All copper and nickel smelting vessels require airflow to maintain the oxidation process. Air is blown into the liquid metal bath using submerged pipes or tuyères. This air produces a chilling effect that causes the molten bath to freeze inside the tuyères, decreasing the airflow and lowering the rate of production. The best method of clearing the tuyères from blockages or accretions is through use of the Gaspé Tuyère Puncher, mounted on rails beside the smelting vessel.
A true piece of Canadian history, the Gaspé Tuyère Puncher is named after Noranda's Gaspé Smelter where this technology was developed in the early 1960s. The machine was created to mechanize a labor intensive task where traditionally, operators had been forced to work in a noisy, dirty and dangerous environment.
Heath & Sherwood obtained license to commercialize the product and today, the Gaspé Puncher and associated tuyère line developments have been accepted as standard equipment in copper and nickel smelters around the world. Both standard and custom designs are available.
Manual Model: Electric or Pneumatic
Direct operator control. Increases copper production per day through substantial increase in blowing rate. Reduces manpower per converter and provides improved working conditions.
Toshiba 7.5 HP electric motor with SEW gear reducer, main panel with variable frequency drive (VFD). Operator cab includes safety glass window, seat and controls.
Operator controls puncher movement using remote joystick. As a tuyère is approached, the operator simply releases the joystick and the puncher automatically positions itself in front of the nearest tuyère. Toshiba 7.5 HP electric motor with SEW gear reducer; servo-drive main panel. 4-direction joystick, remote or machine mounted. Allen-Bradley Kinetix 6000 Servodrive with Compactlogix PLC or latest. RSLogix 5000 Software Program or latest.
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No full-time operator required. Automatic/remote control optimizes performance with blowing rates increased by up to 12%. Improves stability of oxygen enrichment and temperature on tuyère line, helping to minimize vessel distortion and damage to tuyère and refractory brick. Keeps more tuyères open throughout the campaign. Punches 46 tuyères in 68 seconds. Intelligent punch sequence enhances process uniformity through tighter control of punching parameters and can be connected to Local Area Network. Also available: netcam for periodic visual puncher inspection and on-board CCTV.