A Peek at the Past: 100th Anniversary of Loesche

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<ul><li><p>REPRINTED FROM October 2006 World CemenT www.worldcement.com</p><p>In the beginningIt all began in 1906 when Curt von Grueber, on his return to Germany from the United States with the design of the Kent mill, set up an office in Berlin. He extended his product range in 1912 by including a ring-roller mill which had also originated in the US. In the same year the present owners grandfather, Ernst Curt Loesche joined the company as a young engineer.</p><p>This anniversary year is obviously a very special one for this famous German company. What did Thomas Loesche consider were the significant developments that have kept the company at the forefront of comminution technology since those early days? My grandfather invented the vertical mill with a flat table in 1927. This was the most important milestone. The successful sale of the first 4-roller mill in 1972, the invention of the 2+2 and 3+3 technology in 1993 and the first sale of the 6-roller mill in 2005 mark the important steps in our history developments as related to comminution technology.</p><p>In the years following the invention of the roller </p><p>mill, several important discover-ies about the size and number of rollers on the grinding table </p><p>led to a new generation of mills. These incorporated a gear unit </p><p>that was separate from the housing, and by a horizontal grinding track </p><p>with two rollers. Loesche mills were becoming truly international with orders </p><p>from Latin America, India and Japan.What is the oldest Loesche mill that is still in operation </p><p>in a cement plant, or indeed in any other industrial plant? The oldest mills that I have seen in operation were built in 1940, and are four identical LM 14s for grinding slag which were installed in the first Alpine industrial complex in Linz, Austria, says Loesche. I visited the plant in 1989. Three of the four mills were running with a throughput of 2 tph and a residue of 10% on 200 m.</p><p>Was Dr Thomas able to say how many Loesche mills </p><p>The WORLD CEMENT Interview: </p><p>A Century Of Achievements</p><p>Dr Loesche opening the special two-day conference.</p><p>Last month Loesche celebrated its 100th </p><p>Anniversary by staging a two-day Symposium </p><p>in Dsseldorf. Paul Maxwell-Cook </p><p> used the occasion to interview the companys </p><p>Chairman, Dr Thomas Loesche, about past </p><p>achievements and future prospects.</p></li><li><p>reprinTed from World CemenT October 2006 www.worldcement.com</p><p>were currently in opera-tion in cement plants around the world. On the basis that all the mills we have sold in the past 30 years are in operation, I would say the number is approximately 700.</p><p>Size mattersVRMs have become bigger and bigger with increasing throughputs, especially in the years since Dr Loesche first became involved in the business in 1984. For example, in 1998 the company supplied one of the largest vertical cement mills to a Peruvian cement plant. What is the limit on the size and throughput of a vertical cement mill, bearing in mind the high costs of energy these days? Recently we sold a cement mill with a capac-ity of 300 tph and we have reached the guar-anteed capacity in the first couple of operating hours, replies Loesche. Theoretically, I do not see a limit within that capacity. Ten years ago we sold three same sized vertical roller mills for raw material (one), and cement (two) for a 4000 tpd kiln line. As the average kiln size has increased ever since we have sold the same concept with one raw material and two cement mills for kilns from 6000 tpd to 8000 tpd. As kilns increase beyond 10 000 tpd, we will have the right answer for our clients.</p><p>In addition to the cement industry, Loesche mills and classifiers are in operation in the minerals industry. What is the proportion of orders for the cement industry compared with those for minerals? Loesche has a short reply. At the moment our total product market share for the cement industry is over 80% due to a boom in the machine supply for the cement industry.</p><p>Since the mid-1990s the company has been successful in supplying mills for slag grinding. Such grinding in the cement manufacturing process is becoming more and more important, which will mean more business for Loesche. Most of the companys mills that grind slag can also grind cement and mixed cements with slag, volcanic ash, flyash or limestone additions.</p><p>Coping with competitionThere is much competition in the roller mill business, and Loesche has experienced tough competition from predominantly European suppliers.</p><p>It has been reported that Chinese equipment suppliers are looking to become very active in Europe, and no doubt the current Russian expansion programme will encourage them to pitch for contracts in that country. Thomas Loesche points out that European suppliers, including his own company, are formimg cooperations with Chinese suppliers to provide competitive plants for customers.</p><p>It is interesting to note that Loesche is manufacturing more equipment in Germany than ever before with their long-term sub contractors. They have invested in the right moment to cope with international competition.</p><p>As with all success-ful companies, research and development plays an important part in </p><p>developing new models or techniques. The success of </p><p>research and development is not proportional to the money invested, says Loesche. It is more the time, commitment and focus of people with experience and inspiration. Including myself, we have 20 people within the Loesche Group who are permanently working on research and development. </p><p>It is obvious that the major cement players are con-centrating their efforts in strengthening their positions in China and India. Is this good news for the equipment suppliers? The majority of our contracts in China and India are with Chinese and Indian customers. If one of the big European and Mexican cement players is investing into those countries they absorb a lot of cash flow for these diversifications, and will order equipment normally after they have consolidated their investments. It is good and bad news at the same time.</p><p>Finally, as the company embarks on the next 100 years, what of the future? New products? New alli-ances? The Chairman concludes, In 100 years of history we have had extreme ups and downs. It is our experience that in those times it is best for the company if you do what you can do best, and do it efficiently. As our order intake is slightly more than planned and already covers the turnover for 2008, we are not in a hurry. We want to maintain the satisfaction of our clients and increase our service efficiency._________________________________u</p><p>A typical LM56.3+3 mill as installed in India some years ago.</p></li><li><p>REPRINTED FROM October 2006 World CemenT www.worldcement.com</p><p>Our R&amp;D department has made it their mandate to constantly look for ways to make our mills evenmore efficient, safer, and kinder to the environment.The results of their theoretical and practical researchlead to improvements in our technology which directly benefit our customers.</p><p>Dipl.-Ing. Michael Keyssner</p><p>Head of Research &amp; Development</p><p>Constantly improving.</p><p>Using Loesches well proven grinding system with individually guided rollers,</p><p>introduced under a 2-, 3- and 4-roller arrangement in the 70s, the new 6-roller</p><p>mills were designed to achieve the highest possible capacities. Strict reduction</p><p>of roller mass motion to limit the dynamic loads on the foundation and the</p><p>vibration level of mills has been achieved. The success of our developments is</p><p>based on the synergy between theoretical and intensive experimental investiga-</p><p>tion at our research institute, as well as on industrially sized mills in cooperation</p><p>with our customers. More information at www.loesche.com</p><p>Loesche GmbH D-40549 Dsseldorf Hansaallee 243 Tel. +49-211-5353-0 Fax +49-211-5353-500 E-Mail: loesche@loesche.de</p><p>Prime targets for us are permanent improvement of R&amp;D processes and imple-</p><p>mentation of the latest innovations to generate maximum mill reliability and </p><p>optimum benefits for our customers. The development of the patented 2+2 and</p><p>3+3 roller system for cement and slag grinding is one of the most important</p><p>examples of successful cooperation during the last decade. More than 100 mills</p><p>of this system have already been sold; many of them are repeat orders </p><p>due to satisfied customers. The newly developed 6-roller mill for cement raw</p><p>material grinding with a capacity of up to 1,200 t/h is another excellent example.</p><p>Implementing innovations in cooperation with our customers.</p><p>Our employees in the research and developmentdepartment are driven by the pursuit of one goal: to continuously improve the pre-eminent Loeschevertical roller mill technology. </p></li></ul>