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Building blocks of cement production FM

From process manufacturing to batch/discrete manufacturing, the industrial sector demands a raft of services from FM service providers. Tarun Ramrakhiani, CEO, SMS Integrated Facility Services breaks down this demand, with a special focus on the cement production sector: what it needs, and how FM companies can fulfill those needs.

What FM do industries need?

In the industrial sector, the FM requirements of a client may include:

  • Soft services: Housekeeping, pantry/cafeteria management, guest house management, gardening & landscaping, pest control, waste management etc
  • Specialised technical services for HVAC, clean room HVAC, pumping, boilers, heat pumps, motors, drives, compressed air systems etc.
  • Providing one-of-a-kind projects/services such as HVAC audits, electrical audits, instrumentation audits, retrofit implementation, energy performance contracting, IoT implementation, custom product/software development.

Specific needs of cement sector

We recognise that every industry is different from a domain perspective and from an operational perspective. For example, if we take the cement industry, these plants are typically located in far off areas built as integrated townships. This means that FM services must cater not only to the manufacturing area (like the limestone quarry and crushing plant, additives hopper, cement mill & bag house etc) but also to the support services by way of offices, and plant-provided amenities (medical centres, guest houses, leisure facilities, roads etc).

Additionally, cement manufacturing as a process has a lot of raw material spillage as well as a huge amount of flying dust. This means that specialised vacuum cleaners (for example, vacuum cleaners that have continuous duty capability, high filtration efficiency, automatic filter cleaning, pre-separators etc), road sweepers (high filtration) and cleaners (high pressure) are a must.

Controlling costs  

All manufacturing companies need to continuously be more cost competitive so as to thrive in today’s business environment. This means that they need to establish cost Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) as a function of revenue. For example, utility cost as a percentage of revenue, kWh cost per unit cement bag etc.

We work with such companies towards auditing cost baselines (as-is) and then architecting solutions that can substantially reduce costs by 10-30% over as-is baseline values. We also assist clients with the supply, installation, testing, commissioning and life cycle services of such solutions. For the cement industry, it includes solutions such as preventive maintenance, high efficiency speed motors, adjustable speed drives, optimisation of compressed air systems, high efficiency fans, efficient lighting etc.

Our approach is to ensure that we integrate three objectives: 

  1. The provision of all services associated with facilities management under one umbrella
  2. The inclusion of domain-specific understanding (the nature of manufacturing) and incorporating it into SOPs as every industry is fundamentally different
  3. The partnering with clients towards using FM services as a vehicle for sustained cost reduction without impacting operational processes

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