New-generation MAAG® gear unit starts work at Ouled Ghanem cement plant

First cement was delivered at the new Ouled Ghanem cement plant near El Jadida, Morocco, in late 2022. The plant includes the first installation of a latest-innovation MAAG® IronDrive gear unit.

Wednesday, 17.05.2023
vertical roller mill

Located in Morocco’s El Jedida province, the new Ouled Ghanem cement plant is being co-delivered by Société Général des Travaux du Maroc (SGTM) and FLSmidth for NOVACIM S.A. The 3,600 tpd plant will ultimately produce 1.1 million tons per year of clinker and 1.4 million tons per year of cement for the fast-growing North African market.

The plant features the first MAAG IronDrive gear unit to go into commercial operation globally. Full scope of the contract includes engineering and supply of a full-range of equipment: from crushing to packing and load-out, supervision of commissioning, and training the local workforce.

A most efficient gear unit

The MAAG® IronDrive gear unit is designed with one goal in mind: to cut operating costs. It is reliable and flexible: able to be used in all types of mills (up to 9000 kW) and plant arrangements. Meanwhile, its bevel gear-planetary gear arrangement is designed to deliver highest transmittable torque to the VRM at the highest efficiency. By the end of 2022, the unit had been delivered to site, installed, and MAAG experts were on site to assist with trials.

When installation and commissioning a new equipment design, challenges are always expected. But not at Ouled Ghanem. “We expected some problems, as we have changed a lot in the design during project execution,” said Michał Zaskiewicz, Head of Product and Supervisory Service, Grinding & Gears, at MAAG. “Here there were no surprises. Execution went smoothly and performance met expectations.”

Maintenance made easy

This new-generation MAAG IronDrive gear unit is also designed operate reliably, ensuring high availability. For example, the thrust bearing for the grinding table provides dependable output, while internal emergency shoulders limit tilting of the table.
When maintenance is needed, the MAAG IronDrive gear unit incorporates a range of features to enhance accessibility and safety. Larger manholes improve access to the interior compared to its predecessor units, while the MAAG lubrication concept with external oil tank improves overall efficiency and allows access to the bevel stage at any time, without having to drain the oil. The unit also features a special mechanism allowing adjustment of the teeth contact on the bevel gear, without removing the whole gear unit from below the mill.

The Ouled Ghanem unit is also equipped with full condition monitoring system and torque-measuring system, and it’s covered by a MAAG® mySentinel Advanced service agreement – a package that supports gear operators to plan, budget, and execute maintenance activities and includes online condition monitoring service.

“The new unit is equipped with a range of sensors that deliver real-time data on mill performance to the operator,” said Zaskiewicz. “It’s one thing to have this data; it’s another to be able to interpret it. Which is where our monitoring services come in. Our gear specialists monitor the condition of the gear and provide detailed analysis, with additional maintenance and spare part suggestions, to ensure maximum equipment availability is achieved.”

A positive premier for the IronDrive gear unit

As part of the contract, MAAG is providing training to local operation and maintenance engineers. The training will cover how to operate the gear unit, as well as how to identify potential issues early and how to react to prevent them escalating into more serious incidents.

“The customer had some understandable concerns about installing a new design of gear unit. And we certainly expected some surprises along the way,” concluded Zaskiewicz. “But despite it being the first installation of its kind, it was quite straightforward! The gear unit works as expected - and with the training and condition monitoring agreement in place, we can continue to ensure it continues to work well as the plant moves to full production.”

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