International VDZ Congress 2018
Climate protection and digitisation are key challenges for the cement industry: More than 600 representatives from the international cement industry and associated suppliers, as well as from scientific and research institutes around the world, gathered at the International VDZ Congress 2018 in Duesseldorf at the end of September. Steeped in tradition, the VDZ Congress is one of the world's most important events in the industry. The 40 talks held at this year's congress focused on particularly pressing topics such as climate protection and digitisation. The participants also discussed current technical challenges and the general situation with regard to cement production. A further highlight was an evening ceremony at which the winners of the VDZ Industrial Safety Prize 2017 received their awards.
In his opening address, VDZ President Christian Knell stressed the significance of the congress as a unique platform for shaping future aspects of cement production. With particular reference to the subject of climate protection, appropriate policy decisions would also be required to avoid jeopardising the competitiveness of the cement manufacturers. This includes research policy backing for investments in progressive technologies and the associated demonstration projects, for instance.
Central topics at the VDZ Congress were the development of innovative technologies to reduce CO2 emissions and the impact of digitisation on production processes in the cement industry. The various subjects were discussed in a number of plenary and parallel sessions. The "keynotes" outlined innovations and technical trends in cement production and the building sector, as well as ways of achieving decarbonisation through the development of new technologies to reduce CO2 emissions. The challenges and opportunities for the cement industry presented by Big Data and digital transformation processes were examined under the heading "Digital Measures and Projects". Other parallel sessions dealt with further progressive emission reduction methods, the latest trends in cement grinding, kiln technology and the development of innovative cements.
An evening ceremony took place at the end of the second day of the congress. During this ceremony, the VDZ Industrial Safety Prize 2017 was awarded to 11 clinker and 10 grinding works in recognition of their systematic and successful safety work.
As an internationally recognised forum for the cement industry, suppliers and science, the VDZ Congress has been held since 1971 and provides delegates from around the world with an opportunity to discuss the most important topics relating to the future of the cement industry with renowned scientists and experts.