ABB reported Aug. 24 that it’s delivered its ABB Ability Expert Optimizer process control system to control, stabilize and optimize industrial processes at the Tokuyama Nanyo cement plant, which is one of the largest factories in Japan. This will allow the facility to reduce thermal energy consumption by about 3% in the kiln, as well as maintain operational quality and help when cleaning the kiln.
Tokuyama manufactures high-quality cement at its Nanyo plant, which has a clinker production capacity of 4.54 million tons per year, and supplies customers in Asia and Oceania, as well as Japan. The company has invested in an efficient and sustainable factory that manufactures cement, incorporating byproducts in the Nanyo plant, as well as raw material waste and fuel substitutes mainly from neighboring areas. All materials are treated in the cement kiln to ensure they’re harmless before production.
ABB Ability Expert Optimizer controls and optimizes the calciner, kiln, and cooler processes, and will further stabilize production at the Nanyo plant by controlling equipment and functions in each process, such as induced draft fans, burners, grade speeds, etc. This software is an advanced process control solution that automates and improves operational decisions by using linear and non-linear model predictive control, (MPC), fuzzy logic and neural networks.
By coordinating the setpoints at different stages of the Nanyo plant’s process and immediately detecting deviations in operation procedures, ABB Ability Expert Optimizer helps its managers reach set profitability and sustainability goals, and typically returns its investment in less than six months.
“We picked ABB’s Expert Optimizer to equalize the quality of the operation operations and improve operational efficiency,” says Ryota Kakimoto, Cement Manufacturing Dept., Tokuyama. “We reduced time normally spent on manual tasks by close to 70%. With increased automated operations, we can use the time saved for other tasks. We believe that this solution will also help our young operators to gain the know-how to run the plant even more efficiently.”
Hiromichi Yoda, local division manager for ABB Process Industries in Japan, adds that, “Expert Optimizer emulates an operator and provides sharp control with fewer deviations. It’s already bringing efficiency and sustainability benefits to production at the Nanyo plant. Even though the system was introduced during the COVID-19 pandemic, we worked remotely between Japan and Switzerland to complete commissioning, and this plan succeeded with Tokuyama’s support.”