Innovations and trends in grinding technology

About 55 participants accepted the invitation of Gebr. Pfeiffer Inc. to visit Fort Lauderdale, FL/USA, from 04.12.– 06.12.2016. The first Gebr. Pfeiffer ready2grind Technical Panel in Florida was jointly presented by Haver & Boecker and the Redecam Group. The attendees came from eleven countries of the Americas and Europe.

On the evening of 04.12.2016 the event started with an informal gathering at the Hyatt Regency Pier Sixty-Six in Fort Lauderdale, a well-chosen venue for the meeting. On Monday morning the actual technical panel was opened with the welcome address by Dr. Eduard Kulenkamp. The Chairman of the Executive Board of Gebr. Pfeiffer SE (GPSE), Kaiserslautern/Germany, gave a short overview of the company’s achievements and welcomed the audience, primarily presenting the Americas for the exchange of experience. After this introduction Patrick Heyd, Executive Director, Sales and Project Engineering, Gebr. Pfeiffer SE, took over, who was in charge of the moderation of the two day event.

VRM case studies and grinding optimization

The informative presentations about new technologies and innovative solutions began with a case study by Juliano Menezes de Melo, LafargeHolcim Brazil. The plant manager of the Brazilian Barroso plant presented the commissioning of the Pfeiffer MVR 6700 C6. The Barroso plant is located in the southeast area of Brazil, close to three of Brazil’s largest cities, and consists of two lines, one starting in 1972, the other in 2016. The clinker capacity is 6700 t/d, producing 3.6 million t/a of cement. The Barroso MVR from Pfeiffer is one of the biggest vertical roller mills in operation worldwide.

The commissioning period ran from 21.01.–26.01.2016 with the hot gas generator start-up, the commissioning and the refractory drying out. The MVR start-up and commissioning took place between 27.01.–15.04.2016. Performance tests are still pending from March 2017 as well as a new separator drive and a new transformer.

Afterwards, in an insight into the Barroso plant Salvatore Gallo, Sales Director, Redecam USA, spoke about “The second life of a dedusting system: Influencing aspects and technical solution to upgrade an existing dedusting system”. He described the conversion from ESP to a bag filter system, depicting the different steps to change an existing dedusting system. The installation of the system to be changed shows that the existing casing can be reused, so that no civil works are required; emissions are reduced to ≤ 5 mg/Nm³.

“Design of Pfeiffer vertical mills” was the topic of the presentation by Patrick Heyd, Gebr. Pfeiffer SE. He described the design features with regard to active redundancy and maintenance problems. Concerning the GPSE MVR references Heyd gave a broad overview, covering also the MultiDrive projects. Another main aspect was the one-mill-solution in comparison with a two-mill-system, concluding with an overall cost saving of about 25 % for the one-mill-concept.

With the title “Pfeiffer MVR – Exshaw experience” Jim Bachmann and Reda Anbari, Lafarge Canada, Inc., presented another case study describing the Exshaw cement plant. The plant manager, Jim Bachman, gave a brief history of the more than 110 year old cement plant in Alberta/Canada, ­located 80 km west of Calgary. The Pfeiffer MVR 5000 R-4 vertical roller mill was part of the Exshaw expansion project starting in early 2014 and leading to a post-expansion cement capacity of 2.2 million t/a. The technical manager, Reda Anbari, described the experiences with the Pfeiffer vertical roller mill since the commissioning in 2015.

Chris Oesch, President of Gebr. Pfeiffer, Inc., gave an “Overview of Gebr. Pfeiffer ready2grind solutions”. After a brief history of Gebr. Pfeiffer, he presented the features of the small mill concept of the ready2grind system, followed by examples of the erection of such a mill. He finally summarized the advantages of the concept concerning erection modules and energy consumption.

Ralf Appenzeller, Sales Manager, IBAU Hamburg, spoke about “Storage and handling of bulk materials”. He presented the concept of the IBAU central cone as well as the discharge system, focusing on safety problems. In addition, the aeration management “Gdischarge” was described in order to optimize the silo operation.

Dr. Caroline Woywadt, Director Process Technology at Gebr. Pfeiffer SE, drew the audience’s attention to “Grinding process optimization”. Pilot plants in the GPSE test center are able to perform specific tests concerning for example grindability, almost as realistically as in an industrial plant. The tests supply the client with concise information about different process problems, e.g. for wear determination or to adjust the raw material mix or the process velocity. She also discussed different grinding systems as well as the VRM performance for example with regard to vibrations or water injection.

The first day ended with a “dinner with a view” in the pier top revolving ballroom of the hotel.

Optimizing operations and processes

Tuesday began with the contribution “Worldwide after sales services at Gebr. Pfeiffer” by Rainer Krüper, Director of After Sales Service at Gebr. Pfeiffer SE. He presented the GPSE program for clients beginning after the CAPEX businesses. The department provides training courses and services as soon as the mill is in stable production, in order to keep in contact with the client.

Kevin Rodriguez, Haver & Boecker USA, Inc., presented the Haver & Boecker product portfolio of “Bag packing and palletizing systems” as a complete supplier for the stages of processing, storage, packing and finally palletizing.

Afterwards Wissam Tamim, Project Manager, Gebr. Pfeiffer, Inc., took over with the topic “Electrical, power and automation system”. This address was jointly presented with Volkan Undeger, Managing Director/Director of Sales, Quad Plus Europe.

“Flue gas treatment technologies in the cement industry – OPEX and CAPEX” were discussed by Fabio Ferrari, Head of Machinery & Innovation, Redecam Group. The selection of emission reduction technologies strongly depends on the local situation, such as the type of process, the emission baselines and the aspired emission targets as well as the raw material composition.

As with all the contributions, this presentation was followed by a question and answer session. Afterwards Chris Oesch summarized the very well organized event leading over to the group panels and informal discussions. Expert panelists were assigned to each of the following topics:

ready2grind solution

overall plant operations

VRM maintenance

filter systems

packing plant systems

Some lively discussions in small groups featuring the different topics concluded a successful technical panel, which brought together plant managers, operators as well as suppliers for a very profitable exchange of experience in pre-Christmas Florida.


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