HYDRO: Technologies to improve casthouse processes

Hycast was formed in 1990 as a spinoff from Hydro’s R&D center. The casthouse solution company provides safe, cost-effective, and innovative technologies to improve casthouse processes.

Before Hycast was formed, the R&D center would have ideas for products and technologies, but didn’t have the people to take it from the drawing board and transform it into a workable and marketable technology.

When Hycast was formed, its main purpose at first was to only supply cutting edge technology to Hydro. While supplying Hydro with melt refining and casting technology is still Hycast’s main goal, now they additionally market to other companies.

Hycast has 60 employees, headed by Ola Ulvund who was raised in the town. “Growing up here in Sunndal in some way you have to relate to aluminium because it’s so important in this local society that working in this industry is extremely natural for me,” Ulvund explained. “Life here has always depended on the fluctuations in the aluminium industry, and in that way we are a global city.”

Together with Hydro Sunndal and the R&D center, Hycast innovates, plans, project manages, installs, and commissions complete DC casting lines. However, for the construction of Hycast’s equipment, the company works with a number of local suppliers that are able to provide steel welding and fabrication services. Since Hycast is nearby, they can drop in at any time to oversee the progress of their equipment as it is being built at the nearby supplier companies.

Complete and Safe

Instead of focusing on only one part of the casting process, Hycast provides turnkey solutions from the exit of the furnace through to the casting machine, so their equipment can integrate seamlessly in the casthouse. The company already has an outstanding safety record, with no recorded fatalities at producers using their equipment since its inception. Fully automating their equipment will bring them closer to the goal of zero injuries accrued. From their headquarters’ close proximity to Hydro, and working closely with the R&D center, Hycast has the tools at their disposal to build complete, safe casting lines using knowledge gained from real time experience. 

“Together with Hydro, we are working very hard to remove all personnel in hazard zones. Getting operators away from all the metal or other dangerous places in the casthouse is key,” said Furu. “For instance, we designed the launder system well, so you don’t need personnel running around paddling the liquid metal at the end of the cast anymore.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *