An Argument for Virtual Testing in the Cement Plant
Pichet Sahachaiyunta, Kittisak Pongpaisanseree, Jeffrey W. Bullard, Paul E. Stutzman, Edward J. Garboczi, Wilasa Vichit-Vadakan
The cement industry is moving toward customized commodity products, requiring plants that were built to consistently produce thousands of tons of one product each day to now be versatile enough to fine-tune multiple products that meet both industry specifications and individual customer needs. Plant trials are costly, difficult to control, and can cause inconsistency in resulting products, a risk that may be too great to assume in regular production. Virtual testing, in the form of predictive numerical models that simulate cementitious material performance, will allow production engineers to explore risky but possibly rewarding solutions. Lessons learned from virtual tests can help inform both short-term plant operations and long-term planning.