IP67-rated Ethernet Switch Optimizes Automation in Cement Plants
Approximately 1700 million tons of cement are used each year in construction projects around the world, with different types of cement available to meet a variety of chemical and physical requirements. Implementations of cement plant automation systems depend on the site, environment, and the production capacity of the plant. In order to guarantee the consistency of the end product, system integrators emphasize process management and the control of key production factors.
There are three key stages in the cement-manufacturing process: (1) preparation of raw materials, (2) pyroprocessing, and (3) finish grinding and distribution. The raw materials used are limestone, sand, shale, clay, and iron ore. The primary materials are limestone and shale, which are usually extracted onsite using a blasting process. The rest of the materials could be mined onsite or from a quarry close to the plant. The raw materials are crushed and transported to the plant by conveyor belts for initial blending, where they are subjected to a raw grinding process, and then formed into "clinkers" by a pyroprocessing system. Subsequently, the clinkers are heated, cooled, and then sent to storage, or milled into a fine, powdery cement. The final stage of the process involves packing the cement in sacks, which are then shipped to distributors.
Cement production requires a clear understanding and careful control of the manufacturing process. Implementing a sophisticated automation system is one of the keys to optimizing productivity, increasing efficiency in the utilization of raw materials, minimizing energy usage, and enacting measures to reduce adverse effects to the environmental. The situation is complicated by the fact that the air in the cement plant is usually thick with cement powder, and the equipment in the plant is subjected to severe vibrations and extreme temperatures. All of these factors must be taken into consideration when deciding what type of Ethernet equipment to use in the plant.
In order to avoid system failures, it is necessary to use Ethernet devices that have a rugged casing to protect the device's internal components. The level of protection that the casing provides is indicated by an "IP" number, which indicates how well the casing protects the internal components from dust and water. The EDS-305-M12 has an IP67-rated casing, making the switch an attractive option to system integrators for resisting the effects of the cement powder stirred up during the production process. In addition to the IP67 protection, the EDS-305-M12 switches also use 4-pin M12 connectors to ensure a tight connection that won't pop loose when the switch is used near conveyor belts. The EDS-305-M12 can operate reliably in temperatures ranging from 0 to 60°C for standard models, or -40 to 75°C for wide-temperature models (indicated by a "T" at the end of the product name).
Network System Diagram
Benefits from Moxa
- The EDS-305-M12 has an IP67-rated casing to protect against the cement powder stirred up during the production process.
- 4-pin M12 connectors to ensure a tight connection, keeping the Ethernet connections from popping loose on conveyor belts.
- -40 to 75°C operating temperature range to withstand the effects of both heat and cooling treatments.