Panorama Editorials


Focus on India

Focus on India

India Focus

The Aumund Group have a long and distinguished association with the cement industry on the India Subcontinent going back to 1977 and focusing primarily on the supply of Clinker Transports and Vertical Elevators for the handling of Raw Materials, Solid Fuels, Raw meal, Clinker and Finished Cement. It was soon realised the potential scale of the Indian market in particular required dedicated local support and so in 1996 AUMUND Engineering Privat. Ltd. was formed in the South India city ofChennai (Madras) and now encompasses sales for allIndia, plus local manufacturing using locally sourced components where possible with key components imported from the group headquarters in Germany.

Sales on the Sub-Continent started modestly with just a few machines supplied in the first decade accelerating to an average of 22 units per year from 1990 to 2000 and to 75 units per year from 2000 to the end of 2009. This follows the general development of the cement market inIndiawhich has seen some spectacular growth over the last few years outperforming the growth in GDP by a multiplier of around 1.25.

In the last two years alone the Indian cement market has grown by some 52 million tons of additional annual capacity and at the end of 2009 the total productive capacity reached 218 million tons. Of this the top 5 companies represent around 45% of the total market with the remainder divided between many smaller producers who have actually improved their total market share by a small margin in the last years. There are around 140 larger plants plus around 355 Mini and White Cement plants.

Ultra Tech (including GRASIM GROUP - Samruddhi Cement Limited & UltraTech Cement Limited) are by far the largest by market share at 45.7% with Italcementi at 6%, Lafarge at 6.95%, Shree Cement at 7.75%, India Cement at 10%, Madras Cement at 10%, Jaypee at 14.7%, Heidelberg at 2% and finally the largest of the multinationals is Holcim with 22.7% of the market making the Holcim Group the second largest producer overall.These nine companies listed above represent 156 million tons installed capacity amounting to around 58% of the total market.

With a total above 1,500 units already delivered the Aumund Group are proud to be associated with virtually every major producer. In many cases Aumund have supplied the raw meal elevation, clinker transport and finished cement elevation plus elevators for mill circulation and raw material storage.

In the world market Aumund products are found throughout the cement plant from the raw material intake through to the finished cement storage and at every stage between. With the addition of Schade to the Group portfolio in 2001 the product range was extended to cover stacker/reclaim systems. And, with B&W acquired in 2002 the Group coverage was extended to Ports and Terminals including the import and export of clinker and other raw materials and fuels.

Starting at the raw material intake the BPB series of feeders, such as the BPB-SF as illustrated in figure 2) receive as mined Limestone and other materials direct from large mining trucks general operating as a feeder to the primary crusher. After crushing and screening the raw materials are combined by blending and within this process the Aumund type BWZ central chain vertical bucket elevator has proven very popular with around 270 units delivered within India to date.

For the highest capacities Aumund India have supplied the twin strand type BWD of the type illustrated below. Several units of this type were supplied in India during the 2003 to 2007 period with handling rates to 1,850 tons per hour and lift height to 45.5 metres (larger machines are now available up to 65 metres lift and handling rates up to 1,680 t.p.h.).

For these elevators Aumund have developed a very special chain design with forged links incorporating an integral labyrinth seal to minimise material ingress to the pin and bush. Chains are pre-lubricated on assembly not to lubricate the chain as such but to promote fine finishing of the chain/bush interface during the initial running in period giving a lapped finish and thereby promoting long chain life. Buckets are mounted to each chain outer link using extended chain pins and loose forged brackets giving some flexibility between chain and bucket to minimise stress concentration and extend the bucket and chain life.

The Aumund central chain vertical bucket elevator is popular world wide for handling coarse materials and for hot applications and similarly inIndiathis design has found favour with around 150 units installed. By far the most prolific elevators supplied to the Indian market by Aumund are the type BWG belt/bucket designs with around already 750 units delivered. Steel cord belts allow lift heights to over 160 meters and handling rates to 750 t.p.h.. Ideal for the latest 5 stage pre-heater towers used in the modern giant plants where kiln outputs of 12,500 t.p.d. are now achieved. In the illustration on the previous page three type BWG vertical bucket elevators are strapped to the pre-heater tower. Two elevators supply the blending silos and the third elevator raises the blended material to the pre-heater inlet.

From the cooler to the clinker silo Aumund are famous for their range of pan conveyors type KZB and KZB-Q covering working angles to 45 degrees. Hot material handling is a speciality of Aumund not only in the cement industry but also in the steel industry withinIndiahandling sinter and pellets for the blast furnace. Within India pan conveyors have been supplied handling clinker up to an installed length of 207 metres and up to 58 metres lift height with handling rates in excess of 700 tons per hour. Around 550 KZB units including the high angle version designated the KZB-Q type (with internal baffles for steep angle operation to 30 degrees) are installed within India mainly handling clinker to and from the storage silos.

Aumund pan conveyors are supplied with the standard Aumund patent side plates providing an effective material seal to minimise risk of spillage and reduce side plate wear. The joggled plate design deflects material away from the overlapping joint area thus minimising material accumulation between the plates thereby reducing wear as the plates open and close at the terminal shafts and at any bend points along the conveyor length. Aumund pan conveyors are now supplied with a revolutionary new chain design comprising LASER formed side plates with interference fit pins. The new standard range is available from 290 to 1900 kN. rupture strength. This is a new state of the art design concept made possible by the use of very fine grained steels only available from specialist suppliers within Europe and therefore for the Indian market at present the chain must be imported from the Aumund HQ in Germany.

This new generation of very high strength conveyor chains opens the possibility of conveying the hot clinker direct from the cooler to the primary storage silo within the need for an intermediate transfer tower. Thereby only one drive is required and a transfer point, along with the associated dust control apparatus, may be complete eliminated saving on equipment and daily operating costs. Illustrated above is the new LASER formed chain with double side plates required for the larger tensile range. LASER forming eliminates the traditional punching operation to generate the pin holes in fabricated chains thereby minimising internal stress concentrations within the material structure which can (in extreme cases) lead to catastrophic premature side plate failure. For the Indian market AumundIndiasubstantially manufacture the elevators and pan conveyor products entirely withinIndiamainly at their associate’s workshops as shown below in Chennai. Clearly this is important for the local market to minimise the volume and cost of imported materials limiting these to only such as special chains and belts.

Within this editorial we have described in principle the core products supplied to the Indian market but the key point is these products, whether manufactured in Germany or India are of identical performance and reliability with absolutely no compromise. Aumund operate a common engineering standard worldwide and whilst the locally manufacturer equipment will be tailored to the suit components and steel sections available in that country the quality standards remain the same regardless.

All engineering standards are compatible along with documentation and after sales service data regardless of the country of manufacture or the combination of sourcing required in any market. This rigorous adoption of common engineering, manufacturing and quality standards is the key to Aumund’s success in this market combined with local manufacture for competitive pricing. This elevator head pulley manufactured in the workshop in India has exactly the same properties and will perform in every way the same as a compatible pulley manufactured by Aumund Fördertechnik in Germany. Naturally in India they would argue the quality is in fact superior… But as a minimum it is equal…

In addition to providing engineering capability for the Indian market AumundIndiaalso provide engineering services for the Aumund Group worldwide in particular for the design and detail drawings associated with conveyor bridges and transfer towers plus associated equipment. In this manner Aumund may offer an economical solution for a complete handling equipment package with the steel structures manufactured locally using engineering drawings fromIndiaand core components supplied from Germany. Alternatively Aumund may supply the complete package economically using local contractors for the steel work. An excellent example of such a project is illustrated below inSpainat Cementos Balboa where Aumund supplied the complete package for Clinker transport and all vertical elevation at the pre-heater and finished cement. Returning to the opening picture of Lakheri Cement in Rajasthan, we choose this particular plant since this is the oldest cement plant inIndia in continuous use, from around 1905.

The plant has already been extensively modernized and the capacity being further increased to 1.5 M.T.P.A. by replacing the existing three wet process lines with a single dry process kiln line. The upgrade included new Vertical mill and latest design filter systems and silo storage for the clinker with the objective of reducing power demand and improving energy efficiency. Lakheri Cement has served the capital of India Delhi & Western U.P. and, for example, the latest prestigious project the Delhi Metro, besides the number of other important projects in northernIndia.

As part of the modernisation project an number of Aumund KZB and KZB-Q pan conveyors were supplied to handle cement clinker as previously described but in addition an Aumund bucket conveyor was installed of the type illustrated below to raise the material to the new clinker silo.

The Bucket Conveyor is based on the conventional new generation LASER formed pan conveyor chains with external rollers carrying the deep drawn individual buckets. These conveyors operate effectively to 60 degrees working angle and bridge the gap between the KZB-Q pan conveyor and the true vertical bucket elevator. For the Lakheri project the bucket conveyor was designed for a handling rate of 250 t.p.h.

Within the supply package Aumund India also delivered a number of type BWG belt bucket elevators for handling the Raw Meal and Finished cement, plus Fly-Ash as a substitute raw material derived from coal fired power plant. During the plant upgrade process Lakheri Cement also upgraded their captive power plant to 25 mW.using the same fine ground coal fuel as used in the new kiln.

So what for the future; the Indian Cement market is now powering forward despite the financial woes of the Western World but there are obviously still challenges. Fuel costs are clearly an important factor as is availability of electric power which in many outlying areas a real problem. Coal is the fuel of choice for most of the market and in many areas captive power plants are installed to utilise a common fuel and generate sufficient power for the cement plant with often a surplus to supply the local communities.

Sustainability obligations demand reductions in carbon emissions and co-processing opportunities offer the possibility of dealing with hazardous wastes through the kiln using the high kiln temperature to eliminate harmful by-products. Blended cements using granulated blast furnace slag offer significant prospects both to reduce costs and to reduce carbon emissions taking advantage of the energy already invested in the slag. JSW Steel are one company that is taking full advantage of the expanding supply of granulated slag as a result of continuous development of the steel industry in general but JSW in particular.

An extract from a recent JSW press release:

JSW Cement Limited has 0.3 Mt of Portland slag cement making capacity at Vijayanagar.

By year 2010 JSW steel plants will produce 3.5 MTPA of slag which is sufficient to produce 7 MTPA cement. JSW Cement Ltd. will set up cement plants adjacent to all upcoming steel plants of the group, thus making it a leading cement producer of the country.

JSW Cement, the new diversification foray of JSW Group, plans to set-up multi-location cement manufacturing, grinding and bulk distribution facilities up to 5.3 MTPA. The fast track projects include a Greenfield Cement Plant having 2 mtpa clinker with 1.1 MTPA Portland Slag Cement (PSC) and 1.5 MTPA clinker grinding facility in the Kurnool district of Andhra Pradesh, 2.8 MTPA Slag grinding with 1.1 MTPA PSC at split located unit at Torngallu, in Bellary district of Karnataka, adjacent to the JSW Steel Plant, 2.2 MTPA bulk distribution PSC terminal near Bangalore and 0.3 mtpa slag grinding unit at Mecheri in Salem District of Tamilnadu.

These are important new projects and reflect the growing world realization that the use of both substitute raw materials and alternative fuels will be a fact of life for the future of cement. Combined with reductions in energy demand these initiatives will reduce the cement industry carbon footprint and generate potentially important income from trading CERs thus created.Indiahas a very important role to play in these developments and is now showing the way forward particularly in RDF (Refuse Derived Fuel) where a number of new projects are in progress.

With the market for cement withinIndiaset to continue growing for the foreseeable future there appears to be excellent prospects. Quoting from India Business cement production increased from 115 to 130 million tons during the period April to January in 2008-9 and 2009-10 respectively (last figures available). Total cement production capacity on an annualized basis for the year 2010 is estimated to be up some 12.5% on the previous year if figures for the first part of the year are extrapolated to the full period. Utilization figures are quoted at an astounding 93% putting real pressure on the equipment to deliver this availability…

Whilst the focus in any cement plant is generally the kiln availability the surrounding components are equally important. If an elevator to the blending silo or pre-heater fails or the clinker transport from cooler to the silo fails the kiln must stop and production will be interrupted just the same as had the kiln itself failed. The Aumund Group, through Aumund India, has in no small measure contributed to this enviable availability performance by delivering world class engineering standards leading to undoubted reliability in the critical sections of the materials handling process around the cement kiln. With the purchase of B&W Mechanical Handling of theUKin 2002 Aumund acquired the established Samson Surface Feeder product which is now integrated to the Aumund product portfolio.

Illustrated opposite a plant extension fo the Lafarge Group including a Samson truck intake facility combined with a type BWZ central chain bucket elevator discharging at high level to a concrete silo for additions material. Illustrated above the Samson receives direct from road or mining type tipping trucks and, being surface mounted, eliminates the need for deep underground pits and hoppers associated with conventional hopper/feeder arrangements. The Samson concept is equally suited to handling difficult materials such as the wide range of alternative fuels now much in demand for co-firing in the cement kiln.

In conclusion Aumund India continue to support the Indian Cement industry with both established and innovative new products supported by local service and spare parts at every level, from concept through to commissioning and continuing after sales services.