Dr Prateek Sharma, KPK Reddy, Moon Chourasia and Dr DK Panda, National Council for Cement and Building Materials (NCCBM), Ballabgarh, India, present their ideas on the integration of high ash refuse derived fuel and the role of gasification in the cement manufacturing process.
Refuse derived fuel (RDF) has been identified as one of the major fuels for the Indian cement industry to achieve TSR of around 30 per cent by 2030. However, challenges persist in maximising RDF utilisation in cement production like incomplete combustion, increased specific heat consumption, and inconsistent RDF quality due to varying sources and moisture content which can be overcome by RDF gasification. Gasification of RDF produces syngas that can be used as fuel, offering advantages in terms of combustion efficiency and clinker quality, particularly valuable for white cement manufacturing. Moreover, the ash produced in the gasification process can be repurposed as an alternative raw material. Experimental runs in a downward draft gasifier demonstrated the feasibility of RDF gasification and RDF-biomass co-gasification. A multi-zone gasifier model was also developed to simulate RDF gasification, taking into account the heterogeneous nature of RDF. The model successfully predicted the properties of the producer gas in each zone, providing a valuable tool for optimising gasification processes.
Nature of solid waste changes as societies get richer and more urbanised. Instead of biodegradable waste (wet), households generate more and more quantities of plastics, metals, and other non-biodegradable (dry) waste. 65 million tonnes of waste are generated annually in India of which over 62 million tonne is the share of Municipal Solid Waste (MSW). Only about 75-80 per cent of the municipal waste gets collected and out of this only 22- 28 per cent is processed and treated. The remaining MSW is deposited at dump yards. With population explosion and urbanisation, this trajectory is expected to reach 165 million tonnes by 2031, and up to 436 million tonnes by 2045. With this precipitous rise in the quantity of waste generated, the waste collection efficiency in India still has a lot to catch up.
RDF is a form of MSW that has been sorted and subject to basic processing treatment. MSW is treated by shredding and dehydrating to produce Refuse Derived fuel (RDF). It largely comprises combustible components of municipal waste which has more consistent combustion characteristics than unsorted MSW. RDF roughly comprises 15-20 per cent of MSW. As per the current scenario, the availability of RDF, considering the proximity of cement plants in India, is estimated to be around 13600 tonnes of RDF per day, equivalent to 4.96 million tonnes per annum. The Indian cement industry has improved to around 7 per cent thermal substitution rate (TSR) and is targeting to achieve 30 per cent TSR by 2030. Currently, all high TSR plants (14-30 per cent) are using RDF and plastics as major fuel with 69 per cent share in quantity. Currently, biomining is also being practised all over the country’s landfills to produce fractions comprising RDF, biodegradable matter, compost, and inert component. RDF produced is being sent to cement plants. However, there are operational challenges.
CHALLENGES WITH RDF USAGE
The maximum thermal substitution rate (TSR) achieved through RDF is 80-100 per cent in the calciner, while it is limited to 50-60 per cent in the kiln burner. Different AF pre-combustion technologies, advancements in multi-channel burners, and new satellite burners have supported high TSR worldwide. Extensive efforts in modelling kiln burners and calciners lead to enhanced TSR. However, the cement industry still faces fundamental operational issues such as high CO and incomplete combustion, increased specific heat consumption, reduced flame temperature, jamming and buildups. The nature of RDF including moisture content varies enormously with changes in sources. Improper segregation, low calorific value, high chloride content, cost fluctuations and poor characterisation facilities leads to an inconsistent quality altogether affecting the production and quality. Higher RDF utilisation sometimes requires a kiln bypass system which along with pre-processing also adds up as an additional cost.
RDF GASIFICATION AS A GAME CHANGER
RDF gasification can pose a promising solution to eliminate operational issues. Gasification is the thermal conversion of carbonaceous matter into a syngas by partial oxidation. Here the trash is heated in a low-oxygen environment to the point that it breaks down into its constituent molecules. This reaction has two products: a combustible gas called syngas and inert ash or char. Syngas can be directly burned in the calciner/kiln with minimal prior cleaning. Syngas has better combustion properties in the calciner than even small size solid waste directly fed to the calciner. Moisture will participate in gasification reactions to a certain extent and increase the NCV of syngas by contributing to H2 production through water gas shift reaction. NCV variations of the input fuel mix (coal and syngas) are reduced substantially due to consistent syngas composition. Moreover, it offers better clinker quality due to no additional ash in the clinker. No ash absorption by clinker can also facilitate the usage of marginal and low-grade limestone. Thus, a hard-to-burn fuel can be made easily combustible. Gasification integration with the cement industry will help achieve the target of 25 per cent TSR within the timeframe. The GOI has set a target of 100 million tonnes of coal gasification by the year 2030. This will also facilitate co-gasification of coal and waste, having the advantage of improved syngas quality.
GASIFIER INTEGRATION CONFIGURATIONS
There can be different configurations for integrating the gasifier with the pyroprocessing system reported in literature. Fuel gasification taking place in a gasifier in the presence of kiln exhaust gas at high temperature along with a portion of tertiary air from the cooler can be one option. Syngas gets burnt in the calciner in the presence of balanced tertiary air to provide heat for raw meal calcination. Tertiary air is split between calciner and gasifier. Another configuration involves a unique concept of separate hydrogen production taking advantage of the cement manufacturing process. Ash from the gasifier can be sent to the smoke chamber where some unburnt carbon present in ash will get burnt, and the heating value can be utilised for combustion purpose. Another way of ash utilisation is an alternative raw material. The syngas can also prove to be very helpful in white cement manufacturing. As per IS 8042, the iron content in white cement should be less than 1 per cent and the degree of whiteness should be greater than 70 per cent. As syngas has no residual ash, the whiteness index and iron content can be easily maintained. One configuration involves a separate gasifier set up and syngas produced being sent to the calciner replacing conventional fuel.
MODELLING and EXPERIMENTAL RUNS
National Council for Cement and Building Materials (NCCBM) in collaboration with the Birla Institute of Technology (BITS) Pilani-Pilani campus carried out experimental runs in a downward draft gasifier for RDF gasification and RDF-biomass mix co-gasification. RDF contains ash in the range of 30-50 per cent. A multizone gasifier model was developed for RDF gasification having four zones, i.e., drying, pyrolysis, oxidation/combustion and reduction/gasification. In each zone, different thermochemical phenomena occur. A stoichiometric approach is followed for modelling the drying, pyrolysis and combustion zone. The reduction zone is modelled as a cylindrical fixed bed reactor with a uniform cross-sectional area. The developed differential equations are solved using simulation software to predict the producer gas properties. Further, to study the integration of gasifier with calciner, a stoichiometric based model has been developed for calciner along with material and energy balance which predicted calciner outlet temperatures, gas composition, SO2 and CO2 for co-processing of producer gas as an alternative fuel in white cement plant replacing petcoke at 15 per cent TSR.
Gasification experiments were performed with RDF fluff and RDF pelléts as feedstock and air as gasifying agents. The gas yield ranges from 2.43-3.65 Nm/kg RDF with LHV of 1.87-2.24 MJ/Nm3 RDF and cold gas efficiency of 44-60 per cent. It is observed that RDF containing high ash content in the range of ~31-51 per cent is quite challenging to gasify in a downdraft-type gasifier with operational bridging and clinker formation issues. Upon adding O2 to air as a gasifying agent, LHV and CGE increased by 78 per cent and 30 per cent, respectively further, more experimental runs were carried out using RDF and biomass mix in different ratios using air as a gasifying agent. RDF-biomass mix co-gasification results are better than RDF gasification in terms of LHV and CGE. Upon adding O2 to air as a gasifying agent for a 50:50 RDF-biomass mix, LHV and CGE uncreased by 35.5 per cent and 8.35 per cent, respectively.
The proposed multizone gasifier model can predict the output of each zone satisfactorily since the model assumptions are more realistic and cater to the heterogeneous nature of RDF. The impact of equivalence ratio (ER), moisture content and reduction zone length on the performance of the gasifier are evaluated. For calciner modelling at 15 per cent
TSR, the model predicted the calciner outlet temperature accurately compared to the baseline scenario (100 per cent petcoke firing). Considering the biogenic content in RDF, CO2 mitigation potential due to RDF utilisation as producer gas is estimated to be 10.5 per cent of the baseline scenario at 15 per cent TSR.
RDF gasification stands out as a transformative approach to address operational challenges encountered in maximising RDF utilisation. By converting RDF into a syngas, this method provides several advantages apart from overcoming the current operational challenges during co-processing of RDF in cement production. The experimental runs and modelling efforts conducted in this research explore the viability of RDF gasification as a game-changing solution. This aligns well with India’s broader environmental, energy and waste utilisation objectives, positioning RDF gasification as a sustainable and efficient means of addressing the growing issue of solid waste while contributing to the country’s sustainability goals.
ABOUT THE AUTHORS
Dr Prateek Sharma is an energy auditor, manager at Centre for Mining, Environment, Plant Engineering, and Operations. He is also a Programme Leader of Advanced Fuel Technology programme at NCCBM.
KPK Reddy is an energy auditor, Manager at Centre for Mining, Environment, Plant Engineering and Operations. He is also a member of Project Engineering and System Design at NCCBM.
Moon Chourasia is a Project Scientist at the Centre for Mining, Environment, Plant Engineering and Operations at NCCBM.
Joint Director, NCB has over 36 years of experience in the areas of Geology, Raw Materials and Mining and administrative experience as a Team Leader, Programme Leader and Head of the Centre. He has executed more than 50 major industrial R&D projects.
Our products are designed with the latest automation technology
S K Ambasta, CEO, ATS Conveyors, talks about their material handling and transportation solutions, which are crafted as per European standards, ensuring high quality and low maintenance.
Tell us about your material handling and transportation solutions.
ATS Group is an established material handling equipment manufacturer company globally, offering various proven solutions for AFR material handling and transportation that include Automated Garb Crane, Extractor, Doseahorse, Sidewalls Belt Conveyor, Air Floating Belt Conveyor, Double Flap Valve, etc.
Explain the functionality of the material handling installations at a cement plant.
ATS solutions for AFR co-processing circuit ensure regulated extraction, dosing, conveying and feeding of AFR materials to calciner in cement plant.
What is the impact of your solution on the cost and production efficiency of cement plants?
ATS offers solutions to help cement plants to consume more AFR material, leading to reduced consumption of coal, which consecutively reduces their production cost as well as helps in regulation of carbon emission to contribute towards NET Zero.
Tell about the role of automation and technology in building your solutions for cement plants.
Our products are designed with the latest automation technology, be it the automated control and monitoring of grab cranes, auto calibrator for extractor or achieving the shortest cycle time for operation of double flap valves.
Do you customise your solutions for cement plants based on their requirements?
Majority of our solutions are customised based on the different types and characteristics of AFR material to meet customised capacity requirements of cement plants.
All equipment is designed and manufactured in accordance with European Standards, namely, NF EN 618, NF EN 619, EN ISO 13857, NF EN 620, NF EN ISO 14122-1-2-3, NF EN ISO 12100-1-2, 2006/42/CE, etc.
Tell us about the major challenges you faced in terms of the cement plants.
Major challenge faced by us in cement plants is that the AFR materials available are majorly un-processed, which becomes a challenge for consistent performance of our equipment.
Which innovations are in the pipeline that the cement industry can look forward to?
Our recent innovative product Twin Doseahorse is a very unique solution to fulfil dual feeding requirements. Also, this has been awarded as Product of the Year in Cement Expo 2023. Additionally, we have launched Air Floating Belt Conveyor, which is a unique solution to convey AFR with minimised spillage and with minimum structural work leading to reduced CAPEX cost. Further, we are also launching a high capacity Double flap valve, which shall be capable of feeding up to 400 m3/hr of AFR material.
Revolutionising the Future
Dr S B Hegde, Professor, Department of Civil Engineering, Jain College of Engineering and Technology, Hubli, and Visiting Professor, Pennsylvania State University, USA, discusses the hydrogen and automation revolutions in the cement industry in the concluding part of this two-part series.
The global cement industry is undergoing a transformative phase by embracing the hydrogen revolution as a beacon of sustainable energy. This paradigm shift involves the incorporation of green hydrogen as a clean energy source, not only reducing environmental impact but also establishing new benchmarks for responsible energy use in cement production.
Usage of hydrogen in cement plants.
A. Global status
Globally, several leading cement manufacturers have initiated pilot projects and full-scale implementations of hydrogen-based technologies in cement production. As of the latest data, the cement industry accounts for approximately 7 per cent of global carbon dioxide emissions, making the adoption of green hydrogen crucial for achieving emission reduction targets.
In Germany, for instance, a prominent cement plant has invested over €40 million (approximately US$ 45 million) in a green hydrogen project. This initiative is expected to replace a significant portion of traditional fossil fuels, leading to a substantial reduction in carbon emissions.
B. Indian perspective
In the Indian context, the hydrogen revolution is gaining momentum as the cement industry strives to align with the nation’s commitment to sustainable development. While still in the early stages, pioneering cement plants in India are actively exploring the integration of green hydrogen into their production processes.
C. Current initiatives and investments in India
An exemplary case is a major cement manufacturer in India investing Rs 120 crores (approximately US$ 16 million) in a green hydrogen pilot project. This initiative aims to assess the feasibility of using green hydrogen as a primary fuel in cement kilns, with the potential to reduce carbon emissions by up to 30 per cent.
D. Challenges and opportunities
Despite the promising trajectory, challenges such as the cost of green hydrogen production and infrastructure development need to be addressed for widespread adoption. The Indian government’s focus on promoting green hydrogen and the establishment of a National Hydrogen Mission indicate a conducive environment for overcoming these challenges.
E. Environmental impact
The incorporation of green hydrogen into cement production offers a significant reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. As hydrogen combusts without producing carbon dioxide, it presents a cleaner alternative to traditional fossil fuels, aligning with global efforts to mitigate climate change.
F. Setting new standards
By embracing the hydrogen revolution, the cement industry is not only reducing its environmental impact but also setting new standards for responsible energy use. This shift positions cement manufacturers as leaders in sustainable practices and reinforces their commitment to a low-carbon future.
G. Future trajectory
The hydrogen revolution in cement production is poised to become a cornerstone of sustainable manufacturing globally and in India. Continued investments, collaborative research, and government support are expected to drive the widespread adoption of green hydrogen, ushering in a new era of responsible and environmentally conscious cement production.
As the cement industry propels into the future, a seismic shift is underway, steering towards a highly automated and robotic workforce. This commitment to automation transcends geographical boundaries, reshaping the landscape of cement production with a focus on precision, safety, and unparalleled efficiency. Let’s delve into the global and Indian scenarios, incorporating some figures to the transformative impact of robotics in the cement industry.
A. Adoption of automation
Globally, leading cement manufacturers are at the vanguard of adopting automation and robotic technologies. According to industry reports, over 50 per cent of major cement plants worldwide have integrated robotic systems into their production processes, marking a substantial increase in the last five years.
B. Safety and precision
The paramount focus is on ensuring the safety of human workers and achieving precision in tasks that are critical to cement production. Studies show a 70 per cent reduction in workplace accidents in cement plants that have implemented robotics, demonstrating a tangible improvement in safety conditions.
C. Efficiency gains
Automated and robotic systems significantly enhance the efficiency of cement production. Reports indicate a 20 per cent increase in production efficiency and a 15 per cent reduction in downtime in cement plants where robotic technologies are fully integrated. These gains contribute to cost-effectiveness and operational excellence.
D. Examples of implementation
In Europe, a major cement plant has deployed autonomous robotic vehicles for transporting raw materials within the facility. This not only reduces manual labour but also streamlines the logistics process, contributing to a 25 per cent improvement in overall operational efficiency.
A. Adopting trends
In India, the adoption of robotic systems in the cement industry is steadily gaining traction. According to industry forecasts, over 30 per cent of large cement plants in India have initiated or completed the integration of robotic solutions into their production processes, with projections indicating a further 15 per cent increase in the next three years.
B. Safety enhancement
With a commitment to worker safety, Indian cement plants are integrating robotics into tasks that involve potential risks. Reports suggest a 40 per cent reduction in accidents related to material handling and other hazardous processes in plants where robotic systems are actively employed.
C. Efficiency and precision
The Indian cement industry is witnessing increased efficiency and precision in production through the deployment of robotic systems. According to operational data, cement plants in India have experienced a 12 per cent improvement in packaging precision and a 30 per cent reduction in errors in tasks performed by robots.
D. Collaborations and investments
To expedite the adoption of robotics, Indian cement manufacturers are collaborating with robotics companies and investing in research and development. Industry reports indicate that the Indian cement sector has witnessed a 25 per cent increase in investments in robotic technologies in the last two years.
E. Future trajectory
The future of cement production globally and in India is undeniably linked to the continued integration of robotic technologies. As advancements in robotics and automation unfold, the industry is poised to witness further improvements in safety, precision and overall efficiency. Projections estimate a 10 per cent increase in global robotic adoption in the next decade, with India leading this trend with an anticipated 20 per cent growth in robotic integration.
Global trends in marketing, technology and sustainability
- Virtual global presence
Establishing a virtual global presence through digital showrooms is a strategic approach, especially in an increasingly digital world. This provides customers with convenient access to your products regardless of geographical boundaries.
- Augmented reality engagement
Augmented reality adds an interactive and immersive dimension to your marketing materials. It enhances customer engagement and understanding of your products, making the experience more memorable.
- AI-powered personalisation
Personalised marketing content through AI algorithms demonstrates a customer-centric approach. Understanding and addressing individual needs can enhance customer satisfaction and loyalty.
- Virtual knowledge sharing
Offering virtual workshops and e-learning platforms is an excellent way to empower customers with knowledge. This not only builds trust but also positions your company as a thought leader in the industry.
- Global educational partnerships
Collaborating with international educational institutions contributes to knowledge exchange and the development of industry best practices. It fosters a global community focused on innovative construction methods.
- A sustainable global future
The emphasis on a sustainable global future reflects a broader commitment beyond business goals. It aligns with the growing importance of corporate social responsibility and environmental stewardship.
In wrapping up our journey through the innovations and sustainable practices in the global cement industry, it’s clear that our commitment to excellence is shaping the future of construction. Embracing smart technologies like Industry 4.0 in cement plants ensures efficient and eco-friendly production.
Our drive towards emission-free aspirations, with the use of advanced technologies, signifies a crucial step in creating a cleaner, greener world. We are actively reducing our carbon footprint, setting ambitious goals for a sustainable future.
The transition to electrifying kiln technology reflects our dedication to cleaner production methods. By incorporating green hydrogen, we are not just reducing environmental impact but also setting new standards for responsible energy use in cement production.
In marketing, our approach goes beyond borders. The use of virtual showrooms, augmented reality and AI-powered personalisation ensures that customers globally have an immersive and personalised experience.
Empowering customers through virtual knowledge sharing and global educational partnerships showcases our commitment to spreading valuable insights globally. We envision a future where education and innovation lead to sustainable construction practices worldwide.
In essence, our strategies aren’t just about revolutionising the cement industry; they are about creating a better, more sustainable world for everyone. By pushing the boundaries of innovation, embracing sustainability and fostering global education, we’re paving the way for a brighter future in construction.
Klaus Schwab, The Fourth Industrial Revolution, World Economic Forum, 2016.
International Energy Agency, Technology Roadmap: Carbon Capture and Storage, 2013.
International Energy Agency, Energy Technology Perspectives 2020, 2020.
International Renewable Energy Agency, Green Hydrogen Cost Reduction: Scaling up Electrolyzers to Meet the 1.5°C Climate Goal, 2021.
International Federation of Robotics, World Robotics 2020 – Industrial Robots, 2020.
McKinsey & Company, Reimagining marketing in the next normal, 2021.
Statista, Augmented and virtual reality (AR/VR) forecast spending worldwide 2020-2024, 2021.
Forbes, AI For Marketers: 8 Best Practices to Boost Your Strategy, 2021.
E-learning Industry, Top eLearning Statistics and Facts For 2021, 2021.
UNESCO, Global Education Monitoring Report 2020, 2020.
United Nations, Sustainable Development Goals, 2021.
About the author:
Dr SB Hegde is an industrial leader with expertise in cement plant operation and optimisation, plant commissioning, new cement plant establishment, etc. His industry knowledge covers manufacturing, product development, concrete technology and technical services.
(*Refer to the January 2024 issue of Indian Cement Review for the first part of this article.)
Safe plant concept means safety of the entire workforce
Ashutosh Shrivastava, Head – Corporate Safety, JK Cement, talks about their commitment to maintaining a safe, healthy and environmentally friendly workplace as well as the continuous efforts being employed to enhance safety through technology, training and a proactive approach to addressing the behavioural aspects of safety.
What is the definition of a ‹safe› plant in your organisation?
Safe plant concept means safety of the entire workforce, including both employees and visitors coming to the plant for their respective nature of activity, by taking appropriate safety control measures as per the risk associated with the activity.
Tell us about the key areas where safety in a cement plant is of paramount importance?
In a cement plant, the key areas where safety management system plays an important role are:
- Plant gate for heavy vehicle entry: An SOP has been developed for the entry of heavy vehicles inside the plant for loading and unloading activity, along with an SOP of high standard vehicle traffic management safety, which is being followed.
- Packing plant area: In the cement industry, the maximum workforce involved is at the packing plant operation, as the major activity of cementing bags and loading them onto vehicles by using conveyor belts at loading points is being undertaken. For safe loading operations, an SOP has been developed. The SOP Task Risk Assessment is conducted and applied along with safety control measures, based on activity SOP.
- Process area: To maintain safe process operations, various associated activities are carried out. For example:
- Hot material handling: Poking and cyclone jam cleaning activities at preheater and kiln locations, etc.
Hot work: Naked flame producing activity (welding / grinding / gas cutting)
Working at height activity: Work at 1.8 m or more is called working at height activity
Electrical isolation activity (called Log Out / Tag Out)
Confined space activity
Material shifting activity
Raw material unloading activity by using mobile equipment
Non-routine activity like plant shutdown
Civil work inside plant
Project works (new process equipment installations, new civil building, old steel and civil structure demolition and erection)
- For all these activities, the safety management system has adopted certain tools:
Elimination of hazards
Engineering controls like machine / equipment guarding, log out / tag out, hard barications etc.
Administrative controls like permit to work system for high risk activities, Activity SOPs/OCP, activity risk assessment, job specific safety training, tool box talks, workplace safety inspection, safety observation tours, hazards reporting, near-miss and incident reportings, safety meetings, etc.
- What are the safety equipment used by the personnel in different areas of work?
- Since there are different types of activities going on inside a cement plant, based on a specific activity, the workforce uses personal protective equipment (PPE) and other safe design equipment, such as:
- Hot works (welding / grinding / gas cutting): Heat resistance suit, hot work safety hand gloves, face shields, hot works safety goggles, safety helmet, safety shoes, gas cylinders pressure gauge, flash back arrestors, fire hydrant line, fire extinguishers, etc.
- Height works: Full body safety harness with double lanyard with shock absorber, life line, safe design scaffolding platform, boom lift, scissor lift, cherry picker, safety goggles, safety helmet, safety shoes, job specific safety hand gloves, etc.
- Hot material handling activity: Full body heat resistance suit, hot material handling safety gloves, heat resistance safety shoes, heat resistance face shield, fire hydrant line, fire extinguishers, etc.
- Confined space works: Use of gas detectors, forced ventilation system, life line. rescue equipment, electrical isolation system (log out / tag out), safety goggles, safety helmet, safety shoes, job specific safety hand gloves and nose mask.
- Electrical works: Electrical isolation system (log out / tag out), safety goggles, electrical job specific safety helmet, electrical job specific safety shoes, electrical job specific safety hand gloves, electrical job specific face hood, electrical shock resistance suit, etc.
- Lifting activity: Third party approved lifting tools and tackles and third party approved mobile equipment (mobile cranes).
- Material shifting activity by using mobile cranes: Third party approved lifting tools and tackles, third party approved mobile equipment (mobile cranes, fork lift, etc).
Tell us about your organisation’s policies about safety for people working in the plants?
Summary of the company’s Safety, Health and Environment Policy:
- The Company, as a good corporate citizen, assumes its business and ethical responsibility to create a safer and healthy workplace for its employees and a clean environment to its employees as well as surroundings.
- With the company›s global vision, we aspire for the highest international standards in plant design, equipment section, maintenance and operation, which are consistent with its emerging leadership position in cement business, the company will constantly encourage higher international standards in all areas including safety, health and environment.
- The Company as a part of its corporate philosophy and policy is committed to manufacture products safely and in an environment-friendly manner with due consideration for occupational health for employees and others who may be involved and / or affected by its operation.
- The company will comply with all applicable laws and regulations (local /state/federal) pertaining to its operations.
- The Company widely participates with the government, the industry and others concerned in creating relevant laws, regulations and standards to safeguard the community, workplace and environment.
- The Company is committed to the safety and health of the surrounding community at each manufacturing site and will make sure that any adverse environmental impact is minimised.
- The Company will provide adequate resources for the implementation and monitoring of safety policy.
- Each site and department will have this policy prominently displayed so as to bring it to the attention of all employees.
Does technology play a role in ensuring plant safety? If yes, how?
The technology used for safety purposes at JK Cement comprises:
- Digital safety management system module, which includes permit to work system, workplace hazard reporting and investigation, workplace near-miss reporting and investigation, workplace safety observation tour, safety statistics analysis, etc.
- Fire / smoke detectors installations at fire risk areas (reference AFR operation, bag go down, etc.) and connected with the emergency control room.
- Digital Control System (DCS) to control and monitor plant operations.
- Nitrogen Purging System installation at process equipment (reference coal fine bins, liquid AFR installation, etc.)
- Temperature sensors installation in different equipment.
- Gas Detection Monitoring by using multi gas detectors for confined space activity.
- CCTV cameras installed at multiple locations.
- GPS installation in company vehicles, etc.
- Tell us about the major challenges faced in ensuring plant safety?
- In the cement industry, the major challenge that we are facing is the behaviour of the workforce towards safety. To deal this challenge, we have developed safety management system tools that include:
- Safety Awareness Tool (safety induction, activity tool box talks, job specific safety training, monthly safety campaign and circulation incident-based safety alert).
- Safety Inspection Tool (behaviour-based safety observation tour, workplace safety round, focus internal safety audit and external safety audit).
- Reporting Tool (near miss reporting, hazard reporting and incident reporting).
- Emergency Preparedness Tool (mock drills, onsite emergency plan, fire fighting equipment facility and medical emergency facility).
- Risk Assessment Tool (job safety analysis, hazard identification and risk assessment).
- Safety Observation Discussion Platform Tool (monthly safety review meeting, management representative and workers representative safety committee meeting and daily all plants manufacturing meeting).
- Safety Guidelines Tool (Activity SOP / OCP, safety hand book, contractor obligation and OHS guidelines and activity dos and don’ts).
- Workplace Safety Display Tool (activity safety display and activity SOP display).
- Administrative Control Tool (risky activity permit to work system).
- Incident Investigation Tool (root cause analysis, CAPA and safety recommendation).
Do you conduct safety training and audits for your plant personnel? Explain in detail.
Workplace Safety Trainings and Safety Audits are an important tool of safety management system:
Safety Awareness Tools:
- Safety Induction
- Activity Tool Box Talks
- Job Specific Safety Training
- Monthly Safety Campaign
- Circulation Incident Based Safety Alert
- Safety Inspection Tools:
- Behaviour Based Safety Observation Tour
- Workplace Safety Round
- Focus Internal Safety Audit
- External Safety Audit
How do you plan to better the safety of your plant in the years to come?
We have prepared a focus safety element plan for the coming years to reach the next level of safety system at JK Cement.
Focus safety elements are:
- Human Safety
- Equipment Safety
- Fire Safety
- Electrical Safety
- Steel and Civil Structure Safety
- Workforce Behaviour Development Programmes towards Safety
- Stress Free Safety Culture
- Environment Friendly Workplace
- Healthy Workforce
- Use of job-specific advanced personal protective equipment
- Development of Injury-free Workplace based on Zero Harm Concept
- –Kanika Mathur