Building materials and solutions company, LafargeHolcim is upgrading its production fleet for the future.

The company plans to utilise automation technologies, robotics and artificial intelligence at over 270 integrated cement plants and grinding stations across more than 50 countries.

LafargeHolcim’s four-year initiative aims to use predictive maintenance and digital twin technologies to enhance its entire production process. The company said a “Plants of Tomorrow” certified operation will result in operational efficiency gains of 15 to 20%.

Solomon Baumgartner Aviles, LafargeHolcim global head of cement manufacturing, said, “Transforming the way we produce cement is one of the focus areas of our digitalisation strategy and the ‘Plants of Tomorrow’ initiative will turn Industry 4.0 into reality at our plants. These innovative solutions make cement production safer, more efficient and environmentally fit.

“We are moving to fully data-driven operations in order to support further profitable growth as part of our Strategy 2022 – Building for Growth.”

Industry 4.0 is the idea of smart factories where machines with web connectivity are connected to a system that can visualise the entire production chain and make decisions on its own.

The company said its initiative is currently one of the largest roll-outs of Industry 4.0 technology in the building materials industry.

According to LafargeHolcim the real-time technologies it plans to install are predictive and will reduce energy use and maintenance costs while also increasing training opportunities, safety and efficiency.

The Plants of Tomorrow concept is being rolled out in markets in the UK, Switzerland, France, Germany, Canada, India, US and Russia.

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