BAGR Berliner Aluminiumwerk GmbH has commissioned a fully automated continuous casting line. As a result, the Berlin-based company is now in a position to offer high-quality rolling ingots in large widths. For this milestone in its development, BAGR has partnered with best-in-class technology partners.

“Our customers have indicated to us that they would like to purchase high-quality rolling ingots in larger dimensions than we have previously been able to produce. Due to the spatial limitations in our foundry, the planning and construction of the new continuous casting line was extremely complex in terms of technology and organisation. We are therefore proud to have successfully implemented this investment together with our partners. This enables us to secure valuable jobs at the Berlin location, especially in light of the major current challenges,” stated Mustafa Güngör, Managing Director of BAGR.

GT Projekt, Poland delivered outstanding precision work in the design and preparation of the casting pit as well as the entire constructional infrastructure. Oleg Hoffman, BAGR Operations Manager commented, “we were very impressed by the organisation, the quality of the execution and the adherence to deadlines.”

The continuous casting plant was designed and realised by Wagstaff Inc. BAGR has previously used the dimensionally stable moulds of this US equipment supplier. The system was designed in such a way that even four large-format blocks per drop can be cast. BAGR chose a Wagstaff® ShurCastTM casting system in conjunction with the Wagstaff® AutoCastTM automated casting control system. This equipment uses SCADA technology for system monitoring and data storage. The casting process is fully automated using the proven Wagstaff® EpsilonTM moulds. The Wagstaff® SplitJet™ two-chamber technology integrated into these moulds enables a safe start to the cast and consistently high product quality, even with large-format rolling ingots.

In order to provide sufficient liquid metal for the casting of four large-format slabs, Jasper Gesellschaft für Energietechnik and Kybernetik mbH were requested to supply a hydraulically tilting and casting furnace for a capacity of 75t liquid metal. “Our long-standing technology partner met the structural conditions in the hall with remarkable creativity,” stated Oleg Hoffmann. Wagstaff® Autocast™ regulates the level in the launder up to the casting system automatically.

The furnace is natural gas powered using a pair of highly energy-efficient Jasper PulsReg® regenerative burners. The refining gases are permanently passed into the liquid metal by the Alu-Treat© system with porous plugs over the entire furnace floor.

A Drache® double filter box 23″, for filtration of the liquid metal before casting, comes from the established company Drache Umwelttechnik GmbH. This is in addition to the tailor-made launder heating system from the casting furnace to the slab casting machine.

The fully automated system ensures high process stability and occupational safety. However, in order to be able to cast the large rolling ingot formats, the cooling, transport and lifting technology had to be fully adapted.

“An emotional highlight for the workforce after the completion of the construction facilities was the installation of the huge internally guided hydraulic cylinder in December 2019,” says plant manager Oleg Hoffmann. “In the middle of the construction of the casting line, work was temporarily interrupted due to the outbreak of the COVID 19 pandemic. This is all the more reason for us to thank all suppliers, but also our partners in public authorities and finance, for their commitment to the fastest possible completion of the project.” Finally, the first test blocks could be successfully cast in June 2020.

As a company with a certified energy management system in accordance with EN ISO 50001, BAGR made energy efficiency and the careful use of resources a priority in the design of the plant and the training of employees by equipment suppliers.

Due to the latest technologies, an enormous increase in know-how in casting technology, the digitisation of production processes and an expanded product horizon, the BAGR team is well set for future challenges. In addition to the standard dimension 1600 mm x 600 mm, rolling ingots sized 2200 mm x 600 mm are now possible as rectangular formats. “The first blocks are now with our customers, whose satisfaction is worth every effort”, the Managing Director Mr. Güngör said.

BAGR is part of Cycorp First Investment, a global organisation specialising in natural resources. The Berlin site has around 70 employees. The re-melting operation is designed for up to 80,000 tonnes of rolling secondary aluminium ingots per year.