, Radial Telescopic Link Conveyor and an All-Wheel Travel radial telescopic conveyor to load cement clinker/slag to coaster vessels for one of Europe’s largest cement producers. A similar system was installed in the Port of Salalah to load gypsum, limestone and cement clinker to Handymax and Panamax vessels. Telestack has taken the traditional ‘truck to ship’ concept, and enhanced it by incorporating All Wheel Travel technology that offers unrivalled mobility, flexibility and ease of use. Comprising of two shiploading systems, each suite comprises of a TB60 All Wheel Travel shiploader fed by a Titan dual-feed All Wheel Travel 800-6 bulk reception feeder. These shiploading systems represent a new generation of mobile shiploading, offering the performance of traditional systems but with the added benefits of mobility, flexibility and ultimately a lower cost per tonne achieved by increased production rates, reduced cycle times and reduced labour costs. The added ability to customise the product to the needs of the customer, the commodity and the quayside is a quality that appeals to the cement sector as a whole.

Each suite comprises of a TB60 All Wheel Travel ship loader fed by a Titan dual-feed All Wheel Travel 800-6 bulk reception feeder. The equipment is designed to load limestone, gypsum and cement clinker to Handymax and Panamax vessels.




World Cementt presents a round-up of recent news and updates from the bagging and packing sector. Tarmac: 50% recycled content packaging launched for cement products Tarmac has become the first major cement manufacturer in the UK to move to 50% recycled plastic in its packaging with the roll out of new all-weather, fully recyclable hybrid bags. The packaging is manufactured at the company’s cement plant packaging facilities in Scotland and Wales, which continues to offer rip, tear and puncture resistance, as well as providing essential protection against rain and water damage. Other sites currently producing a 30% recycled content bag are due to switch to the latest packaging in the coming months. The new packaging also features clearer recycling labelling and information to encourage customers to ‘empty, rinse, recycle’ and dispose of the packaging responsibly. The business estimates that the roll out across all bagged cement products will result in millions of bags switching to its newer, more sustainable solutions. The move comes following close collaboration between a number of bag manufacturers to produce and trial the new packaging over the last two years, with ambitions to further increase the sustainability credentials of bags in the future.

Windmöller & Hölscher: Innovation developing into the national standard 26 years ago, German machine builder Windmöller & Hölscher invented and patented the technology to create hot air sealed block bottom sacks made of woven PP. Today, China has made this sack concept one of three national standards for cement packaging by mid-2022. Since inventing the first machine, W&H has advanced the technology, building on years of experience with industrial sacks. Today over 500 CONVERTEX are in use worldwide. The newest generation of them produces 140 sacks/min. at the highest quality levels representing the technological leadership in this type of equipment. The first CONVERTEX was shipped to customers in 1996 and produced 40 sacks/min. Today the product range features machines with capacities of 100, 120 and 140 sacks/min. To cope with the ever-increasing demand on volume and productivity,

Windmöller & Hölscher continues to invest in further enhancing the technology to new productivity levels while reducing the carbon footprint through reduced energy consumption of the machines and most of all by lighter and stronger sacks. The company not only offers machinery for woven PP sacks, but also for industrial sacks made of paper and film. W&H invented the first machines to produce industrial paper sacks in the 1920s and for pasted plastic sacks in the 1960s. All three sack concepts profit from common technology – for example block bottom technologies were first developed for paper sacks which led to the patent of the first machine to create the block bottom PP woven valve sack by W&H – the basis for all machines that now produce the required type of woven PP sacks. China is the largest cement market in the world and almost half of the consumption is packed in sacks. So far, the predominant sack concept has been a simple sewn PP sack. This packing has several drawbacks of which the loss of cement during handling and transport is most disadvantageous. This loss of cement causes air pollution and significant additional CO2 emissions because the depletion is not reaching its planned use and must be replaced. The new national standard calls for the improved sack concept based on the technology developed by W&H, and the Chinese investment in clean air and reduced carbon footprint is supported by W&H’s CONVERTEX system.

Mondi wins gold at EUROSAC Congress 2021 Grand Prix Award ceremony More than 150 participants joined EUROSAC’s virtual Congress 2021 on 28 May 2021. Under the theme ‘Show commitment – take action!’, the delegates discussed recent developments in the paper sack and sack kraft paper industry and on the EU level, megatrends in plastic films and different aspects and activities regarding how to adapt a business to societal and climate change. A special focus was put on the role of sustainable packaging. The industry’s latest innovations were presented during the EUROSAC Grand Prix Award ceremony. The Gold winner was Mondi with EcoWicketBag. dy-pack received the Silver trophy and Novidon received the Bronze.


“In response to a rapidly changing world and very ambitious climate goals, our industry can only grow sustainably by showing a strong commitment and taking action,” stated EUROSAC President Olivier Tassel as he opened the Congress which was streamed live from Düsseldorf, Germany. “As we have done in the past, we will continue developing and providing solutions that meet our customers’ needs, are in line with current legislations and function perfectly without compromising the quality of life of future generations.” The industry’s strong commitment has borne fruit in its figures: Despite the pandemic, the European paper sack industry recorded a solid plus of 2.8% paper sack deliveries in 2020. An upward trend (+0.2%) continued in the first quarter of 2021 with more potential in sight according to the outlook into the coming months. From linear to circular economy Climate, circular economy and packaging reductions – the Congress started with an overview on the topics that are the heart of EU policies and legislations setting out to transform all areas of the economy for a sustainable future. It was discussed how these will affect the sack kraft paper and paper sack industry and which initiatives, research and communication activities the industry has started in order to reach the EU’s and its own ambitious targets. The transition to circularity was taken up in more detail with regard to plastic films as they are part of some paper sack constructions for adding special barrier functions. The audience received an update on recent megatrends in plastic films – from the possibilities of recovery of packaging materials with a focus on chemical and mechanical recycling to the rising market of bioplastics. EUROSAC Grand Prix Award 2021 The concept of constantly improving and innovating products, materials and processes also has a long tradition within the paper sack industry. Every year during the EUROSAC Congress, the industry honours the innovations that bring the most added value to their users with the prestigious EUROSAC Grand Prix Award. “Once again, this year’s entries showed us how much potential and innovative strength our industry has – not only for today but also for the future,” said Jury President Matthias Becker-Gröning when opening the award ceremony. “With eight exciting submissions, the decision was not easy for me and my jury colleagues.” As a “real game changer that increases the use of paper,” the jury selected the EcoWicketBag by Mondi for the Gold Award. “This development can be implemented very quickly and responds to our industry’s objectives to produce more environmentally friendly bags,” explained Becker-Gröning about the jury’s choice.


Starlinger: Bags fit the national standard for cement packaging in China As China is modernising its cement production, the government has also set up a national standard, defining types and specifications of bags used for packaging cement. One of the three bag types permitted in the Chinese Standard GB/T 9774-2020 ‘Sacks for Packing Cement’, which was officially released in October 2020, is the block bottom valve bag made of woven polypropylene tape fabric. This type of bag was invented in 1995 by the Austrian engineering company Starlinger & Co. GmbH and patented under the brand name AD*STAR. Environmentally-friendly cement bags With the AD*STAR bag, Starlinger, specialised in machinery for woven plastic packaging, created a sustainable and efficient packaging solution for cement and all kinds of dry bulk goods. The idea behind it was to combine the advantages of a paper bag – its brick shape and suitability for automatic handling – with the tightness and flexibility of a PE film bag, and the strength and resistance of a woven PP bag. The result: A laminated one-layer block bottom valve bag made of stretched and woven polypropylene tapes. The main assets of AD*STAR bags are their extremely low breakage rate and excellent protection against moisture. Especially in countries like China, transport and storage of cement in bags is widespread and involves a lot of transhipping and long-term storage. Loss of cement due to bag rupture or hardening in humid conditions is a big issue. Packaging cement in AD*STAR bags offers substantial savings potential in this respect: Low breakage rates and good moisture protection mean that significantly less cement is lost in the logistic chain. Consequently, not only is environmental pollution reduced, but also less cement needs to be produced to replace these losses, which in turn saves CO2 emissions. An independent Life Cycle Analysis carried out in 2015 showed that due to these characteristics AD*STAR cement bags have lower global warming potential than multi-layer paper cement bags and are currently the most environmentally friendly packaging for cement. AD*STAR bags are produced on Starlinger ad*starKON block bottom conversion lines and are available in a wide range of sizes. The company’s focus on research and development ensures that AD*STAR bags and AD*STAR production technology are continuously improved and adapted to the needs of the market. Technological advancements and new product features such as easy-open closure or handles for carrying make the bags even more versatile and usable in different applications. Currently, around 15.7 billion AD*STAR sacks are produced each year on more than 550 Starlinger conversion lines installed on five continents.

World Cement BMHR 2021

High standards for safe and efficient packaging The new Chinese Standard for cement packaging applies to cement bags holding up to 50 kg and lists the above mentioned laminated woven plastic bags (made of one layer of laminated plastic fabric or with additional paper liner), paper bags (three-layer, three-layer with PE liner, four-layer bags), as well as paper-plastic composite bags (paper bags with plastic liner) as possible packaging options. All three types of bags must be designed as block bottom valve bags. The standard specifies the dimensions as well as physical and mechanical requirements of the cement bags. Regarding break resistance, for example, a cement bag has to survive a drop from a 1 m height a minimum of six times before it breaks. Furthermore, printing and marking, general bag appearance, testing methods, and rules for quality inspection during bag manufacture are established in the standard. It also stipulates that each bag must be provided with a certificate before selling. By recommending woven polypropylene block bottom bags in the new National Standard, the Chinese government has adopted a future-oriented approach that aims for more sustainability in the cement industry. It curbs unnecessary loss of cement during production, transport and storage, reduces environmental impacts, improves working conditions for operators on the cement filling lines, and generally makes the handling of cement in 50 kg or smaller units more efficient. It also means that the formerly widely used sewn woven plastic bags which were irregular in shape, often leaking, and problematic for automatic filling and handling, will no longer be permitted as cement packaging in China. Cement companies are given a transition period until 31 March 2022 to adapt to the new standard. Due to this time limit, Starlinger’s AD*STAR conversion lines are currently high in demand in China. The company expects to deliver and install machines for an additional production capacity of more than 2 billion AD*STAR bags on the Chinese market in 2021 and 2022.

Concetti: Superfast automatic FIBC filling system Concetti has launched an automatic bulk bag (FIBC) weighing, filling and closing system designed to be operated by only one person. The new net weighing and filling station for single loop bulk bags can fill up to 180 BB/hr, ensuring a high productivity combined with increased flexibility.

This system is designed to provide enhanced automation of a traditionally manual process that normally needs three workers, reducing costs and ensuring greater safety at work. With this innovative new design manufactured by Concetti, the machine operator should only place bags onto the filling spout, while all subsequent steps such as bag inflation, alignment of the filling neck after filling, transfer to the sealing station, heat sealing of the filling neck, lifting of the single bulk bag hook and automatic insertion of the sealed neck of the internal liner inside the bulk bag are all carried out automatically within the system. The full bags will then be removed by the fork lift truck at the end of the filling line. Additional innovations include an adjustable filling system enabling bags of different heights to be filled for the first time. The normal high standards of Concetti electronic weighing are included, allowing for high levels of precision. This ‘state-of-the-art’ bagging system for aggressive and corrosive chemicals: Bulk bags/FIBC’s system has been manufactured entirely in stainless steel and can be wet washed to prevent scaling. The single loop sacks used are polypropylene WPP (raffia) with an internal ‘PE’ liner for heat seal closure.

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