Production of experimental anodes completed at the Anode Casting division of the Kyshtym Copper Electrolytic Plant
Within two weeks, along with 283 kg traditional anodes, metallurgists also were producing heavy anodes weighing 435 kg each. The first, as always, are intended for the Tankhouse, where they are used in in the process of electrolytic refining of copper cathodes. The second ones are for the Tankhouse under construction, where main production equipment will soon be commissioned. In order to test out the entire technological chain: from anode preparation on a special machine to cathodes packing, it is required to have in stock 1200 experimental anodes. This task was fulfilled by the smelters of the Anode Casting division.
“The casting wheel/carousel is designed for 24 casting molds. Two of them are now non-standard, specially made. We placed them at a considerable distance from each other in order to have time to perform some required operations between the extraction of large anodes” – explained us Ramil Nazarov, Deputy Head of the Anode Casting division. “The gripping device of the crane, with we use to pick a pack of ordinary anodes from the cooling tanks with water, is not designed for the lugs of “heavyweights”, therefore two cranes were simultaneously involved in this process of manufacturing different types of anodes.”
To onlookers, it seemed that the most ordinary copper casting was going on in the workshop. Both large and small molds moved in a circle, substituting each other under the tip of the pouring pot. By the way, it was expanded so that the metal filled the molds evenly, regardless of their size.
Ordinary «small» anodes were automatically loaded into water tanks for cooling. A few minutes later, the crane took out a pack of cooled anodes and placed it on a trolley for transportation to the Tankhouse.
By that time, an experimental mold was approaching the pouring tanks from below, and the slings of the second crane were approaching from above. Smelters manually threw slings on the lugs of heavy anode. The crane picked it from the mold and lowered it into the cooling tank. Then the crane lifted the slightly cooled giant, moved it and placed it in a holder on a special rack.
Neither the smelters nor the crane operators had any second to spare, yet however, there was no fuss on the site. According to Ramil Nazarov, on the eve of the first experimental casting they had a general rehearsal of the casting process in the workshop. We rehearsed with ordinary anodes, but with two different cranes operating. We tried to perfect the movement path of the equipment and people so that there would be no confusion during the actual casting. Thanks to thorough preparation, work on two fronts was as well-managed as possible, and the initial plan was overfulfilled. As a result, 1326 experimental anodes were produced without loss of workshop capacity.
In the future, just such anodes will be supplied to KMEZ from Karabash. It should be pointed out that the technical modernization of the Tankhouse will increase the output of copper cathodes from 140,000 tons to 230,000 tons per year.