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Keeping all gears in action

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High performing lubricants, oils and greases are instrumental to the smooth working of a cement plant. Indian Cement Review takes a closer look at their contribution in enhancing productivity and helping companies achieve sustainability goals as well as the development of cost-effective bio-lubricants.

The cement manufacturing process is heavy duty. Activities such as carrying mined limestone on quarry belts to the pyroprocessor where clinker is produced at high heat levels cause immense load and severe operating conditions for equipment such as kilns, ball mills, conveyors and quarry-side mobile plants. The cement making machinery works around the clock, subjecting its components like gearboxes and bearings to overheating and premature wear and tear.

It is essential that care be taken and regular maintenance work be done for each of these equipment as the plant shall endure heavy financial and production losses if there is machinery failure, shutdown or loss of heat and energy in the mining area or manufacturing plants. To avoid such a situation and any unscheduled downtime, maintenance operators and managers invest in high performing lubricants, oils and greases that reduce the harm on machinery components.

Lubricants at work

Specially formulated lubricants are required at all stages of the cement making process, namely, extraction, crushing, conveying, grinding, clinker production, grinding and some general lubricants are needed for processes that happen in between.

Selecting the right lubricant for every machinery can be challenging. It isn’t about the equipment but the environment in which the machinery is operating that can vary from season to season depending on the plant’s location. This factor must be carefully considered while deciding which lubricants, oils or greases would work best for the machinery and the plant’s systems.

Productivity enhancement

Challenging operating conditions, continuous operations especially for the processing equipment such as the kilns, ball mills, conveyors and quarry-side mobile plants can lead to premature wear and tear or be subjected to overheating. Plant operators must maintain and choose the right lubricants to prevent any unscheduled downtime and costly additional maintenance, as well as safeguard their bottom line performance. Lubricants may cost upto 1 to 2 per cent of any cement company’s overall expense but play a key role in preventing major costs that may occur due to a faulty operation or shutdown.

Productivity of a cement plant is dependent on smooth operations, which in turn is dependent on the flawless functioning of plant machinery right from the point of extraction to packaging and exit of materials. Sustainability Goals
Specialty lubricants with innovative formulae have been created with research that help obtain operational excellence and support the balance of carbon emission in the industry. A systematic approach can lead the way of using these specialty lubricants in the cement plants if necessary to achieve the objectives.

Innovative lubricant manufacturers have developed cost-effective bio-lubricants. These eco-friendly lubricants can also be a great replacement for the lubricants that have graphite. It makes their handling and disposal safe for the work men and the environment.

Multiple organisations are putting in an effort to create lubricants with special formulations that support the intense conditions the machinery of a cement plant endures. From dust, water, pressure, vibrations or weight, the right lubricant applied in the correct manner can make productivity efficient, can avoid untimely shut downs and support the cement industry to make their processes run in a smooth and timely manner. It is essential that close attention is paid in selection of these lubricants as well as their maintenance, drainage and disposal.

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Concrete

New appointment at TMEIC

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TMEIC Industrial Systems India, a Group company of TMEIC Corporation, Japan, has announced the appointment of Hidekazu Matsushima as the new Managing Director. Matsushima has been associated with Mitsubishi Electric FA division for domestic market in Japan since 1991 and been assigned in Industrial division in 1994, where he rolled out his mission of sales, marketing and business development of General industry (GI) such as paper, film, Oil & Gas, petrochemical, cement, food, automobile, semiconductor industries in Japan. During the establishment of TMEIC in Japan in 2003, he was assigned with the responsibility for domestic GI market Sales in Japan HQ, and then in plant and energy sales department.

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Concrete

Social Impact Award for Ambuja Cements

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The West Bengal CSR unit of Ambuja Cements has won the 6th ICC Social Impact Award 2024 in the large industry category. It was recognised for its efforts in advancing ‘Gender Equality and Women Empowerment’. The CSR arm received a letter of appreciation from the Office of the Governor of West Bengal, further amplifying recognition of the organisation’s contributions to societal advancement. The initiatives undertaken by Ambuja Cements in West Bengal under the Women Empowerment programme harness the power of rural women as breadwinners, community leaders and change-makers. Encouraging women to form Self-Help Groups and Federations plays a key role in helping them achieve socio-economic empowerment.

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Concrete

UCWL unveils new plant in Dabok, Udaipur

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JK Lakshmi Cement, a subsidiary of Udaipur Cement Works Limited (UCWL), has inaugurated its state-of-the-art cement mill IV at their Dabok plant in Udaipur, Rajasthan. The new mill pushes the plant’s cement capacity from 2.2 million MT to 4.7 million MT, making it one of the key players in the industry. The new facility is expected to enhance efficiency, productivity and provide exceptional product quality owing to its cutting-edge technology equipment while incorporating innovative measures to minimise its environmental impact. The event shows UCWL’s stern commitment to excellence and its contribution to the region’s infrastructure sector.

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