Laser Anode Rod Cleaning

AiRC-1000

The new industry standard

for Anode Rod Cleaning

Aluminium smelters are looking to reduce energy costs and improve efficiencies which the AiRC-1000 delivers through the integrated design of a high-intensity laser cleaner combined with robotic automation.

The use of new laser technology replaces the old and inefficient methods of cleaning anode rods, providing optimum rod surface conductivity and lowering energy costs.

It is estimated that the return on investment for this system is between 12 to 18 months for an average sized plant.

AiRC-1000 Specifications

*Based on double-sided cleaning and excluding conveying time.
#Terms and conditions apply and will be provided upon application. 

The Situation

Current methods of cleaning anode rods, such as industrial brushing, allow surface contamination to build up, leading to inefficient aluminium production and increased electricity usage. Up to now, manufacturers have had no choice but to continue with this method of cleaning.

Industrial Brushing

In-line automated brushes attempt to clean the surfaces of the rods with inconsistent results. On top of this, contact with the rods destroys the brushes requiring regular replacement, at high cost.

The Solution

AiRC-1000 provides a high quality clean, which is fully flexible, and provides savings in the smelting process through reduced electricity usage. This is achieved using state-of-the-art technology including a high-power laser system and robotics. This in conjunction with advanced control algorithms have been developed to achieve optimum throughput, flexibility, and usability.

Cost Savings

  • No wearing parts
  • No ongoing consumables
  • Ability to work 24/7
  • No additional materials or chemicals required
  • Savings in power used during the smelting process

Quality Improvements

  • Consistency and repeatability of clean
  • Flexibility for different rod geometries
  • Flexible cleaning cycle – deep > rapid

AiRC-1000 is a turnkey solution with easy installation at any site globally, with low overheads and power requirements and has industry 4.0 integration and reporting.

Key Features and Benefits

Cost Saving

Reduced OH&S Impacts

Quality Improvements

Turnkey Solution

Major Reduction in Anode Rod Resistance

  • Significant savings in power cost
  • Reduced resistance from laser cleaned rods lowers the voltage requirements in the smelting process

Non-Contact Superior Cleaning

  • No wearing parts (brushes, etc.)
  • No consumables
  • Low maintenance system
  • Increase in the lifespan of the anode rod

World's Most Advanced Laser Cleaning Technology

  • Consistent cleaning results
  • Major quality improvements
  • Flexibility for different rod surface conditions

Robotic Automation

  • Flexibility for different rod geometries
  • Symmetrical or asymmetrical rod capabilities 
  • Single or double-sided cleaning 
  • Robust 24/7 operation
  • Fully integrated into existing rodding lines
  • Rapid installation and commissioning 

Advanced Controls Systems

  • Intuitive user interface
  • Ease of use
  • Industry 4.0 integration and reporting
  • Remote support and machine monitoring

The system is protected by a provisional global patent.

Cost Savings

Automation Innovation industry experience shows that laser cleaned anode rods have a markedly lower resistance resulting in savings of between 5 to 10 mV of electricity per pot compared to brushed rods. From this number, we can calculate the modest yearly cost savings for an aluminium smelter and the return on investment for the AiRC-1000.

For example, based on an 800-pot aluminium smelter with a running total of 360 kA and a power cost of $0.05 USD per kWh, the aluminium smelter can save between $630,720 USD to $1,261,440 USD. This number only calculates the savings in power costs; other cost savings include replacement costs of brushes, as the AiRC-1000 has no ongoing consumables and maintenance and labour costs.

The below Cost Savings Calculator is based on a medium power saving of 8 mV.

Laser Anode Rod Cleaning

AiRC-1000

Contact us to learn more