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Cementing SOPs for facility management

Rajesh Ambokar, Head – Administration, Ambuja Cements Ltd

Think of cement, and one immediately thinks of dust. How does its manufacturing process influence facility management requirements? Rajesh Ambokar, Head – Administration, Ambuja Cements Ltd explains the ways and means of implementing housekeeping and security SoPs at a cement production facility.

What cleaning challenges do you face at cement manufacturing facilities? 

Cleaning and removal of process-based spillages, due to which fugitive dust gets generated, is a major challenge faced here. The accumulated cement dust in contact with water becomes hard and forms a coating on the surface, which is difficult to remove.

How would lack of effective cleaning affect the quality of the final product? In contrast, how can effective cleaning safeguard the quality of the product and protect the health of employees?

Lack of effective cleaning reduces the reliability of equipment. It does not directly affect the quality of the cement but it affects the health of the employees. Effective operation of bag filters and dust cleaning equipment ensures the least dust concentration in the air, which helps in protecting the health of the employees.

What government norms need to be followed when it comes to cleaning and waste management at your facility?

Hazardous waste such as used oil or spilled oil is properly collected, stored and disposed through authorised vendors. Process waste is recycled in the cement manufacturing process. Domestic waste collected is segregated properly and sold as scrap and food waste is disposed of in a bio-compost pit for use as manure.

How do you control dust levels and air quality? 

  • Emissions of cement dust are strictly controlled by the use of dust-extraction systems in loading areas, cement silo bag filter systems.
  • Using electrostatic precipitators and other measures, substituting clinkers with fly ash, which is readily available, are some measures used to control industrial pollution and maintain air quality.
  • Use of water sprinklers on roads and conveyor belts and vacuum cleaning machine for road sweeping.

What type of cleaning machines, tools and chemicals do you use for cleaning at the plant?

We have installed pollution control equipment like electrostatic precipitators, baghouses, pulse jet filters and industrial scrubbers. For spilled fugitive dust, backhoe loaders or other manual processes are used to remove spilled material from production and stock areas, but they are tedious, labour oriented, ineffective and costly. High power/heavy duty industrial vacuums or industrial vacuum trucks, sweeping machines etc. are the preferred dust-free solution to cleaning, transporting and recovering spillages to collect great quantities of dust or granular materials that escape during the working process. For cleaning of water treatment, we use alum, sodium hypochlorite and polyelectrolytes.

What role do tech-enabled security solutions play?

  • Tech-enabled security systems inside and around the perimeter details.
  • There is a boundary wall around the plant, on which the barbed wire is installed.
  • There are a total of 6 entry gates in the plant, in which there is a barrier and security guards have been deployed in all the gates.
  • Intercom and light have been arranged in all the gates.
  • A pathway has been made for pedestrians by putting railings.
  • There are face readers for the employee and the worker to go to the plant.
  • In case of suspicion, random alcohol check is done at the plant gate.
  • The CCTV camera has been installed in the plant, mines, magazine, ammonia nitrate, fish bone yards & tpt Nagar trucks yards.
  • The plant, mines and tpt. Nagar truck yards are fitted with a 20 Nos high-mast lighting and road light for lighting installation.
  • Fencing wire is installed all around to secure the boundary of the mine’s area.
  • The CCTV camera is also fitted in the mines as per the requirement and the high mast and road lights are installed for light arrangement.
  • Security guards have been deployed everywhere as per the requirement.
  • Frequent patrolling outside & inside the plant.
  • Siren security system at main gate & explosive magazine.
  • Hand held metal detector for security checking.
  • CCTV camera monitoring on the main gate.

The range of technology options to ensure perimeter security is growing every day. However, basic approaches such as CCTV, barriers, fencing & vigilance also play a major role in keeping the bad guys out.

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