Europe in four days

Every four years the plant engineering company Loesche invites its customers and business partners from the cement, coal, steel and mineral industries, to their Symposium which offers a platform to introduce the latest developments in the company’s technology as well as share experiences with Loesche equipment already installed at various cement producers worldwide.

This year’s Loesche Symposium was held on 25.–26.09.2014 in Düsseldorf/Germany. Over 350 guests from 55 countries took part in this two-day  event with accompanying exhibition. Numerous suppliers that had been particularly associated with Loesche over the years, such as Scheuch/Austria, expert for air and environmental technology, and all the German companies as there are IKN GmbH/Neustadt a.R., Schade Aumund/Gelsenkirchen, Ventilatorenfabrik Oelde GmbH/Oelde, Beumer Group/Beckum, Kreisel GmbH & Co. KG/Kauschwitz and Renk AG/Augsburg and presented their products and services at the exhibition. 24 lectures were offered to the very interested audience in the two days of the symposium each followed by an evening event.

After a warm welcome by Loesche’s CEO Dr. Thomas Loesche (Fig. 1), Dr. Daniel Strohmeyer, director of Process Technology, updated the delegates about the latest developments in Loesche grinding technology. Product development in the company is primarily driven by product requirements, environmental considerations and resource limits of cement production. He explained the trends towards larger mill sizes such as Loesche’s LM 70.4+4 and 70.5 and the need for improved performance, which is delivered by its new LDC classifier. The first LM 7.4+4 mill was sold to the Holcim Group in 2013. The erection of the mill which will be driven by a COPE gearbox is scheduled for the end of 2015.

Peter Boiger/Renk followed on focusing on one specific feature for Loesche mills, the COPE Drive (Compact Planetary Electric). He highlighted the  higher availability and lower total cost of ownership (TCO).

During the break all attendees made new contacts, exchanged ideas, and catch up on the news with friends and colleagues. The exhibition stalls generated a great interest and further interaction.

Prof. Horst-Michael Ludwig of Bauhaus University, Weimar and Dr. Holger Wulfert from ­Loesche continued the program. They introduced the latest research results and explained the process of producing high quality binder from steelmaking slags. For a reduction of CO2-emissions within the cement industry turning liquid slag into a reactive material can be one solution for the problem.

Dr. Gerald Wimmer of Siemens VAI from Linz/Austria explained the innovative approach for LD slag valorization to reduce clinker factors in the cement making process. The company’s technology enables the use of LD slag in the production of cement, effectively reducing the clinker factor and thus decreasing specific CO2 emissions. Moreover, the effective use of LD slag will reduce the slag’s negative impact on the environment.

First, Alexander Flacher, who heads Holcim Group Support, led through the history of VRMs used in clinker grinding by the Swiss cement producer. The company operates at present 33 VRMs, of which 17 were supplied by Loesche.

After the lunch break Dr. Dirk Spenner, MD of ­Spenner Zement/ Germany, discussed the operating experience of the first VRM for GBFS grinding at the cement plant in Duisburg. His presentation gave also inside information as a plant visit to the Spenner plant in Duisburg, including the Loesche VRM 46.2+2 took place with all interested participants on Saturday as part of the weekend program.

One of the highlights was the presentation of Southern Province Cement Co. from Saudi Arabia, which has been held by Mr. Bashar Sweidan. The company was the first in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia who installed a Loesche Vertical Roller Mill for cement grinding. On this occasion he informed the audience about the satisfaction and their plans for further investments with Loesche mills.

Radwan Mouakat of National Cement Co, UAE, explained the cost savings obtained due to the company’s fuel conversion project from heavy fuel oil (HFO) to pulverized coal. This presentation was followed by Onur Ataky from Sintek, which reflected on the change of preferences that sees VRMs take the centre-stage rather than the traditional ball mill.

Following the afternoon coffee break in the exhibition area Loesche’s André Baetz and Dr. Holger Wulfert as well as Dr. Andreas Jungmann of Cala presented their paper “Dry selective comminution and sorting of concrete rubble – The end of down-cycling of crushed concrete, by the use of the ­Loesche Mill”. Dr. Jungmann and Dr. Wulfert stayed on the stage for their next presentation together with Carsten Gerold, also from Loesche, and Dr. Schiffers, Cala, about the production of high value metal products and construction materials from steel slag and waste material by using selective comminution and dry sorting. The final paper of the day was given by Matthias Mersmann (Fig. 2) of aixergee. He highlighted process optimization in the cement industry and received a good feedback.

In the evening a gala dinner offered an excellent opportunity to meet many more participants from around the globe and for operators to exchange views and experiences.

The second day’s program commenced with Dr. Daniel Camarasa who gave the interested audience a general outlook of the cement industry in Africa. Pieter Jacobs followed with “15 years of successful operation of a Loesche VRM type LM 50.4 in a hard rock application in Phalaborwa”.

Olivier Thomas and Pierre Wlodarzyk, both Loesche, introduced the company’s new “Operation and Maintenance” business line, which sees the equipment supplier provide a multi-level maintenance and repair service through the entire lifecycle of a cement producer’s installed equipment.

A view from India was offered by M Srinivasan of Madras Cement and V S Narang of My Home Industries after the coffee break. They advised the audience on their operating experiences with ­Loesche mills in their companies’ applications.

ZKG’s Editor-in-Chief and proven AFR-expert Dr. Hubert Baier drew up the future trends of AFR use from his operational experiences, effectively introducing the following papers which were given in the afternoon session after the lunch break.

A TEC, the Austrian pyroprocess expert, since 2010 part of the Loesche group, extended Loesche’s product portfolio in recent years by several specific products in the area of plant optimization and use of alternative fuels.

The company’s new chain mill was introduced by Johannes Uttinger from A TEC. His colleague, Johannes Müllner complemented how reliable the mill worked already reaching a thermal substitution rate of 88% two weeks after comissioning.

The Flexiflame EcoPro® burner, especially designed for this purpose by A TEC Greco promises even higher substitution rates in the future, as explained in his presentation by Joel Maia. Dr. Stefan Kern followed by presenting A TEC‘s “state of the art”-technology by an integrated solution for NOx reduction below 200 mg/Nm3.

The complete recycling of waste derived material was explained jointly by Johannes Müllner, A TEC and Ernst-Michael Sipple, Holcim Emerging Europe displaying their operational experiences in the industrial plant in Rohožník. Each year they are able to sell 4000 tons of industrial minerals produced out of 20000 tons bypass dust. Finally, Friedrich Willitsch from A TEC and Holger Reinhold from Scheuch, explained ways to reduce mercury emissions in the cement industry with a new system commissioned by end of this year.

Dr. Thomas Loesche then formally closed the symposium, which brought experts to Germany from around the world.

The evening continued with an enjoyable boat trip on the river Rhine which gave the opportunity to see the “Media Harbor” inclusive the venue, the Hyatt hotel, from a different view.

The two-day lecture program was followed by a plant visit at Spenner Zement in Duisburg on Saturday, for all interested customers to introduce the LM 46.2+2 for slag grinding. This trip was followed by another one on the same day: after visiting Spenner, the symposium participants went straight to the airport and started a 2-day trip to Austria. Dr. Guenter Waldl from Leube Zement welcomed the group in Gartenau near Salzburg and, together with Dr. Guenther Schwaiger from A TEC, introduced the outstanding modernization of Leube’s Gartenau plant, which was done within a 15 month construction period only.

On the next day, the trip continued to Southern Austria. The participants enjoyed the Wietersdorf plant visit in Carinthia (Fig. 3), which was a great host. At the plant, A TEC’s experts Johannes Uttinger and Joel Maia showed the Chain Mill and Flexiflame EcoPro® burner directly in operation.

The trip ended with a visit to the beautiful castle of Hochosterwitz before Dr. Loesche and his team said farewell to the symposium’s participants.


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