Copper cathode stripping machines and stainless steel cathode plates are critical elements determining the longevity, productivity and efficiency of modern tank houses. In the last decade notable innovations have been the ISA2000 and Kidd robotic cathode stripping machines, and enhanced integration with the overall electrode handling system. The acquisition of Falconbridge by Xstrata in 2005 provided a unique industry opportunity to bring two competing technologies together and has led to the development of a new stripping system which accesses the successful IP, experience and know-how of both ISA and KIDD systems of the past. This paper presents a new copper cathode stripping system, developed and prototyped by Xstrata Technology in 2009, for the electro refining and electro winning industries. It features the use of robots for both the handling and stripping functions, providing a highly reliable, lowmaintenance handling system. The flexibility that comes with robotic operation also offers shorter delivery time, simplified installation and high operational capacity. The performance, safety and efficiency features of the new Xstrata Technology Robotic Cathode Stripping system are presented, along with an introduction to flow on impacts for other areas of tankhouse design and operation.
The Xstrata Technology research and development program achieved the objective to create a more accommodating and universal stripping machine, for the production of spilt sheet cathode copper product. Implementation and installation of the next generation Xstrata Technology Robotic Cathode Stripping system has the following advantages:
• Reduced capital costs (reduction in conveyors and transfer equipment)
• Small foot print especially for stand alone units
• Can retrofit into existing machines with small modifications
• Easy to install and commission
• Provides operations currently producing split sheet ISA product bundles increased flexibility in the sequencing of normal harvesting operations and during smelter shutdown periods.
• Reduced noise (elimination of hydraulics, reduced impact noise from copper sheets)
• Increased time efficiency
• Flexibility with copper transport and rejection