SSAB’s Hardox Wear Plate steel reduces downtime by nearly 45% at RAK cement producer
Star Cement, a major premium cement manufacturer with an ultramodern Clinkerisation unit in Ras-al-Khaimah says it has experienced a significant turnaround in its machinery downtime and increased output after switching from mild steel to SSAB’s Hardox Wear Plate steel grades.
Hardox Wear Plate is a flagship product of the Swedish steel giant SSAB, recognized globally for its strength, durability and ease of use.
“Mild steel, that we were using earlier, hardly gives us a life of 2-3 months. At our factory we are targeting 330 days of running each year (which is very high compared to market standards!). And Hardox Wear Plate is helping us achieve that target. If we use a normal steel plate, it will breakdown in two to three months, and then we have to take an intermediate stoppage, replace it or repair it etc. Since we switched to Hardox Wear Plate, we have been consistently running for 330 – 331 days over the last four to five years, because of its low wear and tear, ” said Velayuthan, general manager, Star Cement.
He further credited Hardox Wear Plate to be partly responsible for Star Cement’s capacity increase from 6,800t per day to 8,300t per day, without any major modification.
“The fact that we are able to survive this capacity increase means Hardox Wear Plate is also playing a role in it. With Hardox Wear Plate supporting us in some of the key areas, we are able to push the machine to the extreme and still survive the situation”, he added.
Since maintenance expenses are one of the largest cost centers (around 25%) for cement plants, machinery and equipment play a very central role in cement and clinker production. Breakdowns and stoppages can be costly affairs, not just for the investment involved in replacing or repairing parts, but more-so because of the negative impact on output due to downtime. Hence quality of steel used in manufacturing these machines becomes critical to saving time, and maintaining or increasing output.
“Hardox Wear Plate is our leading product globally for more wear-resistant solutions. We have always worked closely with the team at Star Cement to ensure our solutions are in line with their specific line of wear, from impact to squeezing or sliding. And we are very happy with their endorsement of the impact this has had on their operations – fewer maintenance hours, longer lifespan and enhanced overall productivity. We are looking forward to more collaboration with them for several other grades of Hardox Wear Plate to suit their diverse needs,” said Moideen Irshad, regional sales manager, Middle East, SSAB.