Intelligent Cloud Service Minimises Downtime and Maximises Throughput  

Rheinkalk, part of the Lhoist Group, a global leader in lime, dolime and minerals, approached Schenck Process with the need for a quick and effective solution to an issue they faced with two of their crusher relief screens. There were unexpected damages that resulted in significant costs and unscheduled downtime. Rheinkalk required our support to determine the issue and establish a long-term solution around fault detection, fault prevention and to optimize the onsite operations.

 

The Need for a Smart Service Software Solution

As the biggest limestone mine in Europe, it was hugely important for Rheinkalk to run their screens as efficiently as possible, maximizing throughput of around 7.5 million tons per year and keeping close control over costs. They needed to ensure that any maintenance downtime was scheduled according to the production plan and was as short as possible. Any deviation from this schedule for damage or unexpected maintenance could considerably impact production.

The need for a solution that monitors trends and highlights issues upfront became immediately apparent to Rheinkalk when they discovered that two of their crusher relief screens were damaged precisely where the cross beams were located. They needed a product that gave them more time to react. We visited their site to take measurements and identified a general problem with natural frequencies.

Although Rheinkalk considered different solutions, our smart service solution offered features that were way ahead of the competition, several of which included:

  • The visualization and rapid setup of the system (within 2-3 days)
  • The clarity of information regarding any irregularities.
  • Availability of service through a web connection
  • Potential to recognize and identify trends by themselves
  • Ongoing support from our team of experts
  • Try and buy option: Customer can test the system for a couple of months (six months in general) and decide whether to buy it or not.

By proactively proposing tailor-made solutions and recommendations to make the system more effective, our team demonstrated to the customer that we were aligned with them every step of the way.

INVESTMENT COSTS RAPIDLY RECOVERED


A greater understanding of the issues allowed confidence in waiting for any pre-planned maintenance to take place, optimizing the machine’s efficiency, and preventing an unnecessary standstill. By avoiding one halt, Rheinkalk could immediately recover the cost of their investment.

 

‘We wouldn’t have seen the damage. At least we would have seen it much later so that the consequential damage would have been higher and expensive.’ 

Markus Beermann (Asset Manager stone processing)

 

This quote from Rheinkalk proudly re-affirms that we had achieved what they set out to do:

  • Solving the initial challenge
  • Making established processes work more effectively
  • Providing fast results that added value quickly

Smart Service Technology Intuitively Predicts Patterns
 

The customer was impressed with the CONiQ Monitor, condition monitoring technology - unique to Schenck Process, which is based on predictive maintenance. It enabled the customer to realign their maintenance strategy and has been proven to save users significant amounts of time and money. By installing an intelligent application, designed to provide machine-specific knowledge, the customer could better understand wear and tear and better detect any faults. The application intuitively gains specific knowledge of the system, allowing the customer to review patterns and obtain information that enables easier determination of failures.

The versatility of the high-performing CONiQ Monitor meant the system was able to be attached to the existing infrastructure and worked effectively alongside the machinery Rheinkalk already had in place, even though it originated from a competitor. The quick installation process and ease with which the CONiQ Monitor works meant that it was up and running effectively within a few days. We installed the necessary hardware on the existing vibrating equipment, connecting it to the CONiQ Cloud. It thereby provided Rheinkalk with an immediate view into the condition of their machines.

Immediate Impact on Cost and Downtime
 

Due to the installation of the new system, Rheinkalk was informed about an increase in lateral acceleration value, almost double the normal flow. The CONiQ Monitor suggested that the issue was the damage of a cross beam within the infrastructure. Rheinkalk was able to check the machine within the regular maintenance scheduled the following weekend when they discovered three damaged cross beams. The customer rectified the damages within the next planned shutdown without extra downtime, and the machine returned to normal function after the maintenance had taken place.

Our belief in the system and its substantial benefits led them to introduce a ‘Try and Buy’ option for Rheinkalk. This offer allowed the customer to utilize the CONiQ system for six months before deciding whether to purchase it. Through this scheme, Rheinkalk could see how robust and invaluable the product could be and the positive impact it would have on their business. There was no question of them returning it once the trial ended.

A diagnostic system that can monitor conditions continuously and proactively ensures that any machinery damage or deterioration is detected before downtime is required. Rheinkalk could use the technology to control the system remotely, guaranteeing a solution with longevity that would withstand any conditions no matter how harsh or rugged the environment. Full support for Rheinkalk’ investment is offered throughout the system’s complete lifecycle, including spares and service when necessary.

While monitoring performance and optimizing operation processes, the CONIQ Monitor immediately alerts the customer if an issue is detected. The data-driven solution provided a collection of important information and algorithms that improved processes. It quickly demonstrated to Rheinkalk how they could anticipate any failures, detect trends, and gain a unique long-term understanding of their equipment.

We also offered training and assistance on interpreting and analyzing the system based on the data. It allowed the customer to build a maintenance strategy and establish whether they should rectify problems immediately or wait until the next planned maintenance. Nevertheless, dealing with issues before they become critical saves downtime and maximizes the service life of vibrating machines.

Downloads

Download the CONiQ Cloud Customer Case Study Rheinkalk sheets and brochure here

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