HCRDI and SSAB cement their commitment to partnership, product innovation, and success
In Hefei, capital of the Anhui Province in China, change is in the air. At Hefei Cement Research & Design Institute (HCRDI), engineers started to use Hardox® wear plate inside the company’s roller presses and separators in 2005. Using Hardox® 500 has resulted in a more wear-resistant solution — with fewer
Products from HCRDI play an important role in cement production. A roller press crushes cement clinker before the material is sent to the cement mills for finish grinding. The separator separates fine particles from coarse particles. The fine particles are collected, while the coarse particles are sent back for further grinding.
In the early days of HCRDI, the company used its own wear-resistant surfacing material and added a wear layer on top of the mild steel. That process proved to be inefficient and produced inferior results that did not meet HCRDI’s high standards.
“When we manufacture roller presses and separators, we are looking to make the process as simple and cost efficient as possible,” says Zhang Yonglong, general manager of Mill Engineering Co., Ltd. “But we cannot compromise on our high quality. Before using Hardox® wear plate in our products, we constantly suffered maintenance problems and the difficulties that occurred when replacing the liner plate.”
“We started to study SSAB’s products in 2002,” says Yonglong. Our engineers went on an international fact-finding mission to study manufacturers abroad. And after extensive testing we decided to use Hardox® 500 wear plate starting in 2005. We were very pleased with the result.”
“The people at SSAB are not your average talent,” continues Yonglong. “Our engineers have an ongoing dialogue with the technical managers at SSAB. They speak over the phone several times a month and meet face-to-face when is needed. We are open to trying new products. We’re already thinking of trying Hardox® 600 for some parts in our machines.”
HCRDI saw sales jump from 120 million yuan in 2005 to 1.6 billion yuan in 2009. The company has become a famous and well-known brand in China; the employees constantly put in overtime to cope with increasing demand. The engineers have focused on cost-cutting initiatives, maintenance simplicity, a longer service life, and pollution and noise reduction. But Yonglong is not satisfied just yet; he has high ambitions.
“Today, our equipment has a production capacity of 5,000 tonnes of cement per day, and we’re working on new equipment which will have a 10,000-tonne capacity per day,” he continues. “With our close relationship to SSAB, we believe this is just a matter of time.”