ABB introduces new solution to optimize production planning in cement plants

The new Knowledge Manager Production Scheduler supports plant managers to find the optimal production schedule by constantly adapting it to operational constraints

Baden, Switzerland, January 22, 2015 – ABB, the leading power and automation technology group, has launched Knowledge Manager Production Scheduler, a new software solution to manage and optimize production scheduling in cement plants. It provides the customers with optimal planning functionalities based on real-time information, considering production goals, business constraints as well as volatile energy tariffs to increase the overall process efficiency.

Frequently varying production constraints in a cement plant – like lower performance of equipment, fast increasing material stock or failure in one of the production lines – demand immediate adjustments in the production schedule. Thus, production scheduling is one of the most important activities for plant or production managers in order to achieve maximal operational efficiency.

ABB bundled its outstanding cement process knowledge to develop its Knowledge Manager Production Scheduler. This application allows the user to create, evaluate and compare multiple scenarios before deciding which one to use. These scenarios are readily available when a production situation changes so that plant managers can quickly activate them. This enables a very agile response, for example when it comes to an unplanned repair activity.

So, Production Scheduler optimizes the decision-making process leading to a more efficient operation and higher productivity. Making the right changes can bring vast benefits: cost savings for energy consumption, optimized stock management or enhanced equipment performance.

Knowledge Manager Production Scheduler main features are:

    • Forecast of inventory and energy consumption
    • Setting of goals and configuration of constraints
    • Scenario management
The solution has been successfully tested for over a year at selected pilot plants at Holcim, one of the world’s leading cement and building materials company, leading to the decision of rolling out the Production Scheduler globally. Over 20 installations have been completed during 2014, with more planned for the coming months.

The Production Scheduler is a new add-on to Knowledge Manager, one of ABB’s Collaborative Production Management solutions (CPM) for cement industries. Knowledge Manager collects, stores, consolidates and presents relevant information while making it easily accessible to all relevant stakeholders. With ABB’s CPM solutions all operation, control, optimization and business systems are integrated into one.

ABB ( is a leader in power and automation technologies that enable utility and industry customers to improve performance while lowering environmental impact. The ABB Group of companies operates in around 100 countries and employs about 145,000 people.

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    In ABB's Knowledge Manager Production Scheduler a detailed visualization of the schedule is easily accessible for all relevant stakeholders.

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