2012-05-14 - The Holcim Group, one of the world’s leading suppliers of cement and aggregates, carried out a modernization project at its Merone plant in Como, Italy, with the help of ABB Motors and Drives. The project resulted in significant absorption reductions and lessened maintenance requirements.
Clinker, a material formed during the cement manufacturing process, is created by pyroprocessing a mix of raw materials in a furnace at high temperatures (1450 °C). The Merone plant furnace was installed back in the 1960s; during the 1980s, updates were made to its mechanical parts only. Until recently, four electrical motors constituted the furnace’s electrical system.
Due to the type and age of the motors, frequent shutdowns for maintenance were performed every month and a half, with significant production losses of up to 700 metric tons of clinker per shutdown.
Motors from the modular induction motor series
To solve this problem, Holcim decided to replace all the motors with more advanced equipment, installing ABB inverters and motors as replacements for the aging power supply bridge. ABB’s solution included motors from the modular induction motor series, designed for high voltage but rewound for low voltage use. For the inverters, the ACS 800 low-harmonic inverter was chosen.
After startup, the effect of the new ABB motors and inverters was analyzed. The most significant improvement came from reduced maintenance requirements resulting in increased annual production. The energy savings, however, exceeded expectations: absorption reductions equal to about 1.5 million kWh per year were realized.