Lime Kiln DEM Analysis with ROCKY

CAE is key to ensuring the efficiency and technical integrity of equipment and plants in the lime industry


Process Engineering is fundamental to the development of industrial plants and includes all phases from site visits and surveys to issue identification and analysis and long-term project development. In the lime industry, the process engineers of Cimprogretti, a worldwide leader in the design of plants and equipment for the lime industry, design and optimize chemical processes, advise on process safety, analyse and interpret laboratory and plant data and provide specialised support to ensure the technical integrity of equipment and plants.

Specifically, Cimprogetti uses CAE to predict the behaviour of design solutions, testing innovations and optimizing designs from the earliest stages of conceptualization through to product validation and a better understanding of the implications of design decisions on plant performance. This brief article outlines how Cimprogetti and EnginSoft used ROCKY Discrete Element Modeling to perform a dynamic analysis of the entire lime transportation phase to improve the design of a new kiln loading system. An important part of the simulation was the calibration of the lime particles’ physical and geometrical characteristics in order to achieve uniform stone distribution.

<h5>Lime Klim model</h5>
Lime Klim model

Cimprogetti was founded in 1967 by Pierluigi Rizzi, former President and current Sole Director, in Bergamo (Italy), the 2nd most important industrial province in Europe, located in Lombardy, a region rich in tradition and expertise in the production of lime, cement, ground carbonate, etc.
The entrepreneurial skill of the company’s founder, along with the experience and determination of the staff, has allowed Cimprogetti to rapidly expand its operations into sixty countries worldwide, spanning the five continents.
The company’s product range spans from vertical kilns for the calcination of limestone and dolomite to complete quicklime hydration units. Over several decades, Cimprogetti has consolidated its distinctive business approach: to provide comprehensive lime plants from A to Z, from know-how and engineering design to  EPC-based delivery and the supply of innovative and high-performance plants based on well-proven design, adopting tailor-made solutions whenever needed, to meet the customers’ specific needs. 

Process Engineering is vital for any industrial plant’s development. Its broad scope ranges from site visits, surveys and discussing issues with operators, to long-term project development. Our process engineers design and optimize chemical processes, advise on process safety issues, analyze and interpret laboratory and plant data and, generally speaking, provide technical support to customers with the aim of ensuring the technical integrity of equipment and plants. The lab forms part of our design department and is equipped with state-of-the-art 3D CAD and CAE workstations to support all the engineering phases of a project. The use of simulation tools allows us to predict the behavior of design solutions. It is possible to test innovative concepts and to optimize designs, starting from the early stage of the design and engineering process  up to the product validations and  a better understanding of the implications of design decisions on  plant performance.

The use of ROCKY DEM in design

Cimprogetti is a worldwide leader in designing equipment and plants for the lime industries. As far as lime kilns are concerned, they can be located in different plant configurations, such as chemical plants, construction sites, steel plants or lime producers. Typically, the handling and the storage of the lime that feeds the kiln  will vary continuously, according to the customer’s specific plant requirements, whereas the load part on top of the kiln remains unchanged. This is organized in a way that manages and optimizes any lime distribution  coming from the kiln upstream. The aim of the activity carried out by Cimprogetti in collaboration with EnginSoft, was to perform a dynamic analysis of the kiln’s lime feeding process, starting from the typical plant configuration with a skip fed by a weighing hopper, to the charging of the limestone into the SRT hopper of the new kiln loading system designed with the latest Vanguard® kiln technology .
The tool used for the analysis was ROCKY, a Discrete Element Modeling (DEM) code. The software, starting from the CAD provided by Cimprogetti,  allowed us to virtually reproduce the whole lime transportation phase, handling the skip, the conveyor belt and the internal flap of the SRT hopper. An important part of the simulation  was the calibration of the particle’s characteristics, both physical (friction and impact) and geometrical (real and not spherically shaped). The simulation showed how the limestone reached the top of the kiln and  therefore allowed us to improve the design of the kiln loading system to achieve uniform stone distribution.


Newsletter EnginSoft Year 13 n°1

Lime klim


Rocky DEM simulation
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