Bell Bay Aluminium/CPT Engineering


Anode rod repair

Project Objectives

  • Analyse the current process for anode rod repair including transport to and from CPT engineering
  • Recommend and justify improvements to the process to reduce cost

Project Team

Leigh Edgerton
CPT Engineering

Ian Hutchison
Bell Bay Aluminium

Duane Bird
Tas-Fab Laser Services

Ian Harris
ACL Bearing Co.


Bob Cother
The Action Learning Institute

Bill Woodworth
Bell Bay Aluminium

Key measurables

  • Annual cost of refurbishing anode rods

Companies involved

  • CPT Engineering (co-host)

  • Bell Bay Aluminium (co-host)

  • Tas-Fab Laser Services

  • ACL Bearing Co.

Approach taken

  • Site tour and observation of production processes
  • Storyboarding of first impressions of current process
  • Stakeholder consultation
  • Spaghetti Diagram of current layout and exploration of layout options
  • Cost breakdown of repair process and effects of longer weld life
  • Reviewed cracked weld reject criteria and compared reject rates across shift teams at Bell Bay Aluminium
  • Established implementation plan to:
    • Eliminate rejection of rods still within acceptable standard
    • Extend the life of the weld by 10-20% through application of weldable primer at source and custom design ‘rod dressing’ station
    • Eliminate hazardous substance (Rustillo) used to prepare weld area

Summary of outcomes

  • Estimated annual savings of over $100,000 through longer rod assembly life
  • 25% reduction in reject rate, delivering a further $60,000 annual saving
  • Hazardous substance eliminated from process
  • Multi-million dollar contract awarded to CPT Engineering by Bell Bay Aluminium to replace entire fleet of 13,000 anode rods over four years