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Servicing the needs of our Customers.

Things heat up at Aluminum Smelter

Installation of 640 Industrial Computers, Cabinets and all Electric

With our customer being one of the largest producers of high purity aluminum in North America they have a great need to control and monitor the product they produce. After all the product they make support the United States’ national security effort and is used in defense applications such as the F16, Airbus, Naval war vessels, 747 airplanes, and the International Space Station.

The challenge is to select an industrial product that can withstand the environment. Not only is this a high heat and dust environment, but its aluminum dust. This dust is conductive and is not friendly to electronic equipment.

The project consisted of creating a network of 640 monitoring industrial PC’s strung out over 6 miles of aluminum pot lines. Just setting up the network and interfacing the PLC’s to the Pot lines and the PC’s would alone be a challenge for any project manager. To make the task even more difficult AC power and ethernet need to be run to the 640 devices and each industrial computer needs to be housed in a clear door wash down the cabinet and hung on a concrete wall.

The facility runs 24/7 and there is no down to install computers and run cabling.


Our customer needed to solve six main problems when searching for a solution.

1. It must be cost effective
2. The computer must withstand aluminum dust
3. Pick a sealed cabinet to house Industrial PC and PLC interface equipment
4. Install AC and ethernet cabling over 6 miles
5. Install suspended cable tray over 6 miles to hold the AC wire and ethernet
6. Complete the project as fast as possible.


To solve this problem INDUCOMP pull the products division team and the deployment division together to create a comprehensive solution.

The products division proposed an industrial computer that would consist of a 10” display and a motherboard that was completely conformal coated so no aluminum dust would short out components over time. The computer would then be placed within a 24x24x16 sealed cabinet with a clear door so the LCD display could be seen. This cabinet would house the industrial computer and the PLC interface equipment that would be wired to the smelting pot.

The INDUCOMP deployment team had a more difficult challenge. A team would have to be located at the facility for 6 months to complete the work. Employees would live at the facility for a week or two weeks at a time before returning home.

Running AC was the most challenging problem. All other bidders had proposed running a cable tray down each of the plotlines (each a mile long) suspended by rods tied into the ceiling beams. This was a huge problem because to put the cable tray up you would have to block the aisle with a scissor lift as you were installing the tray. This would block the only way to get material in and out of the plant. In addition, it would be very time consuming and expensive.

Both teams worked on the problem and a solution was designed to use specially made brackets that would clamp onto the side beams on the outer wall. This solution kept the installation team out of the way and the cable tray could be installed without drilling into beams or hanging rods from the ceiling. The new brackets were made to attach to a lower beam so ladders could be used instead of scissor lifts.

Now that all the problems were solved the INDUCOMP installation team consisting of electricians and technicians went to work mounting cabinets, mounting cable trays, running electric and ethernet. Six months later it was all done.

INDUCOMP finished the project in record time. The innovation of the teams saved our customer a huge amount of money.

Our customer selected INDUCOMP over local and nationally known installation and deployment companies. Perhaps you have a project our deployment team can work on? Call one of our team members today.

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