The VHE Semi-Automatic Casting Machine pours molten iron to seal rod stubs into carbon anode blocks. The machine is designed to relieve the operator of the more tedious repetitive parts of this task, whilst continuing to provide manual control over the potentially hazardous operation of pouring molten metal.
The machine runs on rail tracks and on command will move automatically to the active furnace to receive new metal, from where it returns to the casting position. The ladle is lifted up two vertically mounted curved guide-rails, and is tilted to the pouring position with absolute stability. The operator, sitting in an air-conditioned cab attached to the machine, has an unobstructed view of the casting operation from a position which remains constant relative to the pouring spout.
Automation is provided by the use of encoders and frequency controlled drives. The operator is able to index the machine in various positions, "memorising" the pouring cycle for automatic repetition.
VHE installed a Semi-Automatic Casting Machine for Nordic Aluminium (Nordural), Iceland in 2005, as a part of the upgrade of Nordural's Rodding Plant in preparation for the Phase 3 / Potline 2 expansion.
Complementing the casting station, the Anode Rod Installation Station from VHE inserts rods into anode blocks immediately before the cast iron sealing station in the rodding plant.
The VHE Anode Rod Installation Station has been in successful operation at Alcan Iceland for six years.