The Monitor

Production Process Insights

A Custom Solution Improves Cement Sampling at Load-Out

Posted by Tod Myers on 5/18/20 9:15 AM

Custom Cement Solutions

Cement is typically manufactured by heating lime, silica, alumina, iron and other materials at high temperatures. This combination of heavy materials can have a major impact on wear and tear of sampling equipment. Learn how one company mitigated this risk with a custom solution.

Cement can be sampled in many forms – slurry, liquid, powder, clinker, slag and finished cement – to ensure product quality and safety. Typical sampling points include raw and finished product, load-out and custody transfer.

Running an efficient cement operation requires analysis of controlled, real-time data that can only be obtained through reliable and repeatable representative sampling. With accurate monitoring and measuring, operators can get the critical insights they need to control and optimize their processes.


An engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contractor needed to provide three sampling systems at cement load-out. The samples needed to be taken as the cement was loaded onto trucks or rail cars for distribution.

There were two main challenges in this process:

  • Equipment was located between the sampler and where the operator would stand to collect the sample. Because of this, the discharge of the sampler needed to travel horizontally for several feet to clear this equipment and drop down to the sample container.
  • The customer needed to collect two sample containers while the trucks were being filled. However, filling an entire truck or rail car with cement takes just a few minutes. The EPC contractor quickly discovered there wasn’t enough time to complete one sample cycle, index to the next sample container, and take another complete sample before the truck or rail car was filled. 


The solution was a custom sampling system that simultaneously addressed both challenges in the process.

First, to bypass the equipment and drop the sample down to the sample container, Sentry RB Automatic Strip Samplers were designed to feed into screw conveyors.  

Custom-designed Sentry B1 Automatic Point Samplers were modified to act as screw conveyors so they could move the product horizontally before dropping it vertically into a Sentry IC Indexing Cabinet. The IC Indexing Cabinet allowed the EPC to collect samples in multiple containers, and multiple samples to be collected without the need for operator assistance.

To address the time challenge, a Sentry A Automatic Point Sampler diverter was implemented to automatically switch between two inlets feeding into the IC cabinet for fast, “on the fly” sampling while the cement product is flowing. This eliminated the need for switching containers in the middle of the sample cycle so operators could efficiently collect two samples and streamline the entire process.

Finally, a Sentry SBC Sampler Controller operates all these components together; thus eliminating the need to control each aspect individually.


Upon startup, this custom solution of samplers and equipment will provide this company with reliability, efficient operation and accurate measurement at each of the three sampling locations.

By utilizing specific samplers designed for the cement industry the EPC was able to streamline their processes without interrupting their other required processes.

With rugged products and services, your company can also improve production efficiency, output, and safety, all while confidently making strategic operational decisions.

Learn more about Sentry sampling solutions for the cement industry here.

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Topics: Cement, Solids & Powder

Written by Tod Myers