Tankhouses are more akin to manufacturing facilities than process plants. They rely on complex, high-availability machines, electrode-management logistical requirements, and strict operating routines.
High-power consumption and labour requirements make tankhouses expensive facilities to operate. The quality of the final metal can influence plant revenue, and the tankhouse itself can be the production bottleneck. When this is the case, performance may be steady but below expectation, or it may vary. The causes may not be readily apparent or well understood. Control parameters or metrics may be few and far between.
Best practices in safety for tankhouses continually tighten, including hygiene limits for acid mist. Electrocution/electric shock, exposure to acidic and toxic chemicals, and crane or operator collisions are specific and major hazards.
Governments and other stakeholders are demanding better environmental performance with respect to atmospheric emissions and greenhouse gas contributions. High-power consumption and acid-mist emissions make tankhouses a focus area.
With this wide range of issues and a host of improvement options to choose from, we help our clients determine the best path forward. Whatever the desired outcome, it starts with a thorough understanding of operating practices, equipment, and deep electrometallurgical process knowledge.
Assessment and improvement of tankhouse fundamentals
You need a trusted partner to troubleshoot electrowinning and electrorefining plants, targeting operating performance issues, procedures, operating parameters, and assays. We assess factors that affect throughput, current efficiency, metal quality, stray-current behavior, structural integrity, crane availability, and ventilation/hygiene performance. The solutions we offer are based on observations of your unique operation and best-practice benchmarks.
Ventilation and crane solutions
Establishing building air-monitoring campaigns for natural and forced-flow systems ensures that hygiene and environmental limits are met, whether cells use foam, balls, hoods, or other mist-containment methods.
Crane studies examine performance and lead to sequencing recommendations and maintenance programs or upgrade designs for manual, semi-automatic, or fully automatic systems.
Custom tankhouse technologies and design
You need cells, buswork, and cell-contact systems for precise electrode location and high reliability. We provide them. HELM trackerTM provides short-circuit detection, enabling rapid correction, production increases, continuous improvement, and reduced damage to titanium-mixed metal oxide anodes. HELM director integrates scheduling and management systems for activities like harvesting, electrode cleaning, and maintenance. All these solutions can be retrofitted or incorporated in new plants.
New plant definition
Cost-effective layouts drive electrical safety. They minimize operator splash and collision risk, and integrate ventilation equipment, electrode-transfer equipment, and other machines. Our design work ensures tolerances and alignment requirements are met for crane and building installations. We know vendors and the details for cranes, shorting frames, stripping machines, and other tankhouse equipment.
Your plant-operating and project personnel need training to properly understand the fundamentals and practicalities of tankhouses. Our programs cover the chemistry, equipment, and operational considerations for plants, including the world’s best practices.
Studies, estimates, and project execution
Our experience, approach, and estimating database allows for rapid trade-off studies. Estimates for prefeasibility and feasibility phases use cost-effective procurement opportunities wherever they can be found. Our tankhouse technologies and plants are offered on an EPCM or design-and-supply basis.