DC casting automation

TDC casting automation is ensured by Novelis PAE’s renowned automation system, AUTOPAK®. This is generally supplied with the casting trough (equipped with Metal Level Control sensors and actuators) and, if the customer so desires, with the  DATA MANAGERTM and supervision systems. This advanced technology is integrated in Novelis PAE’s own vertical DC casting machinesbut can also equip other machines for upgrading purposes. With this technology you can be sure of accurate, flexible and safe casting of premium metallurgical quality.

For most ingot formats, Novelis PAE expertise covers all families of aluminium alloys (e.g. soft or hard alloys, alloys with high magnesium content) and all applications, including those for the aerospace industry. Additionally, Novelis PAE offers associated services such as technical expertise, design, software development, supply of components (such as digital actuators and digital-capacitance type metal level sensors), spare parts, and consumables.

Premium metallurgical quality

High quality ingots are guaranteed by the accuracy, reliability and repeatability of the casting process controlled by the AUTOPAK® system. The DATA MANAGER TM system monitors and analyzes casting data and parameters.

Flexible production

Production flexibility is enabled by the possibility of casting different formats within the same drop and by the system’s ergonomic features.

Hands-off casting

The high level of automation and reliability enables “hands-off” control during the whole casting process (start-up, steady state, termination), thereby enhancing safety.

Casting control

The casting control system is equipped with a user-friendly and ergonomic interface and includes the DATA MANAGERTM system that ensures the management and analysis of casting data, such as:
  • Creation and revision of the casting recipe depending on the requirements of the metallurgists

  • Preparation, sending, and printing (if required) of casting reports plus back-up with traceability of changes

Other examples are shown in the following diagram

The powerful Data Manager TM software for casting lines – based on SQL database

Metal Level Control system

This is fitted on the casting trough and essentially consists of:

  • Bottom closure spouts, one per casting strand, each fitted with a self-heated plug. The level of the plug is adjusted by a digital actuator according to the required flow rate of the liquid metal.

Note: self-heated plugs enhance safety as there is no longer any need to handle hot plugs when transferring them from their pre-heating station to the casting trough.

  • Metal Level Control sensors of the digital capacitance type (or other type on request) whose measurements are entered in the P.I.D. regulation loops to control the position of the above mentioned plugs.

This sensor technology can be maintained by the client (if desired) and provides repeatable measurements, since they are not influenced by the type of alloy (or its reflection characteristics), nor by the presence of smoke in the air or the variation in light (at different times of the day, for instance). Moreover, as measurements are made within a 240 mm disk surface, it minimizes the influence of oxides or waves on the surface of the liquid metal.

Data Manager – Casting controls (selection)

BaseFunctionsKey parameters
of the casting line
Production controlAlloys
Type, composition of each alloy
RecipesParameters of product type (alloys, size…) to ensure quality
ReportsParameters used and events during each cast, information that could be used to improve quality
Machine controlTools ManagerMold, starting block,
sensor, actuator…
Alarms HistoryStatistics, fault research
Equipment: Tracking and tuning

Supervision system

It ensures the online follow-up of the cast, with a wide range of screen views and applications. The system can be connected with other PCs on site, while remote support is provided by the Novelis PAE office.


This automation system controls all the sequences in the casting phases and all associated parameters from the furnace interface, through the upstream equipment (Rod Grain Feeder, etc…) to the casting machine. The main functions controlled are as follows:

  • Mold filling sequence
  • Mold level control during steady state regime
  • Detection of casting failures such as bleed-outs and hung plates
  • Casting speed control
  • Cooling water flow control
  • Handling of casting trough

What you get
when you choose
the Novelis PAE
​DC casting automation:

  • The product of a wealth of experience and technological leadership
  • Novelis PAE’s ability to design and supply the whole casting line (located downstream of the holding furnace): degasser, filtering unit, launder system, casting machine
  • 60 years of experience serving aluminum casthouses
  • Unique engineering know-how to match your specific needs and requirements
  • Technological advantages, resulting from our first class innovation policy
  • Extensive operational experience and a real understanding of the needs of users, helped by the fact that our own group is among them
  • First-class customer support and service worldwide