Cement is the active ingredient in concrete. It’s what gives concrete its strength and durability and makes it such an ideal building material. Quality control is thus a critical issue – and one of growing complexity due to the increasing use of alternative fuels and new supplementary cementitious materials (SCMs) across the cement industry. These introduce variability into the process that can adversely impact product quality.

FLSmidth has led innovation in this field for many years, developing and installing the first online elemental analyser for raw meal back in 1994. Our ambition then – as today – was to deliver a complete and self-contained online system for chemical quality control in cement plants. Now spanning three decades, this journey has delivered well-known products such as QCX/OnStream, OLX800 and OLX900.

The new partnership with FCT ACTech is the next step, allowing us to integrate the company’s state-of-the-art X-ray fluorescence (XRF) and x-ray diffraction (XRD) analyser units into our QCX CUBE online analysis solutions. FCT ACTech is the advanced analytical instruments division of FCT International. It has developed and supplied a continuous on-stream analyser for more than two decades with products now covering raw mix, clinker quality, and cement blend control.  

“We are very pleased to be able to integrate FCT ACTech analyser units in our new QCX® CUBE analysis solutions for cement plants,” commented Jens Asbjørn Pedersen, Global Product Manager for Sampling, Preparation and Analysis. “We are starting with the launch of QCX CUBE X10, which primarily targets raw meal applications, but it is our ambition to utilise FCT ACTech's innovative range of analyser units to also deliver advanced online XRD analysis solutions for clinker and cement.”

The QCX CUBE X10 online elemental analyser is FLSmidth's newest analysis solution for cement raw meal. Offering plug-and-play functionality, it includes sampling components, EDXRF analyser, and a fully programmed local control system, all delivered pre-assembled in an air-conditioned container. Analysis results for calcium (Ca), silicon (Si), aluminium (Al), and iron (Fe) will be provided as standard. Sodium (Na) and magnesium (Mg) analysis can be provided with the addition of a helium purge, while other elements are available on request after a site-specific evaluation.

The QCX CUBE X10 is designed for seamless integration with FLSmidth’s market-leading blend optimisation software QCX/BlendExpert. This allows the speed and frequency of online analysis to be combined with the precision analysis provided by an automated sampling system and well-performing central laboratory to establish very tight chemical quality control of the raw meal mix.

“We believe such integrated solutions will provide critical support for cement plants during the green transition, as alternative fuels and new SCMs are driving a need for further process and chemistry optimisation,” concluded Jens Asbjørn Pedersen. “The agreement with FCT ACTech and the launch of QCX CUBE X10 are key steps for us to deliver innovative solutions effectively and open up further exciting opportunities.”

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