What is a Baked Anode Cleaning Machine (BACM)? We answer your questions

Custom Automation are specialists in designing and installing BACM's across the world

One of Custom Automation’s core strengths is our long term and successful relationships with Aluminium Smelters across the world.

With extensive projects completed, we consider ourselves the experts in BACM design and installation.

What is a BACM?

The function of the Baked Anode Cleaning Machine is to clean the loose packing coke material adhered to, but not fused to, the surfaces and the holes of the baked anode.

You put who in the what now???! For those of you that are confused, I am talking in relation to Aluminium Smelting;

Aluminium smelting is the process of extracting aluminium from its oxide, alumina, generally by the Hall-Héroult process. Alumina is extracted from the ore bauxite by means of the Bayer process at an alumina refinery.

So not only are we experts in Automation, but we have extensive experience in the Aluminium Smelting Industry.

Custom Automation’s Baked Anode Cleaning Machine (BACM) designs are founded on 5 years of sound research into effective BACM technology resulting in an innovative machine that is maintenance friendly and extremely reliable. All major serviceable components are accessible at floor level from outside of the machine with the overall machine height kept to a minimum enabling our BACMs to integrate cleanly into any carbon bakes environment.

Key features of our BACMs are:

  • Easily transportable. After FAT, the BACM is broken into two major sections that can be easily fitted into a standard 40ft shipping container.
  • Heavy duty hydraulic rams make light work of pushing anodes through the BACM in a single stroke in each direction enabling complete discharge of all anodes from the BACM without the need for dummy anodes or access portals to remove anodes left behind.
  • Patented scraper design that does not utilise brushes, tension springs, pneumatic or hydraulic cylinders to clean all anode surfaces and chamfered edges.
  • Scraper modules are pivot mounted to enable easy out of machine access for maintenance.
  • Side action reaming head assembly reducing head height of machine and keeping all carbon waste in a central area. Also enables easy maintenance access to cutter heads and motor gearboxes.
  • Self purging cutting head which incorporate high velocity venturi built into the cutter heads ensuring complete purging of all dust and loose particles during the cleaning process without the need for secondary blowers or vacuums at the reaming station.
  • Unique stub-hole reamer cutter heads which incorporate 3 identical full profile cutting faces with a continuous carbide edge (utilising standard carbide inserts) providing superior cleanup that surpasses all current technology.
  • Scraper Blades and Reaming Head cutting cartridges are reversible and interchangeable.
  • Main Control Panel (MCP) c/w cabinet A/C climate control, AB Compactlogix PLC, Controlnet communications & Banner safety controller c/w LCD display for easy diagnostics of safety circuits.
  • Complete manual override control of all equipment enabling safe maintenance operation without human intervention.
  • All contactless electrical sensors (proximities) are mounted externally to the machine protecting them from radiated heat and easy access for maintenance.
  • Pneumatic knife blade cleaning system at the exit of the BACM ensures all dust and loose particles are removed from the anode as they are discharged from the BACM.


  • Coke and fines recovery conveyor systems can be supplied with multiple discharge points to fines waste into bulker bags/skips and recovered coke to a hopper to permit recycling by the furnace cranes.
  • Dust collection systems.
  • MCP can be upgraded to incorporate touch screen HMI and customer specific branded equipment.

Whatever configuration of anode you produce, Custom Automation can customise a BACM to suit your needs.

Technical, yes……. but can we do it? definitely………..

Contact us today for more information.

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