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Keeping an eye on rotating machines : Week 10/17/2014

In our last article, we discussed about why precise temperature control of steam supplied to a turbine for Power Generation is important & how it can be achieved. In this article, we will talk about why it is important to keep an eye on condition of rotating machines in a Cement Industry & how it can be done.

Why is condition monitoring so important for Cement Industry?

 

When we look at the industrial growth of any country, one of the key factors that indicate the growth is the cement production. Cement has stood tests of geography, climate and others in its usage over decades. Its application can be seen everywhere, for example residential buildings, government offices, roads, dams etc. The aggressive and harsh cement plant conditions need a good support from field instruments in order to ensure the 24x7 working of the plant. The life of the plant & it’s efficiency largely depend on the condition monitoring of the equipment, so that early warning of deterioration, malfunctioning or damage can be sought and a corrective action be taken.

 

 

Significance of Vibration Monitoring

Rotating Machinery is at the heart of cement plants. It is very necessary to run the machine at high efficiency without any trouble. The deterioration in the efficiency of rotating machines cannot be predicted, but with the help of the Vibration Monitoring and Analysis System, this can be properly judged. Vibration Monitoring and Analysis is the easiest way to keep machines healthy and efficient in the long run. This reduces the overall operating cost as well as the down time period, increases plant availability and efficiency of rotating machines. To cope with global competition and pressure, every plant wishes a 95% uptime, hence maintenance planners are moving from reactive maintenance to proactive maintenance

 

Objectives of Vibration Monitoring

One can define the main objectives of Vibration Monitoring as follows:

  • Effective way to monitor root causes such as imbalance, misalignment, abnormal roller bearing, abnormal sleeve bearing, abnormal speed reducer, looseness etc.
  • Prevention of unscheduled downtime : Shutdowns can be planned well
  • Reduction of machine downtime, as the root cause analysis can be done
  • Extension of machine usable time, as one can maintain the machines proactively
  • Prevention of failures : Major breakdowns can be averted
  • Reduction in energy costs

 

The Cement Making Process :

Cement industries typically produce portland cement, although they also produce masonry cement, which is also manufactured at Portland cement plants. Portland cement is a fine, typically gray powder comprised of dicalcium silicate, tricalcium silicate, tricalcium aluminate, and tetracalcium aluminoferrite, with the addition of forms of calcium sulfate. Different types of Portland cement are created based on the use and chemical / physical properties desired.

Various stages of cement production at a Portland cement plant are as follows (See Fig.1):

  • Procurement of raw materials
  • Raw milling - preparation of raw materials for the pyro processing system
  • Pyroprocessing raw materials to form Portland cement clinker
  • Cooling of Portland cement clinker
  • Storage of Portland cement clinker
  • Finish milling
  • Packing and loading

In all these processes, there are lots of rotating machines like fans, motors, blowers etc. that need attention, because overall efficiency of the cement making process lies with efficient operations of these rotating machines.

In our next article, we will discuss more about how can one use Vibration Monitoring for improving operational efficiency & uptime of machines.