CSQA is an acronym for “Cathode Surface Quality Analyzer”. Cameras scan cathodes to make images that are automatically processed by algorithms that generate metrics that indicate the quality each cathode. Depending on the quality metrics, cathodes can be classified, sorted or discarded.
CSQA technology has been successfully integrated into the ISA Process ®, Kidd Process ® and in an offline installation.
The systems measures several physical characteristics of the cathodes:
- Size and Shape of the cathode.
- Surface Roughness.
- Nodule presence and size.
- Sulfate stains.
- Organic stains.
- Lead stains.
- Surfaces without copper.
- Copper wrapping around borders.
- State of plastic borders.
This is a fundamental technology for achieving traceability in electrowinning plants.
Technical Description Cathode System Quality Analyzer (PDF: 2.2 MB)
CSQA Machine Video demonstration
CSQA Machine Video demonstration at Spence Mining Company
- CSQA technology has already been installed in:▪ Cerro Colorado, Iquique. Off-line system that classifies copper cathodes bundles. The production rate is 300 [inspections/hour].
▪ Escondida, Antofagasta. System is installed in three Kidd Process production lines. Copper cathodes are automatically classified at a rate of 500 [inspections/hour].
▪ Spence, Calama. Systems is installed in two Isa Process production lines. Copper cathodes are inspected at a rate of 500 [inspections/hour].
A Human-Machine Interface (HMI) shows operators inspection metrics in real time as well as storing each inspection result in a database. Inspection data can be analyzed off-line in order to find trends.
This technology was awarded the Raul Saez Prize on 2004 for the design, engineering, construction and implementation of an automated system for inspection and selection of copper cathode based on quality criteria. The project was cooperatively developed between BHP Billiton’s Cerro Colorado Operation and Aplik.