CORDIS - EU research results

Automated Anode Fork Repair System for the Aluminium Rodding Plant

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - Auto-Anode (Automated Anode Fork Repair System for the Aluminium Rodding Plant)

Reporting period: 2017-06-01 to 2017-11-30

Stalsmidjan-Framtakehf is an Icelandic company, strongly focused on innovation, that designs and produces equipment for the primary aluminium production industry.
Auto-Anode is our new product that comes to fulfill a new market requirement of the aluminum smelters: the automatic repair or worn out anode-hangers from the smelting process. Our system has significant benefits it terms of reduced anode voltage drop, contributing to the reduction of the heat lost during the electrolysis process. Additionally, increased system throughput, manual labor reduction, process safety and emissions reduction, have a dramatic impact on customer ROI.
In order to confirm the feasibility of Auto-Anode we have developed the present document that checks the technical, commercial and financial feasibility of our project. We have analyzed the technical developments ahead and prepared an execution plan for the new Auto-Anode system. We have performed an in-depth analysis of the target markets, out of which we have developed our market strategy and plan for commercialization. Financially, we have drafted a 5-year financial forecast which has confirmed the potential return on investment of Auto-Anode.
Activities performed and results obtained:
Task 1: Technology feasibility and IPR strategy: We have evaluated the technical developments necessary to implement, test and validate the new Auto-Anodeto reach our technical goals. We have estimated resources, costs and timing and prepared a technical risk assessment defining mitigation and contingency plans. We have deepened our technology watch and validated the novelty of our product. Finally, we have outlined our IPR strategy concerning Auto-Anode.
Task 2 Market Analysis: We have performed a detailed market analysis of the aluminum smelters industry which includes the specific requirements for anode-hanger repairs, market size and growth trends, buying drivers, competitors, threats and opportunities in the market for the next 5 years. As a result, we have refined our value proposition and performed a commercial risks analysis. Finally, we have revised our commercialization plan and the activities to go to market stage have been planned.
Task 3 Supply chain/distribution channel consolidation: We have conducted a gap analysis identifying skills required for the project implementation. As a result, we have compiled a list of potential partners and supply chain participants.
Task 4 Draft of exploitation and dissemination plan: We have analysed alternative exploitation and dissemination strategies to best address market barriers and opportunities. As a result, our go-to-market plan has been completed with activities for the product exploitation and dissemination in our target markets.
Task 5 Business plan: We have created an updated business plan which includes the evaluation of total investment, financial risks and mitigation strategies. We have performed a 5-year analysis on cash-flow and revenues and estimated project financial indicators such as payback and ROI. Budget for phase II has been estimated and required funding beyond the project has been analyzed.
The Auto-Anode efficient repair processes will contribute to reduce energy consumption in the aluminium smelting process by reducing around 16% the heat lost through the anodes during electrolysis. Repair process automation will improve working conditions, eliminate human error and further reduce labour costs. There is also a high carbon footprint from the manual propane cutting and transportation of forks to a distant rodding plant that will be eliminated, thereby reducing the carbon footprint by ca 48t CO2 pa.
While for the aluminium industry this will result in yearly savings of up to €8 per ton of produced aluminium, for our company, the project will generate accumulated sales of 31.6 M€ by 2025 with net profit estimations of 9.1M€.