Rain Cements Limited (RCL) has been producing cement since 1986 at an annual output of up to 3.6 million tonnes. Its two integrated plants located in South India are self-sufficient in all critical raw materials – limestone, additives and coal.
RCL made an important decision to address inefficiencies in one of its existing systems at the cement plant based in Ramapuram, Mallacheruvu, Kodad in Nalgonda. The project team paid particular attention to the grate cooler, which was an older generation with low thermal efficiency, and high-energy consumption and requiring more maintenance.
Mr. VM Moorthy, VP (Tech) at RCL comments: “We previously had an old-generation grate cooler, which was becoming problematic for us. We wanted to improve thermal efficiency, so it was necessary to move to a new-generation cooler.”
With a complete FLSmidth production line already implemented at one of its plants, RCL approached FLSmidth to audit the cooler system in 2016. The audit involved taking detailed measurements of the existing cooler’s performance. The findings identified the potential to reduce cooler losses and create thermal and electrical energy savings, and as a result, FLSmidth recommended replacing and installing a more reliable, efficient cooler.
Making the right choice
The RCL project team emphasised that the quality of the equipment, including its durability, was key, along with delivery of the equipment in time for its efficient installation within the planned shutdown period. They sought a commitment to performance guarantees along with ongoing service support after the upgrade.
“Our decision regarding choice of supplier was made largely based on our previous experience with FLSmidth, and we believe they offer the most reliable equipment and service support.”
The Cross-Bar® Cooler met the needs of RCL in terms of possessing high thermal efficiency, reduced power consumption, relatively low maintenance requirements and low civil construction and operating costs. The optimised design is flexible enough to enable partial or complete upgrades of most existing old-generation clinker coolers.
The return on investment for RCL can be realised within an estimated four-year period, just from the energy benefits and fuel savings alone. It was clear that this was the solution for RCL, and FLSmidth’s extensive experience in retrofits gave a certain boost of confidence.
Ambitious, but achievable timeline
The project team comprised of two FLSmidth supervisors, whose role was to supervise the upgrade, together with a team of RCL employees who were responsible for the civil construction and erection of the new cooler.
A crucial aspect of the project was that it needed to be completed within the planned shutdown period, which encompasses delivery, civil works, dismantling, installation, refractory works and start-up. The timeline of the project was ambitious but necessary to minimise production downtime. Together, RCL and FLSmidth displayed collaborative efforts to ensure plant start up as scheduled in the stipulated short timeline.
“Despite requiring extensive civil structure modifications, the project was completed on time thanks to the support and experience of FLSmidth in completing retrofits,” says Mr. Moorthy, RCL.
Reaping performance benefits
Following the upgrade, the new Cross-Bar cooler has run well without any issues, according to Mr. Moorthy, and the performance guarantee results showcasing the success of the project.
“We are satisfied with the outcome and especially pleased that we have achieved the guaranteed cooler losses and energy savings.”
|Performance of Rain Cement's Cross-Bar® Cooler|
|Performance parameter||Before upgradation||After upgradation|
|Recuperation efficiency (%)||68||77|
|Actual cooler loss (Kcal/Kg clinker)||149||110|
|Standard cooler loss (Kcal/Kg clinker)||131||92|
|Clinker temperature (Celcius)||112 degrees + ambient||57 degrees + ambient|
|Specific power consumption (Kwh/t)
(Fans, drives and breakers)
Venkata Siva Ram Kollipara, Assistant General Manager at FLSmidth, sees the guarantees achieved on performance parameters as an indication of the Cross-Bar cooler’s exceptional performance and reliability:
“It pays to make the initial investment to reap the performance benefits well into the future. The success of this project demonstrates FLSmidth’s commitment to deliver impressive results through collaboration with our valued customers.”
Venkata Siva Ram Kollipara
Assistant General Manager, Project Management