Robotic arms and rotary kilns—Ochse Lombard shares some insight into P&B Lime Works’ use of technology

P&B Lime Works falls within our Group’s Production segment, which includes the processing of raw materials and supply of procured goods to agricultural producers, manufacturers, wholesale and retail markets. Used widely in our everyday lives, lime is probably the most versatile natural chemical. In agriculture, lime enhances fertiliser, is added to animal feed as a source of calcium, and improves the hygiene of animal pens. It is used to treat polluted soils and wastewater. In addition, lime is also an essential enabler for many manufacturing and construction industriesincluding the production of high strength steels and glass.

We took a ‘picture walk’ through the plant with Ochse Lombard, managing director of P&B Lime Works, to find out how the company is using technology.

“The entire plant is automated and can be monitored and controlled from localised operator panels,” explains Ochse. “Crushing, calcining and hydration (the three methods required to process limestone), as well as coal milling plants, are run from a programmable logic controller. In other words, they are able to run automatically at the push of a button. All the important plant parameters can also be monitored remotely from a mobile phone or computer,” says Ochse.

“Technology plays an integral role in our daily processes, but our plant operators help to ensure that this technology operates as it should,” continues Ochse. “This includes keeping the machinery clean, monitoring faults, performing maintenance, reporting on statistics and so forth. We’re excited to see how technology will evolve in the next decade!” concludes Ochse.

Senior plant foreman, Wilbe Thompson, chats to managing director, Ochse Lombard (front).

Senior plant foreman, Wilbe Thompson, studies the operator panel for the hydrated lime packing facility. Here, silo volumes can be monitored and product mixtures can be controlled using variable speed drives and rotary valves.

Kiln operator, Keanen Abrahams, keeps an eye on the operator panel for the rotary kilns. Here, parameters such as air temperature, fuel and raw material feed, and oxide calcination quality can be monitored and adjusted. The rotary kilns (‘kalk oonde’) are regarded as the core of the factory. They use a novel kiln fuel control system (the first of its kind), that adjusts the flame intensity depending on the ‘burn quality’ of the lime.

Packaging is a two-step process. First, a rotary packer is used to fill the bags and then a robotic arm packs the product on to pallets.

error: Content is protected !!