Perfectly integrated
into the environment

Portlandzementwerk Wotan H. Schneider relies on Pipe Conveyor by BEUMER Group

Portlandzementwerk Wotan H. Schneider from Üxheim-Ahütte in the Volcanic Eifel has acquired a Pipe Conveyor manufactured by BEUMER Group to transport clinker to its cement mill. The 200-metre-long conveying system is customised to fit perfectly into the local environment. Since the system is completely enclosed, no material can fall on the road or passing vehicles. Additionally, absolutely no dust is released into the air, which greatly benefits the environment, which greatly benefits the environment. Furthermore, the conveyor is economical in operation, energy-efficient and maintenance-friendly.

Around 380 million years ago, huge limestone reserves accumulated in the lime dell of Hillesheim in the Volcanic Eifel region of Germany. Numerous dolomite formations and several basalt and lava cones demonstrate the geological diversity of the area. At the heart of the region lies the small parish of Üxheim-Ahütte. Portlandzementwerk Wotan H. Schneider KG, informally known as Wotan Zement, has had its plant on the outskirts of the village with 180 inhabitants since 1923. The family-owned enterprise has 70 employees and produces nine cement types. According to managing director Jörg Ramcke, these include Portland cement, Portland limestone cement, Portland pozzolana cement, blast-furnace cement and Portland slag cement. These are bagged or filled into silo trucks and transported to construction sites, ready-mix plants, concrete component manufacturers and building material traders located in the Rhineland-Palatinate, Saarland, the South of North Rhine-Westphalia, Luxembourg, Belgium, the southern Netherlands and France.

Increasing demand for cement

In a two weeks' cycle, the employees mine the necessary raw materials (limestone and marl) in the Üxheim, Nohn, Berndorf and Kerpen quarries that all lie closely together in the lime dell of Hillesheim. For the manufacturing of cement, the limestone is crushed and homogenised with additional raw materials. This crushed material is transported with other materials from the blending bed to the plant. In raw mills, the materials are ground to the necessary grain size and dried. The resulting raw meal is then homogenised and temporarily stored in large silos. To obtain Portland cement clinker, a coarse intermediate product, the raw meal is first transported into the cyclone preheater, then into the calcinator. The limestone portion of the raw meal is deacidified at temperatures of over 950 degrees Celsius. The material then moves into the rotary kiln where it is burned at temperatures of around 1,450 degrees Celsius. "The demand for cement is increasing so much that we ourselves cannot produce enough clinker", explains Jörg Ramcke. Therefore, the manufacturer buys additional cement clinker from East European companies. It is shipped by sea to Germany and transported by trucks to the plant in Üxheim-Ahütte.

"For this purpose, we have built a new truck receiving station", adds the managing director. The cement manufacturer needed an efficient solution for transporting the arriving material to the processing site. "We were looking for an eco-friendly and low-maintenance solution", specifies Jörg Ramcke. The new conveyor had to be optimally adapted to the existing premises; for example, it had to follow the course of the access road and was not to lose any material even on uphill and downhill slopes.

Comprehensive expertise, optimum support

For the building material manufacturer, BEUMER Group was their first choice to supply optimal conveying equipment. The provider of conveying solutions has been well-established in the building industry for nearly 80 years. BEUMER has bundled its comprehensive expertise in the industry and established different Centers of Competence to offer optimal support to building material manufacturers by providing single-source solutions. The Pipe Conveyor segment is one of BEUMER's Centers of Competence, which are in charge of worldwide project management and sales. This specific project was carried out in close collaboration between the group companies in Austria and the Czech Republic.

Maximum environmental protection, minimum maintenance

"Together with the management team in Üxheim-Ahütte, we developed a solution that is tailored exactly to match the customer's requirements", says Josef Amon, project manager at BEUMER Group Austria GmbH who was responsible for the project. It became apparent that a Pipe Conveyor was the best solution offering environmental protection and low maintenance. Wotan Zement already has a Pipe Conveyor and the system has stood the test of time. "Its closed design reliably protects the environment from dust and people or vehicles from falling goods", explains Josef Amon. The conveyors also offer many other advantages. They are able to navigate long distances and tight vertical and horizontal curve radii. The ability to negotiate sharp curves means that far fewer transfer towers are needed in comparison with other belt conveyors — or, depending on conveyor length and curve radii, even none at all. Thanks to this, the customer can significantly reduce costs and BEUMER can more easily adapt the system to specific requirements.

BEUMER Group supplied and installed a system with a pipe diameter of 200 millimetres and a length of 213 metres. It conveys up to 200 tons of material per hour. Another system advantage is the reduced noise emission of the Pipe Conveyor. Special idlers, low-noise bearings and electric motors work very quietly. "This makes for a more pleasant working environment for our employees. Besides, the people in the vicinity are not disturbed by the noise. It is an important aspect, since the plant is located on the outskirts", notes Jörg Ramcke.

Smooth performance from start to finish

Besides the supply and installation of the Pipe Conveyor, BEUMER also took care of all the necessary solutions for ensuring flawless operation. Among other things, BEUMER equipped the conveying system with a magnetic separator.

The route of the Pipe Conveyor now runs along the access road, crosses a weigh-bridge, then reaches a two-way chute. There, the clinker is either transported to the mill via an existing reversible belt conveyor or taken to the existing clinker store.

Constructional challenges

BEUMER Group was in charge of the entire process. BEUMER Austria took over the project implementation: its employees created the basic design and included all the systems supplied by the customer, delivered the components and commissioned the Pipe Conveyor. BEUMER Group Czech Republic a.s. took care of the detailed engineering, the steel structure and the installation. "We designed the frames so that they could support the pneumatic transport system provided by the customer", explains Josef Amon. "The challenge was to do without additional supporting structures." Furthermore, the engineers integrated the Pipe Conveyor into the existing plant structure. "However, because the system was quite old, there was very little documentation left", he reminisces. That challenge, too, was successfully mastered by BEUMER, as Pipe Conveyors are quite easy to integrate into existing plants.

The complete project implementation lasted around ten months. Since February 2015 the system has been operating successfully. "We are very pleased", says managing director Jörg Ramcke. "The transport from the truck receiving station to the clinker store or the mill is performed quietly, quickly and without material loss".