Case Study

Cement Manufacturer Incorporates Cross Belt Analyzer, Optimized Control to Improve Quality And Consistency


Client wanted to increase product consistency and quality while also reducing material clean-up time and downtime due to corrective maintenance; all of which would contribute to their profitability. Client realized that to achieve their goals they would need to utilize contemporary in-line analytical instrumentation along with improving and optimizing the existing application code in their controllers. Malisko was tasked with helping our client meet their goals for this project.


  • Minimal interruption in the client’s 24×7 production operation.
  • Maintain a constant bed depth and profile of material without an intrusive sensor on a continual system.
  • Little to no Documentation of the current control system
  • Coordination of all installation, interface, testing and commissioning with the Analyzer OEM
  • Controller (PLC) Code, which was difficult to follow, had been added to over many years by several different Integrators with varying programming techniques and missing annotation
  • Needed to allow for long testing time of the new analyzer and control code while not interrupting production
  • Prepare system for OEM install of a bed cross belt analyzer provided by the OEM.
  • Convert manually-controlled bed conveyor belt code to automatic to provide a constant bed depth without using an existing proximity sensor.
  • Modify the control code for the existing system including feeders that feed the conveyor.
  • Collaborate very closely with the client and OEM for the Cross Belt Analyzer.
  • Communicate bi-directionally with new sensor being installed to determine the makeup of the mix that is on the belt.
  • Improve consistency of bed depth on conveyor belt, maintain feed at set rate for the mill.
  • Worked with client on testing while system is running and gathering data to be used in calculation.
  • Developed system to run in an evaluation mode without actually using the output changes but allowing client to see what the controls wanted to do. This allowed for us to troubleshoot as well before allowing code to make changes to the system, minimizing production fluctuations and downtime.
  • Create an “electronic switch” for quickly and easily swapping between new code & old code.
  • Observed system and created calculation with plant for startup, shutdown and upset conditions for smoothing during these transition periods.


  • System was ready for install of the new analyzer per the client’s project schedule.
  • After testing and commissioning, the system ran more efficiently, producing steady flow and reducing amount of time on cleanup due to eliminating manual control of the flow.
  • Efficient control of belt, maintaining bed depth, more stable system, less stress to the operator, substantial reduction of conveyor system cycling – – less occurrence of ramp up and shutdown on conveyor motors.
  • Client was very happy with the results and stated the system “had never run better”.

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