Maintaining kiln temperatures in excess of 1450° C makes energy a primary cost for cement manufacturing facilities. CQI (Ciment Québec Inc.) – one of the largest producers of Portland cement in Quebec ¿ is always on the look-out for lower-cost fuel alternatives for its coal-fired kilns.
In operation since 1951, the Saint-Basile facility produces about a million tonnes of cement per year, which it ships to customers throughout Quebec, the Maritimes, the New England states and into Ontario. The company has earned an excellent reputation for innovative methods of “greening” its operations with low emissions and high energy efficiency. CQI was the first company in North America – third in the world – to install the “Ecofurnace,” an advanced solid fuel handling and burning circuit which allows it to use alternate fuels cleanly.
CQI recently launched a new alternative fuel project that converts a wide variety of non-recyclable waste materials into fuel. Aiming to process large volumes, the company needed to address three material handling tasks on the site: stockpiling the material, feeding it to the shredders and, when called upon, to feed the processed alternative fuel directly to the pyroprocess.
“We designed the project with the Sennebogen 305 Multihandler in mind,” CQI Maintenance & Project Director Denis Gagnon says. “We evaluated and demo’d a number of telehandlers and loaders, but then we searched the internet for other options. That’s when we found the Multihandler.”
According to Gagnon, the Sennebogen machine was the only choice that met all of his criteria for material handling duties that include pushing, reaching, loading and lifting.
“We saw some telehandlers that attach a bucket for loading, but they are not built for prolonged duty in that role,” he explains. “The 305’s boom is comparatively more adapted to pushing/loading applications. It has the strength and agility to work as a loader as well as a telehandler.”
About 90 per cent of the Mulithandler’s time is devoted to loading the shredders, with the rest divided between stockpiling and moving materials around.
Versatility is the name of the game for a mixed materials operation like the CQI facility. Located about 50 km outside the City of Quebec, Gagnon’s project relies on recycling yards throughout the region for any material that provides sufficiently high BTU values to serve the furnace. The amount and type of material available as fuel depends entirely on what the recyclers decide to provide: from surplus papers and plastics, to scrap tires and asphalt shingles, to wooden railway ties. It all goes into the shredders.
To handle the different material types, the operator of the Multihandler typically switches between boom attachments a couple of times a day. The machine was originally equipped with a bucket and forks attachments, and a new grapple attachment has just been delivered.
“Changing attachments is very quick,” Gagnon says. “It takes less time to switch than it takes to drive across the yard.”
The 305 Multihandler covers that ground pretty quickly, too. The machine can hit a top speed of 25 km/h (16 mph) and it can turn inside an outside radius of just 4.7 m (11,000 lbs).