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Reliable Cement Production in Sub-Saharan Africa

Innovative carbon brushes from Schunk and on-site service ensure best performance

  • Innovative carbon brushes from Schunk and on-site service ensure best performance
    Schunk carbon brushes for the cement industry withstand even the most extreme conditions.
  • Innovative carbon brushes from Schunk and on-site service ensure best performance
    Even under the tough conditions in the cement industry, Schunk brush holders keep carbon brushes in place, ensuring the best possible performance of the machines.

Machines and plants used in cement production are required to perform at the highest level: They must work optimally and reliably even under the most extreme conditions caused by dust and sand. High fluctuations in temperature and humidity place additional stress on the equipment. Carbon materials from Schunk are designed for these extreme conditions. For example, brush holders and carbon brushes made of the materials C80X and C40Z3 ensure that a major cement manufacturer in sub-Saharan Africa no longer has any problems with swelling brushes and brush fires. Schunk thus sets standards in terms of performance, safety and service life by means of innovative solutions.  

Valuable mineral resources are stored deep in the earth of Africa: Precious metals and diamonds, metallic minerals and industrial minerals, as well as crude oil and natural gas. Especially the countries south of the Sahara desert, in the so-called Sub-Saharan region, have large natural resources. Thanks to rich deposits of crude oil, natural gas, hard coal, iron and tin, Nigeria, a country with a population of 200 million, recently replaced South Africa as Africa's leading economy. This is also the headquarters of Schunk's customer and the largest cement manufacturer in the region.  

German know-how for the global cement industry 

For cement production in ten African countries, the company relies on brush holders and carbon brushes from Schunk. The high quality of the products as well as the close cooperation with local partners who know the specifics of the challenging market in the sub-Saharan region make the cement manufacturer a loyal customer of Schunk.  

Successful together in Africa 

An important partner for Schunk in its cooperation with the customer in Africa is the company MCS GmbH from Kevelaer in the Lower Rhine region. Thanks to a global logistics network, it supplies industrial customers in numerous African countries with spare parts to guarantee uninterrupted work. If required, qualified engineers travel with the company to install the spare parts on site.  

MCS customers also include: 

  • the Heidelberg Cement Group in numerous African countries 

  • LafargeHolcim Africa  

  • CIMAF Cement Group among others. 

Other customers in the cement industry are also located in: 

  • Namibia 

  • Kenya 

  • Cameroon 

  • Senegal 

  • Ghana 

  • Tanzania 

  • Chad 

  • South Africa  

Optimum performance for the cement industry  

David Schoofs, Managing Director at MCS: "The conditions in cement production are extreme. Here, the engines have to run around the clock and are subjected to extraordinary stress. To ensure optimum production, our focus is on engine maintenance. Our trained employees in the sub-Saharan region are available for this purpose." The machines that are used convey, crush, transport - and yet the malfunction in just one tiny component can be enough to shut down the entire operation.  

Reliable and economical thanks to trouble-free equipment 

The downtime until repairs are carried out at locations that are sometimes difficult to access costs companies money every minute. Schunk's experts therefore work closely with customers and partners such as MCS to develop the optimal composition of carbon materials for the respective conditions on site. For example, brush holders and carbon brushes made of the materials C80X and C40Z3 helped the cement manufacturer to ensure that problems with swelling brushes and brush fires that used to occur are now a thing of the past.  

Employees from partners such as MCS are available worldwide to provide optimum customer support. For example, swell-free carbon brushes, brush holders and collector strips from Schunk are used to equip conveyor motors, belts and vehicles in the best possible way so that they can run trouble-free under the adversities of the sub-Saharan region. At the same time, carbon brush materials from Schunk reduce sparking - a decisive advantage for protection against explosions, not only in cement production.  

Carbon brushes: materials for extremes 

Carbon brushes for commutators and slip ring applications are used worldwide in the cement industry and in mining. The carbon, graphite and metal materials used combine good electrical and thermal conductivity with high temperature resistance. Thanks to an individually matched material composition, the carbon brushes are also equipped for extreme requirements such as large current gradients, no-load phases, low-load operations, aggressive gases and vapors, extreme ambient temperatures, oil mist, high dust or ash content, and extreme humidity.  

Brush holders: Stable even under the toughest conditions 

Matched to the carbon brushes are brush holders for commutators. They ensure the exact positioning of the brush at all times - even under the toughest conditions. The high stability of Schunk's brush holders and an integrated wear indicator ensure increased efficiency during maintenance and replacement. This ensures the best possible performance even in the harsh environment of cement production. Here, the slip ring motors run primarily in rotary kilns, cement mills, crushers and conveyor belt systems - this requires maximum performance from the materials used.  

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