Twin Fork Loader
This loader is designed to scatter the copper cathodes to improve fuel efficiency of the shaft furnace. The loader is designed to minimize the impact of the charge materials against the furnace walls to reduce copper block and refractory damage.
A loader bucket carrying a stack of cathodes is raised by a twin cable hoist to the charge level. A trolley at the charge level takes the cathode from the loader bucket and transports the cathode into the furnace. The cathode is supported by two independently retractable forks. The trolley can retract the left fork or the right fork first, causing the cathodes to fall left or right. Alternately, both forks can be retracted simultaneously to cause the cathodes to fall forward. The PLC controller is programmed to alternate between the three modes of dropping the cathodes into the furnace in order to scatter the charge. This type of loader is very effective in separating the tightly packed stacks of thin, permanent blank type cathodes.
Cropped bar, bar preparation chips, scrap coils of rod or other copper scraps are placed in a removable scrap box which is loaded into the loader bucket with a lift truck. This scrap box is keyed to lock it into the loader bucket. The loader bucket and scrap box are raised to the charge level. When the charging system automatically detects that a scrap box is present, a track switch is activated to allow the removable scrap box to dump like a conventional skip cart loader. The loader bucket and empty scrap box are lowered to mill floor level where the empty scrap box is removed by a lift truck. Alternately, the charging system can be put into a conventional skip cart loader mode and cathode can be charged similar to scrap.