Extensive modernization – induction motor in the US enhances efficiency of cement factory

The US American corporation Lehigh Texas (LT) operates a number of cement manufacturing plants across Texas. One of them is the Waco cement factory, which was due for modernization. The aim was to increase production, energy efficiency and availability, while at the same time improving plant safety. LT opted to use drive solutions from Siemens and its project partner thyssenkrupp Industrial Solutions (TKIS) for the project. By replacing obsolete drive components, it was possible to reduce maintenance time and improve availability. During the course of the project, Siemens and TKIS installed one of the biggest induction motors ever produced in the USA which has UL certification.

1 Introduction

Lehigh Texas production plants stretch across the entire south and southeast of Texas in the USA. A socially and ecologically committed global exporter of cement products, Lehigh Texas recently undertook extensive modernization measures in its Waco facility which would not only make the plant more profitable and further improve its availability, but also drive down its energy consumption and increase plant safety. LT commissioned Siemens and thyssenkrupp Industrial Solutions (TKIS) – two consummate professionals in the field of industrial drive technology and power distribution – to take charge of the complex project.

2 Direct process control

Siemens equipment used to implement the modernization project included an FR3 immersion isolating transformer, 24 pulse Sinamics GM150 frequency converters with CSA certification, an air-cooled IP55 totally enclosed air-to-air cooler (TEAAC), variable-speed 2000 HP Simotic induction motors and a power distribution center (PDC).The PDC was tested prior to installation in order to reduce the commissioning time needed. The new motor which replaced the previous synchronous model does not require a DC (direct current) circuit in the motor, enables rapid diagnostics and troubleshooting, and also offers capability for remote support. Its variable speed control allows the plant operator to directly control the process.

3 Low-maintenance giant

The new Simotic induction motor requires exceptionally little maintenance, as it has fewer spare and wearing parts than the previous drive. This also helps increase the plant’s availability. The project, which entailed installation of the biggest UL-certified induction motor ever to be produced in the USA, was implemented in 2017 with a lead time of just 32 weeks and completed bang on time.

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