DTE wins contract for real-time liquid metal analysis

DTE ehf has signed a USD1.85m contract with Nordural Grundartangi ehf in Iceland.

DTE ehf has signed a USD1.85m contract with Nordural Grundartangi ehf in Iceland.

Under the contract, DTE will provide its innovative real-time chemical composition analysis solution for the four skimming stations of the new low-carbon billet casthouse.

DTE’s solution will monitor the quality of the liquid aluminium transferred from Nordural’s electrolysis potroom to the casthouse, optimizing the value chain by enabling the correct aluminium quality to be directed to the appropriate furnace based on the final product to be cast. Nordural will benefit from maximizing throughput, minimizing cycle time in the furnaces, minimizing emissions and energy consumption, and removing bottleneck limitations in the casthouse. DTE’s fully autonomous solution also avoids the need for manual intervention by plant personnel, contributing to plant safety and reducing analysis costs.

“We see great potential in the equipment under testing in our current casthouse”

Nordural’s decision was driven by a similar solution under testing in the existing casthouse. Olafur Arnar Fridriksson, project manager of the new billet casthouse at Nordural, commented: “We see great potential in the equipment under testing in our current casthouse, so selecting DTE for this project was a straightforward decision. DTE is a strategic partner for Nordural, with their solution being gradually implemented throughout the production process.”

Diego Areces, CEO of DTE, said: “Nordural has been one of our strategic partners and has remained a great supporter of DTE. We look forward to delivering on this commitment and contributing value to the new low-carbon billet casthouse project. In addition, we will continue working together, deploying DTE’s solution along Nordural’s production process to maximize operational efficiency, resilience and sustainability.”

Capacity increase to 120,000 t

Nordural’s new casthouse will have an annual capacity of 150,000 t of billet production and is expected to start production in the first quarter of 2024. The expansion project will also double the smelter’s annual capacity to produce primary foundry alloys from its current 60,000 t to 120,000 t of capacity. This additional billet and primary foundry alloy capacity replaces standard-grade ingot production, raising expected product premiums for Nordural products. The USD120m investment is expected to create around 90 jobs during construction and around 40 permanently.

Natur-Al billet and foundry products with low-carbon footprint

The new Natur-Al billets and foundry products will be produced to meet the growing demand from European customers for low-carbon products. Nordural uses Iceland’s 100% renewable energy resources to create Natur-Al aluminium, which has one of the lowest CO2 footprints in the world. Natur-Al billet and foundry products will have less than a quarter of the CO2 content of the industry average and can significantly reduce the carbon footprint of end products. This gives them a competitive advantage in an economy that is increasingly focused on sustainability.

DTE is driving digital transformation towards Industry 4.0 with the next generation of IIoT analysis technology. Ireas, DTE’s unique, connected, real-time intelligence from liquid metals solution seamlessly integrates IT and OT, combining chemical composition analysis from molten metals based on liquid-phase laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LP-Libs) with an AI-based analytics platform and digital metals intelligence services.