Cementing a New Standard of Cleaning in a Sticky Situation

PROBLEM

Sticky material fell into the chute in large chunks, blocking the chute. Oftentimes, the plant was forced to stop production and clean this chute every 5 hours. An average of 900 tons of production was lost per day equating to a $54,000 daily loss.

 

SOLUTION

As a result of the IGS Big Blue Air Cannon installation, manual cleaning was no longer necessary. The plant is now evaluating further areas, where build up is a problem, for additional air cannon upgrades.

Problem | The Failed Trio

A cement plant in the Caribbean was experiencing issues in their raw material chute. Buildup occurred in the entire chute, but the principal problem was near the top. Sticky material fell into the chute in large chunks, blocking the chute.

The plant had installed air cannons supplied by 3 different vendors to fight this problem. Unfortunately, the air cannons were unable to shift the buildup, requiring manual clean-up. Oftentimes, the plant was forced to stop production and clean this chute every 5 hours. An average of 900 tons of production was lost per day equating to a $54,000 daily loss.

 

Sticky material fell into the chute in large chunks, blocking the chute.

Evaluating Alternatives

Jeff Shelton, IGS air cannon innovations pioneer, has commented: “Little has changed in the air cannon market over the last two decades, in terms of design of the cannon and its components. All the while, cement industry has continued to innovate, creating new maintenance challenges. It was time that the air cannon technology caught up with the industry.”

The plant was made aware of the IGS Big Blue air cannons. Widespread in the Power industry, yet relatively new to Cement. IGS have performed several improvements to the conventional air cannon component designs and cleaning power.

 

The air cannons were unable to shift the buildup, requiring manual clean-up.

EXPERT OPINION

Chris Landers, IGS air cannon expert, has commented: “For air cannons to solve buildup issues they must be applied correctly. The air cannons in this application were not applied correctly in our opinion. We felt there were issues with the following; location of nozzle, type of nozzle and the cleaning energy provided by each cannon.”

Smooth Solution

Following a through evaluation and multiple consultations with IGS technical experts, a solution was identified and installed. A three-port multiplier with high velocity nozzles was fitted.

The high velocity nozzle produces a high energy ball of air, moving material better than a wide thin blast of air from a fan jet nozzle. Increased air tank volume would now make the sticky material easier to move. New discharge locations have now made it possible to push the material downward, at the angle of the chute, instead of across the chute. Any working cannons were relocated.

The IGS Multiplier coupled with a larger 300L air cannon combined the initial power of the Blaster with the large moving mass of the Pusher to effectively clean this chute where other cannons had been ineffective. IGS is the only company that can offer cannon systems with this mix of blast types allowing to not only break up hardened buildup, but then shove it out of the way.

As a result of the IGS Big Blue Air Cannon installation, manual cleaning was no longer necessary. The plant is now evaluating further areas, where build up is a problem, for additional air cannon upgrades.

Smooth Solution
IGS Big Blue Air Cannon installation – manual cleaning is no longer necessary.

Cementing a New Standard of Cleaning

Efficiency and innovation are major drivers in the current climate. Cement plant managers, therefore, look for vendors who are able to fortify their resources by taking traditional systems and enhancing them for better performance.

Eventually, what may now be considered “new” will become a new standard of cleaning.
The success of this installation allowed this plant to elect to purchase 75 additional IGS Big Blue air cannons to install on their preheat tower. The air cannons are part of a project to switch fuels. The plant is moving away from the expensive low-sulfur coal to a high-sulfur pet coke.

It is established this change will create significant buildup in the preheat tower. The plant worked with IGS to best determine the location of auxiliary air cannons. Each air cannon is being supplied with the High Velocity Nozzles.

IGS have unmatched experience in air cannon installations, for more information contact: info@intergratedglobal.com

Let the Power of Blue work for you!