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Cool Experience – Unique FlSmidth Cross-Bar Cooler



New technologies are making cost-efficient cooler upgrades a reality for today’s cement producers.
How often is the cooler a bottleneck in clinker production? It’s a common challenge for most cement producers in an industry that is highly energy intensive and with greater need to optimise costs and increase productivity.
In the current economic conditions, cement plant owners are looking for productivity enhancement, cost-efficient solutions and faster payback. Increasingly, retrofits and upgrades are seen as the best choice, and for coolers in particular, there are compelling reasons for retrofitting and upgrading.Relieving the pressure
In their coolers, cement producers can face any number of operational bottlenecks, adding to the general challenge of maintenance and operational complexity. These include inlet build-up, red river, uneven air distribution, reduced availability, dusty clinker, poor flexibility, reduced thermal efficiency, increased losses, increased power, and insufficient heat input to the WHRS boiler.
All these factors create disturbances in the pyro processing systems, ultimately to the detriment of the plant’s commercial performance. Retrofitting a cooler with the latest available technologies is becoming increasingly attractive to producers as way to improve energy efficiency and availability of the pyro processing system. New generation clinker coolers
FLSmidth has a proven legacy of applying innovative technologies to achieve energy-efficient pyro processing solutions. The FLSmidth Cross-Bar? cooler makes use of the company’s advanced clinker cooling technology and has been implemented in more than 350 cement plants around the world, helping them to eliminate bottlenecks in production and improve the overall efficiency of the pyro processing system. FLSmidth is highly experienced in implementing in in-box, partial and complete cooler replacement solutions.
The benefits are due to several specific technologies and innovations, as discussed below. Consistently high thermal efficiency: Unlike other cooler designs, the FLSmidth Cross-Bar? cooler separates the clinker conveying and air distribution systems.
Reciprocating bars fitted above the stationary air distribution system effectively convey, mix, shear and preparing the clinker for efficient exposure to the cooling air. A further benefit to this separation is that gradual wear of the bars has no effect on the kiln and cooler operation, and thermal efficiency stays high throughout the lifetime of the cooler.
The highest thermal efficiency is provided by the cooler’s Mechanical Flow Regulator (MFR) technology, which limits the airflow to a grate plate only if required. This delivers the desired level of air distribution, which is key to good operational performance amidst varying clinker granulometry. Even at a reduced air load, good air distribution can be achieved by adjusting the MFR.Maximising reliability and availability: With increased stickiness of the clinker due to optimised fuel and raw mix chemistry, the ABCTM Inlet is an ideal choice to ensure the highest cooler availability.
The process air is controlled by MFR technology. In the grate, air blasting is grouped in zones for effective removal of snowman and agglomerates.
Another factor contributing to the equal distribution of clinker – helping to prevent red river – is the FLSmidth Cross-Bar? cooler’s flexibility. This allows the stroke length across each lane to be varied. Fast, low-cost installation: With the highly flexible modular design, the FLSmidth Cross-Bar? cooler is designed not only for new coolers, but also as upgrades inside any existing cooler casing. The units are preassembled and workshop-tested to ensure high quality. A low total installed cost is achieved by several salient features like Horizontal construction, Cooler & HRB Modules pre-assembly, No under grate spillage or conveying system.Low, easy and predictable maintenance: The FLSmidth Cross-Bar? cooler has few wear parts, meaning easy and economical maintenance. The bars and U-profiles are easily accessible from the over-grate area. During operation, a protective layer of clinker is maintained between the air distribution plates and the movable bars, which ensures a long lifetime for the air distribution plates. Experience has shown that the maintenance of the coolers is highly predictable and simple to perform during a typical kiln overhaul.
Hot air recirculation and maximising waste heat recovery: A special feature of the FLSmidth Cross-Bar? cooler is its ability to recirculate hot air and maximise heat recovery from mid-air for power generation. Its hydraulic cylinders can be relocated such that hot air recirculation is made available to the compartments as necessary to improve mid-air temperature and volume. More importantly, maximised heat recovery is feasible without sacrificing recuperation efficiency of cooler.Raising the performance bar
An innovation of FLSmidth, this principle of continuous airflow regulation helps optimise heat recuperation and distribution of air throughout the entire cooler, enabling fuel savings and more effective cooling. FLSmidth is committed to innovation and product development in an effort to provide the greatest value to cement producers. FLSmidth Cross-Bar? cooler is ideal choice for either new cooler or retrofit solution.FLSmidth Cross-Bar? cooler benefits

  • Consistent thermal efficiency
  • High reliability/availability
  • Fast and low cost construction/Modular construction
  • Low, easy and predictable maintenance
  • Hot air recirculation/Maximised waste heat recovery

ABCTM Inlet benefits

  • No snowman
  • Increased availability
  • High secondary/tertiary air temperature
  • Reduced wear on cooler parts
  • Better operational control
  • Good clinker distribution

Customer benefits

  • Maximum availability
  • Minimum maintenance
  • Sustained performance
  • Maximised WHR power generation
  • Faster payback of investment
  • Low total cost of ownership

Author: G Renga Prasad, Product Line Manager-Pyro, FLSmidth.
(Communication by the management of the company)

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Price hikes, drop in input costs help cement industry to post positive margins: Care Ratings




Region-wise,the southern region comprises 35% of the total cement capacity, followed by thenorthern, eastern, western and central region comprising 20%, 18%, 14% and 13%of the capacity, respectively.

The cement industry is expected to post positive margins on decent price hikes over the months, falling raw material prices and marked drop in overall production costs, said an analysis of Care Ratings.

Wholesale and retail prices of cement have increased 11.9% and 12.4%, respectively, in the current financial year. As whole prices have remained elevated in most of the markets in the months of FY20, against the corresponding period of the previous year.

Similarly, electricity and fuel cost have declined 11.9% during 9M FY20 due to drop in crude oil prices. Logistics costs, the biggest cost for cement industry, has also dropped 7.7% (selling and distribution) as the Railways extended the benefit of exemption from busy season surcharge. Moreover, the cost of raw materials, too, declined 5.1% given the price of limestone had fallen 11.3% in the same aforementioned period, the analysis said.

According to Care Ratings, though the overall sales revenue has increased only 1.3%, against 16% growth in the year-ago period, the overall expenditure has declined 3.2% which has benefited the industry largely given the moderation in sales.

Even though FY20 has been subdued in terms of production and demand, the fall in cost of production has still supported the cement industry by clocking in positive margins, the rating agency said.

Cement demand is closely linked to the overall economic growth, particularly the housing and infrastructure sector. The cement sector will be seeing a sharp growth in volumes mainly due to increasing demand from affordable housing and other government infrastructure projects like roads, metros, airports, irrigation.

The government’s newly introduced National Infrastructure Pipeline (NIP), with its target of becoming a $5-trillion economy by 2025, is a detailed road map focused on economic revival through infrastructure development.

The NIP covers a gamut of sectors; rural and urban infrastructure and entails investments of Rs.102 lakh crore to be undertaken by the central government, state governments and the private sector. Of the total projects of the NIP, 42% are under implementation while 19% are under development, 31% are at the conceptual stage and 8% are yet to be classified.

The sectors that will be of focus will be roads, railways, power (renewable and conventional), irrigation and urban infrastructure. These sectors together account for 79% of the proposed investments in six years to 2025. Given the government’s thrust on infrastructure creation, it is likely to benefit the cement industry going forward.

Similarly, the Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana, aimed at providing affordable housing, will be a strong driver to lift cement demand. Prices have started correcting Q4 FY20 onwards due to revival in demand of the commodity, the agency said in its analysis.

Industry’s sales revenue has grown at a CAGR of 7.3% during FY15-19 but has grown only 1.3% in the current financial year. Tepid demand throughout the country in the first half of the year has led to the contraction of sales revenue. Fall in the total expenditure of cement firms had aided in improving the operating profit and net profit margins of the industry (OPM was 15.2 during 9M FY19 and NPM was 3.1 during 9M FY19). Interest coverage ratio, too, has improved on an overall basis (ICR was 3.3 during 9M FY19).

According to Cement Manufacturers Association, India accounts for over 8% of the overall global installed capacity. Region-wise, the southern region comprises 35% of the total cement capacity, followed by the northern, eastern, western and central region comprising 20%, 18%, 14% and 13% of the capacity, respectively.

Installed capacity of domestic cement makers has increased at a CAGR of 4.9% during FY16-20. Manufacturers have been able to maintain a capacity utilisation rate above 65% in the past quinquennium. In the current financial year due to the prolonged rains in many parts of the country, the capacity utilisation rate has fallen from 70% during FY19 to 66% currently (YTD).

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Wonder Cement shows journey of cement with new campaign




The campaign also marks Wonder Cement being the first ever cement brand to enter the world of IGTV…


Cement manufacturing company Wonder Cement, has announced the launch of a digital campaign ‘Har Raah Mein Wonder Hai’. The campaign has been designed specifically to run on platforms such as Instagram, Facebook and YouTube.

#HarRaahMeinWonderHai is a one-minute video, designed and conceptualised by its digital media partner Triature Digital Marketing and Technologies Pvt Ltd. The entire journey of the cement brand from leaving the factory, going through various weather conditions and witnessing the beauty of nature and wonders through the way until it reaches the destination i.e., to the consumer is very intriguing and the brand has tried to showcase the same with the film.

Sanjay Joshi, executive director, Wonder Cement, said, "Cement as a product poses a unique marketing challenge. Most consumers will build their homes once and therefore buy cement once in a lifetime. It is critical for a cement company to connect with their consumers emotionally. As a part of our communication strategy, it is our endeavor to reach out to a large audience of this country through digital. Wonder Cement always a pioneer in digital, with the launch of our IGTV campaign #HarRahMeinWonderHai, is the first brand in the cement category to venture into this space. Through this campaign, we have captured the emotional journey of a cement bag through its own perspective and depicted what it takes to lay the foundation of one’s dreams and turn them into reality."

The story begins with a family performing the bhoomi poojan of their new plot. It is the place where they are investing their life-long earnings; and planning to build a dream house for the family and children. The family believes in the tradition of having a ‘perfect shuruaat’ (perfect beginning) for their future dream house. The video later highlights the process of construction and in sequence it is emphasising the value of ‘Perfect Shuruaat’ through the eyes of a cement bag.

Tarun Singh Chauhan, management advisor and brand consultant, Wonder Cement, said, "Our objective with this campaign was to show that the cement produced at the Wonder Cement plant speaks for itself, its quality, trust and most of all perfection. The only way this was possible was to take the perspective of a cement bag and showing its journey of perfection from beginning till the end."

According to the company, the campaign also marks Wonder Cement being the first ever cement brand to enter the world of IGTV. No other brand in this category has created content specific to the platform.

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In spite of company’s optimism, demand weakness in cement is seen in the 4% y-o-y drop in sales volume. (Reuters)




Cost cuts and better realizations save? the ?day ?for ?UltraTech Cement, Updated: 27 Jan 2020, Vatsala Kamat from Live Mint

Lower cost of energy and logistics helped Ebitda per tonne rise by about 29% in Q3
Premiumization of acquired brands, synergistic?operations hold promise for future profit growth Topics

UltraTech Cement
India’s largest cement producer UltraTech Cement Ltd turned out a bittersweet show in the December quarter. A sharp drop in fuel costs and higher realizations helped drive profit growth. But the inherent demand weakness was evident in the sales volumes drop during the quarter.

Better realizations during the December quarter, in spite of the 4% year-on-year volume decline, minimized the pain. Net stand-alone revenue fell by 2.6% to ?9,981.8 crore.

But as pointed out earlier, lower costs on most fronts helped profitability. The chart alongside shows the sharp drop in energy costs led by lower petcoke prices, lower fuel consumption and higher use of green power. Logistics costs, too, fell due to lower railway freight charges and synergies from the acquired assets. These savings helped offset the increase in raw material costs.

The upshot: Q3 Ebitda (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization) of about ?990 per tonne was 29% higher from a year ago. The jump in profit on a per tonne basis was more or less along expected lines, given the increase in realizations. "Besides, the reduction in net debt by about ?2,000 crore is a key positive," said Binod Modi, analyst at Reliance Securities Ltd.

Graphic by Santosh Sharma/Mint
What also impressed analysts is the nimble-footed integration of the recently merged cement assets of Nathdwara and Century, which was a concern on the Street.

Kunal Shah, analyst (institutional equities) at Yes Securities (India) Ltd, said: "The company has proved its ability of asset integration. Century’s cement assets were ramped up to 79% capacity utilization in December, even as they operated Nathdwara generating an Ebitda of ?1,500 per tonne."

Looks like the demand weakness mirrored in weak sales during the quarter was masked by the deft integration and synergies derived from these acquired assets. This drove UltraTech’s stock up by 2.6% to ?4,643 after the Q3 results were declared on Friday.

Brand transition from Century to UltraTech, which is 55% complete, is likely to touch 80% by September 2020. A report by Jefferies India Pvt. Ltd highlights that the Ebitda per tonne for premium brands is about ?5-10 higher per bag than the average (A cement bag weighs 50kg). Of course, with competition increasing in the arena, it remains to be seen how brand premiumization in the cement industry will pan out. UltraTech Cement scores well among peers here.

However, there are road bumps ahead for the cement sector and for UltraTech. Falling gross domestic product growth, fiscal slippages and lower budgetary allocation to infrastructure sector are making industry houses jittery on growth. Although UltraTech’s management is confident that cement demand is looking up, sustainability and pricing power remains a worry for the near term.

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