Cement Industry

Our modern world is inconceivable without cement. It is the basic building material for the most varied construction tasks and is the most important component for manufacturing concrete.

The cement industry forms an important part of our economy. The continued anticipated growth of the cement market this year will place more demands on cement facilities to meet higher industry standards. New technologies and industry innovations are being introduced every day.

Cement plants take pride in an exceptional record of efficiency, safety and productivity while always seeking the newest techniques, systems and equipment. ASGCO® strives to help your plant meet those goals through the development of high-quality products and services.


 

Production of cement by the dry process.

The most common way to manufacture cement is through the dry method. Although the dry process is the most modern and popular way to manufacture cement, some kilns in the United States use a wet process. The two processes are essentially alike except in the wet process, the raw materials are ground with water before being fed into the kiln.

cement-manufacturing-process-flow-chart

 

Production completes after passing of raw material from the following stages:
    1. Raw material extraction/ Quarry
    2. Grinding, Proportioning and Blending
    3. Pre-heater Phase
    1. Kiln Phase
    2. Cooling and Final Grinding
    3. Packing & Shipping

 


Concrete is produced in four basic forms:

Ready-mixed concrete – the most common form, accounts for nearly three-fourths of all concrete. It’s batched at local plants for delivery in the familiar trucks with revolving drums.

Precast concrete products – are cast in a factory setting. These products are best known for their conventional 8-by-8-by-16-inch block but can be molded into a wealth of shapes, configurations, colors, and textures.

Cement-based materials – in this category include mortar, grout, and terrazzo, soil-cement and roller-compacted concrete for use in pavements and dams. Also included in this category are flowable fill and cement-treated bases.

A new generation of advanced products – incorporates fibers and special aggregate to create roofing tiles, shake shingles, lap siding, and countertops


Aggregate Industry

Aggregates are building materials used in construction, including sand, gravel, crushed stone, and recycled concrete. Aggregates are mined and either used in their raw form (for example, as foundations) or serve as composite materials in the production of concrete and asphalt. End markets for aggregates include private residential construction, commercial construction, and publicly-funded infrastructure projects, with the latter consuming the most aggregates, usually for use in highway and road construction.

 

Aggregate_Samples

 

Aggregates are used as base materials in foundations, or as components in the production of concrete and asphalt. The diagram to the left demonstrates how aggregates are used in road construction; aggregates are clearly essential not only as a foundation for the roadbed, but also go into the cement that makes the road itself. When aggregates are used, they are an important part of the construction process.

Quarries are obviously essential to aggregates producers’ business; without quarries and the reserves they provide, there is no source of raw materials. Aggregates are usually shipped from quarries or production areas close to their end market. This is because even a relatively small amount of aggregates, in terms of value, can weigh several tons. Because most aggregates are transported by truck, transport over 50 miles is thus cost-prohibitive and infeasible. However, this can be circumvented to an extent by alternative modes of transport, specifically by rail or by water. For those aggregates producers with proper facilities, rail transportation provides a cheaper alternative to shipments by truck. Transport by barge is even cheaper, but is only available to those producers with access to coastal waterways.

 

Aggregate_Samples_1

 

Aggregates are not just for construction, a vast array of other products, many of which are taken for granted, are manufactured using materials derived from quarrying. These include: paper, glass, cosmetics and toothpaste to name but a few. Aggregates are also used in agriculture, food manufacture and water & sewage purification.

Solutions Case Studies

ASGCO® Tru-Trainer® Eliminates Chronic Belt Damage at Northeast Aggregate Quarry

Objective: Solve belt mis-tracking and off center load issues Challenge: An aggregate quarry had multiple issues that were keeping the conveyor belt off-track. They were experiencing severe off-center loading issues, along with belt tracking and alignment problems. The conveyor itself was ‘racked’…

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Objective: Solve belt mis-tracking and off center load issues

Challenge: An aggregate quarry had multiple issues that were keeping the conveyor belt off-track. They were experiencing severe off-center loading issues, along with belt tracking and alignment problems. The conveyor itself was ‘racked’ and not straight which meant it was not receiving it’s load uniformly. The mis-tracking was causing the belt edges to become frayed and worn, chewing up the sides of the belt. On several occasions, the belt became so severely mis-aligned, that it came in contact with the idler brackets and was sawing through them, leading to catastrophic damage to the belt, and causing extended downtime for the plant’s operations.

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BEFORE PICTURE: Conventional training idlers installed on non-carrying side pushing belt up with material build-up around the pivot.
AFTER PICTURE: Tru-Trainer® Flat Return Idlers installed on clean side of belt, pushing down to take the tension out and align belt.

 

Recommendations: After ASGCO®’s technicians performed a complete survey of the conveyor system, the problem issues were identified.  It was recommended that the Tru-Trainer® Flat Return Troughing Idler be installed on the return side of the conveyor.  The Tru-Trainer’s internal pivot triggers continuous alignment by always tracking the belt to the center of the conveyor, reducing edge damage, spillage and overall better conveyor belt tracking performance.

Results: The customer had purchased Tru-Trainer’s from us before and knew how reliable and re-active they were. After installing the Tru-Trainer® Flat Return Troughing Idler, the belt is continually running straight in the frame.  Because it reacts immediately if the belt begins to steer off center, the belt edge damage has been greatly reduced and the off-center loading issue has been minimized. The customer was very pleased and will continue to order Tru-Trainer’s® to keep the belt aligned.

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ASGCO®’s New Semi-Ceramic Pulley Lagging Solves Slippage Problems at This Canadian Cement Plant

Objective: To eliminate belt slippage problems while minimizing belt wear. Challenge: This cement plant’s stacker conveyor was experiencing tremendous belt slippage problems that the conventional rubber lagging they were using failed to correct. The harsh wet and cold environmental conditions were…

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Objective: To eliminate belt slippage problems while minimizing belt wear.

Challenge: This cement plant’s stacker conveyor was experiencing tremendous belt slippage problems that the conventional rubber lagging they were using failed to correct. The harsh wet and cold environmental conditions were tough on the belts and caused the rubber lagged pulleys to wear out quickly. The customer had been adamantly opposed to the use of ceramic pulley lagging, feeling it was too tough on the conveyor belts. A solution was needed that would correct the belt slippage and wear problems while addressing these concerns at the same time.

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Recommendations/Solutions: After careful consideration it was recommended to use ASGCO®’s NEW Semi-Ceramic™ Pulley
Lagging to correct the slippage and premature wear. This lagging product line features 40% ceramic coverage which addresses
the customer’s concern about the use of ceramic lagging on the belt, while also providing the solution for the slippage that can
tear at the back of the belt. This new, improved lagging is excellent in wet or muddy conditions, such as those present at this
cement plant. The increased traction delivered by the ceramic allows for lower belt tension and less downtime caused by the
excessive wear of the rubber lagging. ASGCO®’s Semi-Ceramic™ Lagging was a ‘win-win’ scenario for the customer.

Results: After 6 months of use there has been ‘zero’ (0) wear on the belt and ‘zero’ (0) wear on the lagging. The condition of the belt
continues to look as good as the day the newly lagged pulleys were installed. Since the ceramic strips are wider  than the competitor’s
strips, there are less seams and less chances for fugitive material to get under those seams and break it down. The customer is very
satisfied with this new product!

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ASGCO® Engineering Helps East Coast Silica Manufacturer Streamline Their Processes.

Objective: Bypass the dryer by redirecting product from an incline conveyor onto an adjacent steep incline conveyor. Challenge: The customer first came to ASGCO® with the question “how can we eliminate our dryer and the conveyor that feeds it cost effectively.” The…

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Objective: Bypass the dryer by redirecting product from an incline conveyor onto an adjacent
steep incline conveyor.

Challenge: The customer first came to ASGCO® with the question “how can we eliminate our dryer and the conveyor that feeds it cost effectively.” The largest challenge of this project was the relationship of these two conveyors. They were not exactly perpendicular to each other which made the design of the chute difficult.

Solution: ASGCO® used a Cloud Point Laser Scanner to scan the area instead of taking field dimensions with hand tools, minimizing the margin for error and increasing accuracy. Then ASGCO® engineers used our 3-DEM™ chute analysis program to model a chute which would effectively transfer material between the two conveyors, while ensuring there would be no heavy impact or abrasion areas in the new chute. A Flo-Control™ chute was then fabricated at our Fabrication facility and then installed to transfer the material onto a cleated belt, eliminating the dryer completely. UHMW lining was placed inside of the chute to gave the chute better sliding capabilities and to prevent material from sticking to the chute and causing plugging.

grace-davison-case-study-before-after_web

Results: The result of this project are a fully functioning transition including an ASGCO® engineered and fabricated flow control chute and load zone that exceeded the customers expectations in regards to quality, workmanship, and functionality.  The customer was able to run product without any delays and it made for a seamless transition to their goal of bypassing a dryer with their product.

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ASGCO® Tru-Trainer® Eliminates Chronic Belt Damage at Cement Processing Facility

Objective: Solve belt mis-tracking and off center load issues Challenge: A major cement processing facility in was experiencing severe belt tracking and alignment problems leading to regular costly repairs and maintenance. This plant was using traditional training idlers in an…

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Objective: Solve belt mis-tracking and off center load issues

Challenge: A major cement processing facility in was experiencing severe belt tracking and alignment problems leading to regular costly repairs and maintenance. This plant was using traditional training idlers in an attempt to control the mis-tracking, however the nature of the aggregate material on the belt lead to continual build up around the pivot point, yielding it ineffective.  In addition, the rubber disk return idlers were preventing the belt from re-centering, defeating their purpose.

On several occasions, the belt became so severely mis-aligned, that it came in contact with the tail section of the
support structure, leading to catastrophic damage to the belt, and causing extended downtime for the
plant’s operations.  The problem persisted upon installation of a new belt, and within 12 months, it needed
to be completely replaced a second time.

Case Study_MJ_Cement Plant_TruTrainer_Challenge Pic_web

Recommendations:

After ASGCO®’s technicians performed a complete survey of the conveyor system, the problem issues were identified.
It was recommended that ASGCO® Tru-Trainer® was to be installed on the return side of the conveyor, 30 feet
before the tail pulley.  This position would allow the belt to run straight around the tail pulley and also be centered on
the conveyor in the load point, reducing spillage and costly material loss.  In addition, the rubber disk return idlers
were replaced with flat return idlers, eliminating resistance to centering.

 

Results:

After installing the ASGCO® Tru-Trainer® on return side of the conveyor, the belt is continually running straight
in the frame of the conveyor.  Due to the sealed design, interference from material buildup has been eliminated.
The plant’s output has greatly increased due to the greatly reduced maintenance and repair issues and productivity
is at an all time high.and reacts immediately if the belt begins to steer off center.  Because it does not rely on
contact with the belt edge in order to guide the belt, belt edge damage which frequently occurs with conventional
tracking systems, is avoided.

Case Study_MJ_Cement Plant_TruTrainer_Result Pic_web

Tru-Trainer® Flat Return Idler

The Tru-Trainer® series of conveyor belt tracking idlers are a patented design that offers the most
reliable and re-active belt tracking idlers available today.

Case Study_MJ_Cement Plant_TruTrainer_Result Pic 2_web

  • Patented design does not rely on the conveyor belt to activate
  • Heavy Duty Rolls use abrasive resistant hot-vulcanized rubber covers.
  • Central Pivot with Two Individual Rollers
  • Enhanced Sealing/Bearing System
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ASGCO’s® Pro-Zone™ Solves Southeastern US Cement Plant’s Wasteful Dust and Spillage Problem

Objective: To design a new self-contained material load zone that would eliminate costly spillage and expensive clean up. Challenge: This customer receives barges several times a month, and sometimes more frequently depending on the demand. The raw material travels on top…

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Objective: To design a new self-contained material load zone that would eliminate costly spillage and expensive clean up.

Challenge: This customer receives barges several times a month, and sometimes more frequently depending on the demand. The raw material travels on top to feed the silos. This powder has extremely fine properties that were escaping and filling the structure surrounding the conveyor with thick dust and debris that would settle throughout the room, sometimes in upwards of several feet. The floor would become lined with this expensive material, that once exposed, became useless in the cement process.

The challenge was to eliminate the fugitive dust and spillage and the additional costs incurred for the time and effort taken
in the removal of the material, plus any disposal fees. Access will also need to be provided to insure proper operation and
allow for serviceability of the load zone.

CS_Pro-Zone_Before After

Solution: It was recommended that they install the Pro-Zone™ modular conveyor belt load zone system to optimize the
air/dust sealing of the receiving conveyor belt.  ASGCO® engineers worked closely with our trained servicing distributor
and designed a specific, self-contained system based on the parameters of this particular conveyor.  Belt speed, material
weight, size and air flow, were among the many factors that were taken into consideration when designing the system.
CEMA design standards of 20° transition idlers before and 35° troughing idlers after the Pro-Zone™ were also addressed.
The Pro-Zone™ was designed around the existing chute and dust collection system. It creates a sealed belt support
system with quick access for monitoring and easy adjustments. The placement of the new custom designed baffles and
expansion pieces tied the new load zone system all together.

Results: The powdered material no longer plumes into the room. The workers used to kick up this material and breathe
the fugitive dust, just to provide basic maintenance. So the improved efficiency has also lifted the morale of the maintenance
staff as well.  The cost of removing the wasted product has been virtually eliminated by the cement facility. The ASGCO®
Pro-Zone™ System removed a costly obstacle in the company’s procedure and has allowed for greatly increased
production throughout.

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Ready Mix Plant Improves Production by Solving Conveyor Tracking Problem

A ready-mix plant had difficulty properly tracking the vital conveyor belt that feeds the mixer. The problem was essentially that the conveyor belt was difficult to keep in alignment, which caused serious belt edge damage, and in turn de-lamination and…

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A ready-mix plant had difficulty properly tracking the vital conveyor belt that feeds the mixer. The problem was essentially that the conveyor belt was difficult to keep in alignment, which caused serious belt edge damage, and in turn de-lamination and spillage in the conveyor load zone.

Ready-Mix-Plant-Case-Study

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Large Aggregate Plant Eliminates Carry-back Using a Combination of ASGCO’s Skalper IV Primary Belt Cleaner and Razor-Back with Spray Bar Secondary Belt Cleaner

ASGCO has successfully reduced the carry back to levels that far exceed the expectations of the customer. The customer has now installed several other ASGCO cleaners to attack carry back problems throughout the plant. (more…)

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ASGCO has successfully reduced the carry back to levels that far exceed the expectations of the customer. The customer has now installed several other ASGCO cleaners to attack carry back problems throughout the plant.

Aggregate-Plant-Case-Study

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Implementing a Six-step Plan for Proper Load Zone Operation

Today’s aggregate industry is filled with challenges. Foremost, to produce enough aggregate for cement, asphalt and other products for homes, businesses, schools, hospitals, and infrastructures. Also, operators must address environmental responsibility concerns that dictate the use of best practices to…

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Today’s aggregate industry is filled with challenges. Foremost, to produce enough aggregate for cement, asphalt and other products for homes, businesses, schools, hospitals, and infrastructures. Also, operators must address environmental responsibility concerns that dictate the use of best practices to protect both natural resources and future generations of citizens.

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