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A solid foundation for new competitive advantages. ITPS creates a digital model for cement and mortar production management

28.10.2020

The ITPS Group of Companies has developed a digital production management model for a large cement manufacturing holding. It implements technologies and methods of intelligent production management, applying real-time data analytics and flexible process optimization.

The unique capabilities of the system are based on a specialized solution ensuring consistency and interconnection of processes and data from four plants with the so-called ‘dry’ method of cement manufacturing located in various Russian regions. The prototypes of an integrated system (ERP, MES), developed taking into account industry specifics and certain business requirements, have been successfully tested and put into commercial operation.

Implementation of the project not only ensured transparency and flexibility in enterprise management within a short time-frame, but also laid the foundation for further development of production. This supports operational processes in order to gain new competitive advantages.

The key task of the project was transition of the enterprises within the holding to new qualitative digital management methods. This allows real-time monitoring and analysis of technological and economic parameters, monitoring of production plan implementation, and assessment of production volume in relation to consumption of raw materials, energy and other resources.

From the first stage, it lets us optimize production and reduce non-manufacturing costs. The system also has an algorithm allowing fast response to equipment shutdowns/start-ups, and reduces the number of emergency situations. The next step is a smooth transition to predictive maintenance and repair management, energy efficiency (up to 35% of the product cost is energy in the cement industry), material and technical support, logistics, warehouse accounting and other aspects of production. Each of these units can provide significant savings through optimization, and together create a digital enterprise managed on the basis of breakthrough technologies of Industry 4.0.

The ERP architecture consists of four main units: production portal, technological screens, event log and an automated reporting system, giving a basis for operational management decisions. The solution offers systemic consolidation of all data for an asset (production, laboratory, ERP, energy consumption data, and data from other related systems); monitoring of operating regimes implemented at the main technological stages (raw material preparation, clinker burning, cement milling, packaging and shipment). The users at different levels can use the system to review the data on the current state of production in a pre-configured form (graphs, trends, reports and dashboards) and analyze it directly in the system. No time is wasted in gathering and processing data with other tools. This also makes it possible to compare the forecast and actual data on production, material consumption, energy resources, specific consumption indicators in various aspects, equipment KPIs, and equipment operation statistics on a real time basis. It becomes possible to take corrective measures in due time, if any deviations are detected.“Creating digital enterprise is a strategic challenge. It is impossible without the implementation of a digital production management model. This is the fundamental basis for data analysis, having limitless potential for improving production processes in order to reduce costs. Recognized industry leaders started from building a foundation in the form of production data, which then grew into a variety of applied systems: integrated quality management systems, product cost management systems, systems for timely delivery of products to consumers. Some enterprises introduced robot pilots based on artificial intelligence and robotics technology for the basic process equipment. This is how cement plants and manufacturers of construction mixes can quickly achieve high competitiveness at the international level, ensure compliance with global quality standards and strengthen market leadership,” stated Alexei Mezentsev, Digital production director at the ITPS Group of Companies.

Digital enterprise management models based on integrated digital tools, one of which is the ERP, can be successfully applied to any 24/7 production. It is essential to remember that in the process of digital model implementation, the team and reliable partners are key. They help to focus on the achievable results, taking care of specific indicators such as return on investment, cost of capital and strategic priorities of the company, so that production efficiency projects bring real outcomes in the foreseeable future.