ECL™ Tapping Regulation System

Fives Aluminium News Tapping Regulation-FIVES

A metal flow rate control system developped by Fives to improve the quality of the metal sucked during tapping operation.

During the pot metal tapping, bath is often sucked with the metal. Bath adjunctions have negative effects on both electrolytic cell operation and equipment soiling and, above all, on metal casting, inducing extra costs, delays on metal delivery and metal production losses. Moreover, the tendency being to increase pot amperage to boost smelter capacity, the risk of pot disturbance when siphoning more bath during metal tapping operation is increasing. One of the producers’ objectives is to deliver a metal free from impurities, all along the whole process production of primary aluminium.

Fives has developed and adapted a patented retrofitable system to reach the target metal flow, and to avoid the sucking of electrolytic bath during tapping operation. ECLTM Tapping Regulation System is based on the automatic control of the flow rate by means of loop control and signal processing in PLC.  In order to improve the tapping operation follow-up, some indicators have been developed in the PLC program to provide the operating team with alarms such as warning signs for tube or ejector clogging, crucible air leaks…

This technology has been integrated at Sohar Aluminium (Oman) on ECLTM Pot Tending Machines and in the ladle tapping beams. After one-year operation, the indicators show up to 50% less sucked bath during tapping operation. Frequency of tapping tube cleaning as well as rotation of crucibles have been reduced. ECLTM Tapping Regulation System has demonstrated that it can comfortably and sustainably reach the bath content target, thus confirming substantial OPEX benefits for the client.

Other expected improvements, such as electrolytic process stability, casthouse furnace quality, skimming and drossing operations, and finished products quality will be measured in 2017.

The ECLTM Tapping Regulation technology is a self-adaptive system that requires nor action neither adjustment from the operator.