McInnis Cement Plant: Conveyor System Optimization
About the Client
McInnis Cement is situated in the Gaspé region of Québec. The plant was built next to a large limestone deposit and an ocean port. Not only is the cement plant adjacent to a quarry containing extremely high-quality limestone, but shipping is also extremely cost-effective and highly competitive as the deepwater marine terminal provides for reduced transportation costs versus trucking alone. Additionally, access to maritime transport allows one ship to carry the equivalent of 1,500 truckloads of cement. This provides for a tremendous reduction in the ecological footprint associated with cement transportation. The completion of the plant, quarry, marine terminal and initial network of terminal facilities is a model of McInnis Cement’s commitment to environmental efficiency. Investors saw this plant’s unique features and 2.2 million metric tons annual production capacity as a significant opportunity to bring great economic benefit to the Gaspé area and the province of Quebec.
The Client Problem
BID Canada was approached by an engineering consulting firm to help optimize the mechanical design of a large portion of the cement plant’s conveyor systems. As the site layout was set by the client and engineering firm, these restrictions created potential belt curve issues during conveyor start-up. Belt lift-off during start-up was a serious concern because belt lift can result in damage to the conveyors and spillage of material off the belt. BID and McInnis Cement needed to correct its conveyor systems operations in order to produce and deliver its high-performing Portland cement.
Our Work at BID
BID provided 6000ft (1529m) of belt conveyors, including:
- 72 inch, 42 inch, 36 inch and 24 inch wide conveyors
- Conveyors included supporting trusses, galleries and bents, and all interconnecting chute work
- 72-inch crusher takeaway conveyor featured is designed to convey 1984stph of limestone at 246ft/min belt speed, handling 12 inch (305mm) size lumps
These conveyor belts handle a variety of materials such as petcoke, coal, bauxite, iron ore, limestone, silica, pyrophyllite, gypsum, pozzolan, clinker, and alumina.
BID Canada relocated and revised the conveyor belt system to help alleviate damage and spillage. Additionally, BID recommended the client use a soft-start arrangement with the conveyors where belt lift could be an issue. The soft-start system allows the conveyor to gradually ramp up the speed to prevent belts from snapping, rather than initially forcing the conveyor’s horsepower all at once, thus the loaded belt remains in the trough and does not spill its contents.
BID Canada optimized, manufactured and delivered a large portion of the McInnis Cement’s conveyor belt system allowing the company to provide a reliable source of consistently high-quality cements to North America’s eastern seaboard.