Visit to an estate, a factory or a mine
Sometime back I visited the National Cement Factory. Cement as a building material has become very popular and every year, millions of tons of this material is being manufactured. Since cement has very many uses, the demand for the material is ever growing. The factory which I visited, is a premier one and produces 1500 tons of cement every day.
I obtained permission to visit the factory. At the entrance, the permit was checked by the security personnel. Then one of the watch and ward men was asked to take me round. The factory itself is situated on a vast area of nearly 400 to 500 acres. We started at the first point where cement actually got manufactured. Huge dippers bring in boulders from the neighboring quarries. They are crushed into small pieces by the crushing machine. The crushed pieces are then conveyed to the wet mill by a conveyor belt. Then I went to the wet mill area. The crushed stone with a measured quantity of clay is fed into a revolving cylindrical mill. They have steel balls inside them. Water is fed into these. So the stones and clay arc crushed into a paste like substance which flows out. This is called the slurry. The slurry is taken to a tank where it is kept constantly churned; otherwise it will settle down and harden up. The slurry is then pumped in measured doses into a long revolving kiln. It is nearly 200 to 300 feet long. As the slurry moves towards the furnace end it is baked. The furnace uses coal or furnace oil. As the slurry reached this point, the baking is complete and the baked material, called the clinker, falls in the form of small globules. The clinker is conveyed to the dry mill. There it is mixed with gypsum and crushed to fine powder. So, this is the cement which is stacked in big silos.
Then we went to the packing department. There I saw both mechanical and hand packing. The mechanical packing is very interesting to see. The finished bags are taken to the godown or straightaway to the waiting railway trucks.
One hears a huge oppressive noise within the mills, It is dusty everywhere. Overhead cranes do bucketing and shoveling work. It is indeed an experience to visit such a factory.