Real time particle sizing of cement by Xoptix Ltd, saves time and money, with their XO range of in-line particle analysers for process mills.

Xoptix Ltd based in Malvern, England develops and manufactures in-line process particle analysers. They specialise in the cement industry, with a detailed understanding of the process and challenges they face. Grinding cement is a resource hungry process and sampling in a laboratory is one of the key quality parameters used in the quality control of cement. Taking periodic samples and analysing the results, takes time and is open to human error. Inline particle sizing using the XO range from Xoptix not only ensures a high quality product is produced all the time, but it also results in energy cost savings and can increase throughput for those cement plants that are already working at their nominal capacity.

Automation of the process with Xoptix technology, results in increased productivity by minimising over-grinding and reducing the proportion of off-specification product during product changeovers. The small but robust footprint of the XO particle sizer, is a cost effective solution and easy to use. The development team have spent years developing the XO fully automated control system, the XOSC3X. Plus the unique cell clean system is a first in the industry.

Richard Graves explains what a dramatic change the XO analyzer can make to a cement mill “The main advantage of an in-line fineness sensor is the ability to measure key parameters every 5 seconds, producing a rolling 2 minute average. By closing the loop and automating the separator such that in spec product is produced all the time, the energy expended in insurance over grinding is thus eliminated.” He adds “We are proud to have installed our XO range of analysers in many cement mills across the world, saving our customers thousands, if not millions of pounds each year!”

For a plant operating at full capacity, an extra 5% can result in a payback time of less than 3 months and a plant not operating at full capacity, the reduced energy costs can result in a payback time < 1 year. Other advantages of the XO range includes laboratory work load and resources being decreased.

The Applications Team based at the Headquarters in Malvern, England, work with customers globally on unique processes such as cement, to standardise particles and provide documentation on delivering performance. Their knowledge of laser diffraction ensures Xoptix can size particles ranging from 0.1 to 3000 microns in a diverse range of applications.

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