The Production of Cement Plants in Dessau

The company existed under the name VEB Zementanlagenbau, since 1957 and was later incorporated in the heavy machinery union of the GDR. ZAB was a reputable brand and had produced and shipped more than 350 Systems internationally by the time of Germanys reunification.

On the 13th of August 1859 the master locksmith Gottfried Polysius announced the opening of a workshop in Dessau in the Lange Gasse 12. The little workshop quickly developed into a successful iron foundry and machine factory. After years of successful small-scale business the company Polysius, named after its founder, could buy up the machine factory Beckmann & Gebhardt. This property still belongs to industrial site in the centre of Anhalt and is called the old Plant, that is very rich in tradition. The physical basis for the growth to a large firm was thus laid. In the year 1890 the foundry already delivered 70 mill complexes i.a. to Switzerland and England. 1898 the companys first usable rotary kiln was put into service. With the kiln construction company Brennöfen Bauanstalt Hamburg being taken over in 1904 the next step was taken towards becoming a specialist company.
Only shortly thereafter Polysius sons Max and Otto presented their machines at the world fair in Chicago. The company had gone international.
The new century began with an outstanding amount of commissions. A second plant was built with a direct connection to the rail road. All in all there were nearly 400 employees. The first complete cement plant was delivered to Egypt in 1907 and a year later to China.
The initial success encouraged the leadership of the company to constantly expand the products delivered by the company for cement production or improve on the plant.
At the end of the 20s Georg Lellep and his co-worker Bernd Helming developed a new procedure that revolutionized cement production. They called it LEPOLÄ®. It made the cement burning much more efficient and reduced the fuel consumption by a third.
Max and Ottos sons Otto, Gustav, Walter, and Gottfried Karl then joined the company and supported their fathers. On July 1st 1928 the company became a stock company. The further development was characterized by the efforts to build up international trade relationships and the constant improvement of the technological production process. Numerous patents testify this progress.

After the collapse of the Nazi dictatorship the family company was expropriated by the soviets in 1946. After the second world war the workers and engineers strove to rebuild the virtually completely destroyed plant. The entire company was incorporated in the soviet stock corporation. The following years the products were delivered to the soviets as reparation.
Since the 1st September 1957 the company was called VEB Zementanlagenbau, or Cement Plant Engineering and Construction, Dessau and was later incorporated in the heavy machinery union of the GDR. This time was characterized by progress in the processes for the production of cement. These new processes were also mastered out of Dessau.
In the time period between the end of the war and the reunification a good 350 plants were constructed and delivered internationally. ZAB had become a very reputable company.
The acquisition of the plant by KHD HUMBOLDR WEDAG AG caused the birth of the daughter company HUMBOLDT WEDAG ZAB GmbH.

Polysius Company - Dessau 1890

Polysius Company at the world fair in Chicago 1893

Our Scope of Work

Take advantage of our know-how and use our posibilities!

machines, drafts, foundation drawing, assembly drawing, documentation

Procedural design / dimensioning

Rotary Kilns
direct: cement, lime, gypsum, gypsum sulfuric acid, clay, expanded clay, refractories, phosphate, zinc oxide, titanium oxide, aluminium oxide, aluminium hydroxide, siderite, kaolin-bauxite-compounds, aluminium calcination, recycling of zinc, recycling of asbestos concrete, clearing sludge, oil sludge, hazardous waste, activated carbon,
indirect: hydrofluoric acid, petrol coke

Pyrolysis Kilns
waste, torrefaction of biomass, scrap tyres, activated carbon, charcoal, miscellaneous

Rotary Dryers for Bulk Solids
direct current or counter current method

Direct Drying
rotary dryers with different built-in components bucket components, arch components, segment* components

Indirect Drying
Material and hot gas are seperated.

Indirect Drying
steam dryer

direct cooling, rotary cooler with different built-in components, indirect cooling using air or water in tube coolers or sectional coolers

Heat Exchangers / Preheaters
cyclone preheaters (multi-stage), shaft preheaters, flash dryers with or without impact reduction

Chambers for Sedimentation of Dust

Post-combustion Chambers

ZUS (ZADCON separator using recirculating air),
ZHZS (ZADCON high performance centrifugal separator)



Furnace Shells
carbon steel, stainless steel, refractory lining

loose, welded, screwed, toothed, forged or cast bandages

casting or steel constructions, bridgemountings, connections with clamps, pinions and shafts, bearings, sprocket protection, heat protection, base frames

main drives, main engines, base frames, heat protection, auxiliary drives, overrunning clutches, auxiliary engines, chain drives, friction wheel drives

with shrunked shafts, cast or forged, with rolling bearings, with anti-friction bearings, as a single bearing, as double bearing, base frames, heat protection

Pressure Trestle
stationary, single pressure trestle two rolls, longitudinal kiln guidance, Zwolf (parallelogram), electric, hydraulic, HDR, hydraulic unit, control unit box, base frame

Kiln Outlet Sections
plain, cooling section, disc outlet section, plain, for cooling section, with concrete attachment, outlet cooling section

Kiln Sealings
spring plate sealing, pneumatic sealing, pull-rope sealing

Kiln Inlets and Outlets
cavities, air cooled, water cooled, plain, lined, chutes, plain, water cooled

inlet casings, outlet casings, temporary casings

for gas inside plants

Brick Holding Rings
compensators, hot gas valves


Our experienced designers use CAD workstations and modern software to work on a broad range of problems like designing machines or different components, optimizing spare parts or different fields of research and development.


At ZADCON, our own experts work at procedural dimensioning of rotary machines and their accessories. Furthermore we work closely with the Institute of Fluid Mechanics and Thermodynamics of the Otto von Guericke Universität in Magdeburg, and with Prof.Dr.-Ing. Specht and Jprof.Dr.-Ing. Herz in particular, and a number of other universities, colleges, research facilities and specialized companies.

Institute of Fluid Mechanics and Thermodynamics


ZADCON is not bound to any particular manufacturers, even though we work closely with several excellent partners, some of them near our headquarters. Because of our way of working, we have both: quality and short distances. Production control and inspection is being handled by our specialist engineers.


Our products are shipped worldwide and assembled locally by specialist installation companies.


Our support writes expertises for existing plants, replaces broken or wear parts and optimizes facilities. They also work at assembling our machines, and offer advice on questions concerning process engineering. Furthermore they are active around the world to support operators of plants, that have been built by ZAB Dessau.


We ship spare parts and constructional components for mechanical and systems engineering around the world. Spare parts include pinions, bearings, shafts, tyres, carrying rollers, girth gears and many more.




Rotary Kiln


Rotary Dryer



Kiln Head