Novelis Aluminum Scrap Conveying Case Study
Novelis--a longtime customer since the 1960’s--is the world leader in rolled aluminum products. We are proud to have worked with this customer throughout the years, and admire their ongoing commitment to sustainability and efficiency in their business.
As a part of this commitment, Novelis operates an automotive scrap aluminum recycling operation. First, Novelis provides car manufacturers with aluminum, which helps to “lightweight” vehicles, a process that increases MPG standards. Then, when the car manufacturer is done stamping the aluminum, they send the scrap aluminum back to Novelis to recycle back into its operation.
For this project, Novelis needed a way to convey the aluminum scrap coming back into the plant from the auto manufacturer. The materials arrive at the plant in a trailer, are unloaded, and then pass through a drying system. Novelis needed a way to then convey up to 500 pounds of scrap per minute about 700 feet from the drier directly to the furnace.
The challenge in this design was not only the length of the conveying system, but also the various obstacles the conveying duct needed to avoid. There was also limited space above the furnace, and the customer wanted the option to be able to discharge material into a holding bin instead of the furnace, if needed.
Overall, Novelis requested that this system to be efficient, streamlined and easy to use.
Our Quickdraft team designed an all-negative system to pneumatically convey the scrap from the dryer to the furnace. The system conveys 30,000 pounds of aluminum per hour, and maintains necessary conveying vacuum pressure from start to finish, even when the scrap is discharged from the system.
It was imperative that we designed a system for Novelis that was dependable and essentially maintenance free. We also added a diverter so the customer could discharge material into a holding bin instead of the furnace, as requested.
Novelis is extremely pleased with the efficiency of their new metal conveying system. This system will be part of their overall recycling efforts, which they estimate will allow them to process as much as 20 million pounds of recycled scrap per month. Most importantly, they are able to continue investing in their sustainability efforts, and we are proud to have been involved yet again with them on their latest project.