Cement Market Overview
One of the most profitable and highly profitable industries at the moment is construction. And the production of some building materials is considered even more profitable. Therefore, if you decide to open your own business, subject to the investment of not too large amounts, special attention should be paid to this area.
But there is one point - usually “new” building materials (metal, corrugated board, metal-plastic, PVC and MDF panels, and much more) are made by both novice and established entrepreneurs much more readily.
Obviously, in this case, the calculation is made on the “novelty” of the material and the absence of a large number of competitors in this area. In addition, some of the “new” industries require slightly less investment. However, in practice, just the opposite happens: “new” production facilities are less profitable than traditional ones (cement, brick, reinforced concrete products, etc.).
This is explained by the fact that, firstly, businessmen themselves drove themselves into a logical trap: hoping for little competition, too many began to produce similar goods, thereby reducing their price; and secondly, the inertia of the thinking of builders and customers was not taken into account at all - they simply do not want to experiment with "new" materials, having proven traditional ones.
Given all this, the production of cement as one of the most popular and most sought-after building materials –– despite the fact that it is quite complex and high-tech, is also one of the most profitable and highly profitable in the industry.
Conventionally, the process of cement production can be divided into two main stages. The first step in the production of cement is the production of clinker, a specific intermediate product, which is granules of lime and clay (or other materials of similar gross composition) mechanically mixed and heated to about 1500 ° C.
Clinker granules are the foundation of any cement. In the future (already at the second stage of production), clinker is ground together with gypsum (and, in some cases, with other additives), i.e., the preparation of Portland cement.
Obviously, the first stage is the most complex and energy-intensive. In the cost structure, it also occupies a major place - the share of clinker in the cost of Portland cement reaches 70-80%.
The nuances of cement production
Cement production is significantly complicated by the fact that even within the same field, the chemical and mineralogical composition of raw materials (hardness, uniformity, humidity) varies quite widely. Of course, imported cement plants and factories are even more affected by this factor.
In addition to natural ones, there are also technical varieties of raw materials that differ, for example, in humidity and purity - i.e. indicators determined by the conditions of the actual production, storage and transportation (the so-called “human factor”).
In this regard, for each particular type of raw material, one of the three existing methods of cement production should be selected, which provides fine grinding and uniform mixing of the charge components with minimal energy costs - “wet”, “dry” or combined.
The first method of cement production
When using the "wet" method, the grinding of the raw mixture is carried out in water to obtain a mixture (mixed ingredients) in the form of a suspension - the so-called sludge with a moisture content of 30-50%.
The second method of cement production
The “dry” method does not imply the presence of water in the technology and the mixture is a finely ground powder, the components of which are specially dried before mixing.
The third method of cement production
The third, combined method may be based on one of the previous ones. Its feature is the production of a mixture with a humidity of up to 20%.
If the basic method is “dry”, then the initially prepared mixture is granulated by adding 10-14% of water; if, however, the basic method, on the contrary, is “wet”, then the raw mix prepared initially by the “wet” method - sludge - is forcedly dehydrated (using special filters) to approximately 16-18%.
When using the combined method, clinker is fed in the form of a semi-dry mass or granules with a size of 10-15 mm. Of course, the composition of the equipment when using this or that method is somewhat different.
Cost and equipment for cement production
As already mentioned, raw materials in the form of limestone or clay are used for the production of cement. When using limestone, it is preliminarily crushed in special industrial crushers (at least 200 thousand rubles apiece) and the clay is crushed using water in “mash-ups” - mills-mixers.
Further mixing and fine grinding to obtain a homogeneous mixture of limestone, clay sludge and corrective additives occurs in ball tube mills (the price of one copy is at least 3.3 million rubles).
After checking and adjusting the composition (if the latter is required), the sludge is fired in a rotary kiln (about 140 thousand rubles for 1 piece) where the chemical reactions that lead to clinker are completed. Hot clinker is cooled in an industrial (so-called recuperator) refrigerator.
Joint fine grinding of clinker, gypsum and active mineral additives is also carried out in ball tube mills.
Of course, cement production requires not only equipment, but also an appropriate room - with a ceiling height of 4 m and at least 400-500 sq. M. m. area. The ideal moment would be to get your own clay quarry or limestone workings - then the cost of production tends to practically only the sum of staff costs and utilities.
In addition, you will need additional equipment for packing cement in bags and shipping (loaders, etc.)The number of units of equipment for cement production, as well as the number of workers directly depends on the planned volume of production, which, in turn, is due to the financial capabilities of the businessman - the cement market is such that it can easily "swallow" any amount of manufactured products.
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Cement Production Video