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Metal Flow Modelling


A simulation model of hot metal transport and casthouse operations was used to assist our Client in addressing concerns in respect of the transport of molten aluminium.

These concerns primarily related to the number of crucibles and crucible transport vehicles (CTVs) required and their overall management.  Various operational options, such as a dedicated CTV operating in the furnace area were considered. Analysis also focused on the crucible cleaning area and its impact on overall production.

Other parameters explored included the location of crucible pick-up points in the potlines, quantity of and time taken for scrap melting in VDC furnaces, siphon downtimes, continuous ingot casting and the overall management of crucibles and CTVs.

Anode Handling

Extensive modelling of the handling of anodes and spent butts has been undertaken at each of our Client's three smelters to support the introduction of new technology. Issues addressed included:

  • the number and size of vehicles involved in the placement of trays on rodded anodes beside potlines preparatory to the changing out of anodes in individual cells
  • the collection of anode butts after change-out and their return to the rodding room
  • alternate schedules for anode changes
  • interference of anode and butt transfers with other production activities.

Metal Products Activities

Modelling of the collection, transportation and consumption of molten aluminium was modelled to support the planning for the proposed upgrade of our Client's Smelter.  The initial study objective was to determine the number of furnaces required and the dependence of this upon the mix of products made.  A number of changes to various aspects of Casthouse operation were also explored.

The scope and detail of the simulation model were later significantly enhanced to address concerns in respect of hot metal transport - including the number of transport vehicles and crucibles required and issues of the management of this function.

Ingot Mill Scheduling

A study of the operation of our Client's Casthouse was undertaken to assist with managing the usage of hot metal following a revision of related operating procedures and an increase in production levels.  The exercise was used to develop appropriate scheduling methodologies.  It also highlighted some areas of concern in respect of the proposed upgrade.

This model has been used subsequently on several occasions to investigate further changes to operating practice.

Nickel Smelter

A model of the operation of our Client's Smelter was developed to support a proposed upgrade in the capacity of the Converter.  The model was used to establish the impact of the upgrade on upstream and downstream processes and to establish at what point the interference between the two overhead cranes becomes a limiting factor in respect of additional throughput.

Advice was also provided in respect of different work practices relating to the operation of the cranes.

Other Smelting Projects

Hot Metal Transport
High Purity Model Capture
Smelting - Butt Cleaning
Alloying Furnaces
Modelling of Anode Baking Furnaces
Aluminium Bath Delivery
Rodding Room Simulation
Carbon Bake Conversion
Continuous Homogenising Study

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