The global LafargeHolcim Group is on a mission to upgrade all of its cement manufacturing facilities around the world. This drive, called ‘Plants for Tomorrow’, will see over 270 integrated cement plants and grinding mills being upgraded with the latest artificial intelligence and automation technology.
Cement manufacturing facilities, like LafargeHolcim Tanzania’s Tembo cement plant in Mbeya, will get an overhaul of the entire production line. ‘Plants for Tomorrow’ is a four-year initiative that will take LafargeHolcim subsidiaries into the future of cement and building materials.
The upgrades to the cement plants will improve operational efficiency, meaning that these facilities will be able to produce more cement at the end of the initiative. Currently the LafargeHolcim Group is testing the upgrades on 30 pilot projects around the world, where it will iron out any issues before proceeding with a full-scale rollout.
Transforming the cement industry through technology
“Transforming the way we produce cement is one of the focus areas of our digitalisation strategy and the ‘Plants of Tomorrow’ initiative will turn Industry 4.0 into reality at our plants,” says LafargeHolcim global head of cement manufacturing Solomon Baumgartner.
“These innovative solutions make cement production safer, more efficient and environmentally-fit. We are moving to fully data-driven operations in order to support further profitable growth as part of our Strategy 2022 – ‘Building for Growth’,” he explains.
Some of the new technologies to be installed at cement plants
A number of new technologies will be installed at cement manufacturing facilities, such as predictive operations systems that will be able to detect any problems with the production process and implement solutions instantly. This will help to reduce maintenance costs and minimise any downtime of the facilities due to breakdowns.
The technology will also help to further reduce energy consumption at these facilities. Production lines will become more automated to reduce risks for employees in high-exposure areas of the facilities.
LafargeHolcim is also planning on using drones to inspect chimney stacks and inaccessible regions of the cement plants. This will allow more frequent inspections to take place while also reducing costs and improving safety standards.
The group is connecting cement plants to a central network
The LafargeHolcim Group is in the process of link all of its global cement manufacturing facilities to a centralised network, dubbed the ‘Technical Information System’. Over 80% of these facilities have already been linked to this system that is able to track performance and allocate resources where necessary.
The Technical Information System also provides specific data at plant, country, region and global levels. This has allowed LafargeHolcim to start building a valuable bank of historical data that can be used to improve efficiency and performance in the future. Since the launch of the Technical Information System in 2006, it has saved LafargeHolcim 184.7-billion TZS in maintenance costs and added around 3-million tonnes of cement through efficient operations.
LafargeHolcim is a leading building materials and solutions company that has been operating in international markets for decades. We produce cement and aggregates for construction projects, ranging from small affordable housing developments to large-scale infrastructure projects such as high-rise buildings, dams and bridges.
LafargeHolcim Tanzania has been supplying the country and neighbouring countries with our world-class Tembo cement brand for over 30 years. Our head office and fully-integrated plant are located in Mbeya, Southwest Tanzania.
At LafargeHolcim Tanzania, we believe customers come first. We listen to your specific requirements to supply and develop the best solutions for your needs. As the new leader in building materials, you can also rely on our cutting-edge research and development capabilities that have resulted in the finest materials for your construction projects, whether large or small.