February 23rd 2019
New autonomous equipment

It is well known that the future of both the aluminum industry and Aluminerie Alouette will require innovations and the integration of new technologies.


Recently, two new state-of-the-art autonomous devices were integrated into the company's operations: one at the anode rodding shop and a second at the casthouse.


The Hexapod inspection station and the Skimmer robot.

Hexapod inspection station

In the process of manufacturing aluminum, various components are essential. One part of it is the anode assembly, which serves to conduct the electrical current in the cells.


To be more precise, a typical assembly consists of two carbon anodes, a rod and a hexapod. The hexapod, subjected to high temperatures in the process, could be deformed or suffer damage.


At the end of 2018, the hexapod inspection station was acquired and installed with the purpose of inspecting the approximately 10,000 hexapods used continuously at Aluminerie Alouette. This investment aims to improve and standardize inspection through a three-dimensional technology using laser sensors.


Skimmer robot

When pouring the liquid aluminum into the molds to make sows, a thin layer of dross forms on the surface. The new robot made operational in February 2019, can autonomously skim each of the sows poured. In addition, the articulated arm of the robot can, by itself, transfer the aluminum drosses recovered into a crucible, which enables the product to be recycled effectively and inexpensively.


Thus, the $ 2.5 million investment reduces aluminum losses while limiting the handling of dross bins as before. The gains in both health and safety and productivity are significant.


The employees involved in commissioning the equipment can be proud of the work done. These 2 new acquisitions, worthy of the 21st century, are a good illustration of the technological potential available to the aluminum industry.