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Finland Lime Plant Boost Production


ABB, a power and automation technology group has increased production increase figures achieved by their Expert Optimizer solution

ABB, a power and automation technology group has increased production increase figures achieved by their Expert Optimizer solution at Nordkalk Corp.ís Lohja plant in Finland. Expert Optimizer was installed on the lime kiln at the Lohja plant in November 2006; secondary commissioning took place in July 2007.

Nordkalk is a leading producer of limestone-based products in Northern Europe. The products are used mainly in the paper, steel and building material industries, as well as in environmental care and agriculture. At Lohja, ABB Finland is responsible for the maintenance of the factory via a full service contract and they agreed with Nordkalkís initiative to buy Expert Optimizer as a method for improving the process.

The primary challenge to overcome was that the coal mill had to be stopped at least twice every day. When the mill is stopped, and for a period after the mill restarts, it is not possible to get sufficient coal to the kiln. As the residence time of material in the kiln is about six hours, the kiln was never operating in stable conditions.

Expert Optimizer, part of ABBís cpmPlus suite of solutions, ensures that the kiln is operated under optimum conditions according to the customerís goals. At Lohja, the system always tries to increase production whenever kiln conditions allow. Finding the optimum operating point was difficult for the operators, as there are several sources of feed material, each with different properties. Expert Optimizer finds the best operating conditions to maximize output and minimize fuel consumption for each feed stone.

Even before secondary commissioning, Expert Optimizer made an impact with the production rate of the kiln increasing by more than 5%. This improvement easily exceeds the guaranteed figures. Now, two years later, the production increase stands at 9% and shows how the customer has received particular value from collaboration with different ABB units, in this case, ABB Switzerlandís Collaborative Production Management and ABB Finlandís Performance Services.