Driving towards decarbonisation

Driving towards decarbonisation

Sven Demmig and Sunny Schoone, Innomotics, a Siemens company, elaborate on how solutions in automation, electrification and digitalisation can help to decarbonise the cement industry.

Given its scale and its presence in almost every part of the world, the cement industry plays a key role in the global economy and the development of infrastructure critical for improving people’s living standards. Like most industries, the global cement industry faces the challenge of how to reduce its environmental impact due to the huge quantities of energy required to turn the raw materials of limestone and clay into clinker.

To reduce its emissions, some producers are looking to new technologies such as carbon capture and storage. While this technology could potentially reduce the sector’s emissions to close to zero, it remains very expensive and is still several years away from being implemented on a mass scale.

In the meantime, there is a great deal that cement producers can do to increase the efficiency and productivity of their operations, which in turn can help to minimise fuel consumption and improve the sustainability of the industry.

Innomotics offers a range of solutions and services which can help the cement industry in this task, from efficient motors and drives to the ability to help customers to automate, digitalise and electrify their operation to improve their performance and reduce their environmental footprint.

Motors and drives

Electricity is at the core of what Innomotics does and has been for more than 150 years when its parent company Siemens began to produce the first dynamos and electric motors.

With both standard models and customised solutions, Innomotics offers motors and converters that are matched to customers’ needs at each stage of the cement production process.

The company’s wide range of drives means that the customer can select the right power output and power utilisation to find the optimum drive to fulfil each mechanical task, from the crushing of raw materials and mixing to the clinker process and fine grinding.

Many design features are well suited to meet the particular challenges of the cement industry. For example, the soft-start feature on variable speed drives reduces the mechanical impact which can impede many processes. Variable speed drives can save up to 70% of the electricity consumed by fans, achieving a return on the investment in just 9 – 24 months.

But despite the variety in design, all Innomotics motors adhere to the standardised model which allows them to be completely incorporated into an integrated power supply network and control system. This is vital to guarantee safe and transparent operation of processes throughout the cement works.

With the Multiple Drive concept, customers can choose the number and size of components that match their power requirements. It can also allow the mill to keep running even if one of the drives requires maintenance.

Given the energy intensive nature of the cement industry, more reliable and energy efficient motors and drives can significantly reduce power consumption and in turn cut the volume of CO2 emissions.