A group of eight employees of Anode Plant in Aluminij d.d. Mostar, among which is Ad. of the plant, Robert Zovko, has made a remarkable breakthrough, designing and realizing an innovative venture that has improved the overall work of Anode, as well as achieved significant long-term savings for Aluminij. The mentioned Zovko, and Damir Kostić, Josip Kožul, Igor Lućić, Stojan Pandža, Branislav Pejković, Mate Rajić and Zoran Vidović jointly designed and manufactured an anode rods straightening machine which Aluminij did not own.
- The complex technical-technological process of aluminium production is unthinkable without many tools and machines, and their continuous use inevitably leads to damage and exploitation to a level of further inapplicability. The anode rod, which serves as an anode carrier, has the role of electrical conductor in the electrolytic cell, is one of the tools that are exposed to strong mechanical stresses and thermal loads, which is why it becomes distorted - Zovko explained.
Distorted rods cannot again be in the process of anodizing because, in addition to the anode production itself, will later in Electrolysis cause uneven power current, whirling of metal, and poorer utilization of the electrical energy, which creates enormous costs. Aluminij had three options: buy equipment for the production and casting of anode rods (365 thousands of KM), repair existing curved rods somewhere (160 thousands of KM), or develop and manufacture its own device.
Eight mentioned Anode workers, with a help of colleagues from the Technical Bureau, got caught up with the problem and, ultimately, with just 585 KM of investment in the supply of parts that were not in the factory's warehouses, a lot of invested hours of work and the know-how from years of experience, they developed an efficient machine that flawlessly works and has far bigger capacity from the actual factory needs.
- In a short time of only three weeks, almost all the 500 distorted anode rods that had long been deposited outside the Anode were restored, and the positive effects of this venture are far-reached, because Aluminij will no longer have to pay this service to a third party, will not have a problem of shortage of rods, and this part of the production will no longer suffer from the threat. Also, we saved about 116,000 KM on an annual level, how much would it cost us to correct the estimated number of anode rods that would be distorted in the process of use over a period of one year. This inventiveness and approach to work not only are for any praise, but also must be an incentive for all our colleagues. This is an indicator of how to think outside the box, and how, with an excellent combination of engineering knowledge and the application of rich field experience, improves the working environment and creates new value – proud for a reason said the Executive Director for Technical Affairs and Development Boris Vican, who manages the entire factory production line.
The rods that have been straightened by the powerful hydraulics of the new machine have already arrived at Electrolysis, where in the electrolytic cells they did not show any defects, and Kostić, Kožul, Lučić, Pandža, Pejković, Rajić, Vidović and Zovko have reasons for the good mood in which we found them in a workshop where their machine found its home. The innovative Aluminij’s team was received by members of the Management Board (Managing Director Mario Gadžić and Executive Directors Dražen Pandža and Boris Vican), thanking them in person for the strong contribution that comes when the Mostar factory needs it the most.
- Since the beginning of July, with the new electricity supplier from the overseas market, we spend 4 million KM more, solely on the monthly electricity costs. This year, we have doubled the allocation for renewable energy sources to as much as three million KM, and on various energy networking fees and excise duties such as the OIE grant we allocate around 22 million KM per year, which endangers our liquidity and significantly slows the implementation of the current restructuring. Within this dread, news such as this from the Anode could not have come at a better time. Ever since I came to Aluminij, I emphasize that the strength of this factory is in the people, and thanks to these achievements I know how to conduct the right policy of investing in human resources, in developing our employees - said Gadžić, in the company of colleagues of the Management Board and eight Aluminij’s innovators.