Why the move from condition monitoring to predictive maintenance is the next big thing in the cement industry
The increasing urbanization in the world has consistently put demand pressure on the cement industry. Consequently, the industry has streamlined its operations from time to time and focused on high-quality throughput. Fortune Insights report says the global cement market will grow from $326.80 billion in 2021 to $458.64 billion in 2028, a steep 5.1% globally. Keeping pace with the rising demand and changing market scenario, digital transformation in the cement industry for efficient operation and maintenance is an immediate requirement.
While condition-based monitoring has seen wide adoption to support digital transformation initiatives in cement manufacturing, predictive maintenance is shaping to be the next big thing. With plant reliability objectives and operational excellence goals on the line, this shift must happen. In this article, we will compare both technologies and deliberate on why this evolution is necessary for cement manufacturers.
Condition-based Monitoring (CBM) in the Cement Industry.
In the cement industry, machinery works under challenging conditions- with fume, gases, dust, and high temperatures. The continuous nature of the cement manufacturing process also ensures that halts in production cannot be without a substantial reason. Thus, routine manual check-ups are sometimes impossible
Asset Maintenance in cement plants is today being practiced using condition monitoring technology. Condition monitoring gives real-time machine working conditions via alerts and allows the maintenance team to take action when the problem is detected. In the cement industry, CBM performs vibration analysis of rotating equipment, oil, grease analysis, thickness measurement of kiln shell and chimney ducting, etc., to examine the assets’ health.
Predictive Maintenance (PdM) in the Cement Industry.
The highly competitive & quality-focused requirement of cement plants today means that condition monitoring falls short in many aspects. This gives rise to Predictive Maintenance: a proactive approach to maintenance that uses IoT and machine learning to predict impending machine failure.
Predictive Maintenance solutions consist of hundreds of strategically placed sensors that record data and send it to a central IoT platform. The IoT platform monitors and analyses any anomalies and notifies the plant manager of the equipment’s life.
The Need to Move from CBM to Predictive Maintenance in the Cement Industry.
1. Condition-based Monitoring technology monitors the real-time condition of the machine and shows warnings when an anomaly happens. While this means it is better than the time-based & reactive maintenance approaches, it still can cause downtimes & in some cases, need repair & spare part costs. Predictive Maintenance technology, on the other hand, predicts the imminent machine failure before it takes place and saves from unplanned downtimes.
2. Condition Monitoring provides on-site engineers with data parameters that are often difficult to interpret in isolation. This means they need their subject matter experts to analyse these first before taking the right actions. By comparison, Predictive Maintenance gives insights behind the data around a machine anomaly, with the why of a particular machine behaviour & recommended actions for mitigation. This means faster decision-making by the on-site team without bothering SMEs for every minor glitch.
3. Also, CBM technology warns of trivial anomalies that lead to excessive maintenance in cement plants, which leads to unnecessary maintenance and a loss in productivity & efficiency.
Predictive maintenance monitors the real-time condition of the equipment. It predicts faults with potential repercussions, ensuring maintenance activities are performed precisely where they are needed & only when they are required.
Thus, using PdM over CBM makes maintenance in cement plants more efficient and hassle-free.
Significance of Predictive Maintenance in the Cement Industry
First-generation machinery that is decades old is still being used in cement manufacturing. Due to rough operating conditions & continuous running, machines are more susceptible to breakdowns resulting in downtimes. These unplanned downtimes hamper the production quality, reduce profits and create unsafe working environments in the plant.
Predictive maintenance in cement manufacturing resolves these frequent maintenance issues by foretelling the machine failures with least or no human inspection. It enhances the visibility of machine health throughout the plant, enhancing proactive decision-making.
Predictive maintenance is essential in the cement industry because
- It helps lengthen the life & performance of older machines.
- It reduces repair & spare part costs due to proactive maintenance.
- It reduces the frequent planned & unplanned downtimes, which results in a better quality of cement and consistent production.
- It reduces the chances of any safety hazards caused due to machine malfunction.
- It saves a lot of time and costs, which otherwise would go into maintenance.
- It leads to better worker productivity & overall plant efficiency.
Why Predictive Maintenance is the Future of Cement Manufacturing?
A sustainable future of high-quality output, a productive workforce & reliable machinery can be achieved by the digital transformation in the cement industry. As the cement industry is getting ready for a global inflection, environmental & regulatory compliances are expected. Green cement manufacturing will soon become necessary to save the environment and resources.
The rise in the requirement for green cement will necessitate a lean and highly efficient operating style and long-term bottom-line growth. Amidst all developments, predictive maintenance solutions will remain a significant value driver in the shifting roadmaps for obtaining a competitive advantage in this market, enabling better results for workers, customers, management & overall ecosystem.
Machines in the cement industry work in harsh conditions and, thus, are more prone to breakdowns. A proactive approach to maintenance would be beneficial for plant productivity. Predictive maintenance is preferred over condition-based monitoring systems as it can predict the problem before it happens. In contrast, CBM can only monitor real-time equipment conditions and can’t predict future anomalies.
Also, CBM is less accurate, while PdM is proved more accurate over time by learning through machine learning technology using historical and real-time data. Predictive maintenance technologies will surely lead the future of maintenance in cement plants.
At Infinite Uptime, we strive to transform the industrial health diagnostics space, particularly for process-driven industries like the Cement industry. We offer predictive maintenance solutions enabled with machine learning and IIoT technology that companies combat downtime, lapses in quality, productivity & OEE.
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