One of the world’s biggest nickel refinery in the western world, boosts productivity with Clear Edge innovative solutions
Since 1910 Nickel has been refined on the site in Kristiansand in southern Norway. Norway had a rich tradition as a manufacturer of nickel even before 1910. In 1870 there were as many as 40 mines and seven melting plants in operation. Before the turn of the century, 75 % of global nickel production took place in Norway.
Production capacity has gradually been expanded to today’s annual nickel capacity of approximately 92 000 tons.
One of the world’s biggest nickel refinery in the western world has a global reputation for the purity of the final product, but this is achieved whilst also being recognised as a top-tier operation in the resource sector that sets the standard for high performance.
Our Customer needed a product that could withstand the tough conditions of in their nickel electrolysis process. Yet meet the lifetime and performance guarantees required to continually produce high purity nickel in the facility in Norway.
Historically this process which has a high chlorine concentration used many exotic fibre types – some of which are no longer available to be used (such as fiberglass). So, the challenge was to find a fibre that was suitable but also not too cost prohibitive.
Plus, this fibre had to be woven and finished to a certain specification in order to allow the nickel electrolysis process to work successfully and offer a sufficient length of time.
Their aim was not only to scale up production but to upgrade to a higher manufacturing standard, for increased safety, efficiency, and energy savings. Hence, looking for a supplier who can address the below requirement and contacted Clear Edge based on products, service, solutions, and reputation in the market.
- Increase cloth service life
- Increase liquor volume over cycle time
- Increase average cycle flows
- Maximise set point flows
By utilizing the Clear Edge laboratory facilities and much testing we found that the optimum choice was a Modacrylic. As a consequence of these tests, an alternate media was identified and tested in the field. What was expected to take place, would see a stepwise change in media characteristics which could lead to the potential replacement of existing cloth.
After working with European spinners to make the yarn we then set about weaving and finishing the final product – and eventually have produced our product 97651F.
Initially, we supplied this in cloth on roll form to the site and they manufactured the electrolysis bags on-site themselves.
This fabric has shown itself to be excellent in terms of performance and lifespan (approx. 10-12 months life) and has helped grow our reputation in this end user as a dependable solutions provider – which in turn has helped gain additional business in other parts of the plant with standard filter cloth media
Over time we have now taken to supply ready made finished electrolysis bags from 97651F and the volumes have been increasing as production has increased to make this account now worth in excess of €1 million per year for Clear Edge.
Whilst also keeping to our core principles of
SAFER – By reducing filter bag changes and introducing more environmentally acceptable fibres
HEALTHIER – Limiting operator exposure to a hazardous chemical environment
PRODUCTIVE – Increasing performance and profitability of a key process stag
The results are a long-term customer/supplier relationship that has been beneficial to both parties over the last 10 years and continues to grow.
For Clear Edge, this has become one of the largest single-site end users for the company.
Our On-time delivery performance is held in high esteem by this company and the trust is at such a level that we recently received orders for supply up to the end of 2023.
The customer was very satisfied with our solution as its improved productivity, uptime, and reduced waste.