In-Plant Automation: Elevating Cement Industry Efficiency

In-Plant Automation: Elevating Cement Industry Efficiency

The trend of adopting technology for improved efficiency and visibility is sweeping industries, with the Logistics & Transportation sector experiencing significant shifts away from its traditional lack of transparency and inefficient systems. Post-Industrial Revolution, automation began transforming manufacturing, skyrocketing production, efficiency, and profits. Presently, companies are integrating tech like GPS tracking systems and transportation management systems to improve inbound and outbound logistics. Yet, in-plant logistics—critical as it is—often goes unmentioned.

What Constitutes In-Plant Logistics?

Also known as plant logistics, in-plant logistics involves the internal movement of goods within a manufacturing facility, encompassing:

  • Raw material storage and handling

  • Internal transit of semi-finished items

  • Transferring goods from assembly lines to storage

  • Final goods packaging and warehousing

  • Goods weighing processes

  • On-site vehicle and equipment management

Additionally, it includes the management of documentation and accounts, such as tracking goods movement, invoicing, and inventory management.

In-Plant Logistics Complexities Unraveled

In-plant logistics is complex, involving numerous manually handled tasks like weighbridge operations and inventory management. This complexity inflates operational costs, necessitates more manpower, and is susceptible to errors and inefficiency. Typically, isolated systems within a plant further fragment the logistics value chain.

For instance, weighbridges are critical in in-plant logistics and traditionally require multiple workers. Manual handling can lead to inaccuracies like incorrect weighing or documentation mismatches, not to mention theft risks. And given the operational scale, comprehensive monitoring is impractical, reducing transparency.

The Need for In-Plant Automation

In-plant automation, like automated weighbridge solutions, overcomes these issues by removing the need for manual operations, thus reducing mismanagement, and theft risks, and enhancing efficiency.

By examining the transformation in outbound logistics through tech, we see an ecosystem united by IoT, boosting operations. In-plant automation, similar in principle, connects and streamlines internal processes via IoT.

How does in-plant automation work?

Inplant automation requires automation aided by the transfer of information across processes using which data can be collected, stored, processed, and accessed from a single place, forming a centralized system. In other words, leading to the transformation of the facility into an IoT-enabled one. Inplant automation can be further understood by the services and benefits they deliver.

Yard Management

Yard management in automation terms covers the tracking and management of vehicles and goods within the facility, historically done manually. RFID-based systems improve this, offering efficient, accurate vehicle tracking and automating invoicing and other resource-intensive tasks, shortening turnaround times.


Companies can further improve their turnaround times and make their operations more efficient by employing another in-plant automation solution to automate their scheduling at loading/unloading docks or warehouses. Auto Scheduling solutions using AI-driven algorithms to schedule vehicles for loading/unloading based on their dispatch times. It uses existing records of transporter, dispatcher, vehicle, etc to ensure the right vehicle is ready for loading/unloading at the right terminal to ensure timely delivery of goods.

Gate In/Gate Out

As mentioned earlier in the Yard Management section, in-plant automation equips the entry and exit gates with RFID scanners, cameras, etc, and provides each vehicle with a unique RFID. Once the vehicle is at the entry gate, the scanners scan the vehicle ID while the camera captures the registration number. This data is recorded and stored in the system marking the entry of vehicles in the facility. A similar process is followed when the vehicle is at the exit gate. It helps companies track and record vehicles entering their facility efficiently.

Safety Management

Inplant automation greatly benefits companies when it comes to safety management in their facility. By implementing RFID and GPS tracking systems for monitoring vehicles, automated entry/exit, creating a record of sections the vehicle visits, and making available all related data in a single place simplifies documentation procedures for drivers while making the safety of the facility robust.

Weighbridge Automation

As mentioned earlier, in-plant automation solutions also include weighbridge automation systems that automate the entire weighing process of goods entering and exiting a facility. It does so by replacing manual weighbridges with tech-enabled ones that eliminate the need for booth operators. The Weighbridge automation solution makes the process of weighing goods simplified which can be done by the vehicle driver following simple steps guided by signals and lights. It further increases the reliability, accuracy, and efficiency of the entire process and reduces the risk of mismanagement.

In-Plant Automation’s Cement Industry Impact and Takeaway

In-plant automation is gaining traction due to its vast advantages. The cement industry, with its disjointed in-plant logistics leading to dispatch delays, exemplifies its need. The industry, reliant on both trucks and trains for transport, confronts coordination and efficiency hurdles, particularly at the weighing stage, causing extensive delays. Incorporating automation solutions like RFID tracking and automated scheduling can slash wait times and significantly uplift operational efficiency.

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