Parasitic resistance as a predictor of faulty anodes in electro galvanizing: a comparison of machine learning, physical and hybrid models

Mario Lovrić*, Richard Meister, Thomas Steck, Leon Fadljević, Johann Gerdenitsch, Stefan Schuster, Lukas Schiefermüller, Stefanie Lindstaedt, Roman Kern

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In industrial electro galvanizing lines aged anodes deteriorate zinc coating distribution over the strip width, leading to an increase in electricity and zinc cost. We introduce a data-driven approach in predictive maintenance of anodes to replace the cost- and labor-intensive manual inspection, which is still common for this task. The approach is based on parasitic resistance as an indicator of anode condition which might be aged or mis-installed. The parasitic resistance is indirectly observable via the voltage difference between the measured and baseline (theoretical) voltage for healthy anode. Here we calculate the baseline voltage by means of two approaches: (1) a physical model based on electrical and electrochemical laws, and (2) advanced machine learning techniques including boosting and bagging regression. The data was collected on one exemplary rectifier unit equipped with two anodes being studied for a total period of two years. The dataset consists of one target variable (rectifier voltage) and nine predictive variables used in the models, observing electrical current, electrolyte, and steel strip characteristics. For predictive modelling, we used Random Forest, Partial Least Squares and AdaBoost Regression. The model training was conducted on intervals where the anodes were in good condition and validated on other segments which served as a proof of concept that bad anode conditions can be identified using the parasitic resistance predicted by our models. Our results show a RMSE of 0.24 V for baseline rectifier voltage with a mean ± standard deviation of 11.32 ± 2.53 V for the best model on the validation set. The best-performing model is a hybrid version of a Random Forest which incorporates meta-variables computed from the physical model. We found that a large predicted parasitic resistance coincides well with the results of the manual inspection. The results of this work will be implemented in online monitoring of anode conditions to reduce operational cost at a production site.
Original languageEnglish
Article number46
Number of pages16
JournalAdvanced Modeling and Simulation in Engineering Sciences
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2020


  • Big data
  • Electroplating
  • Gravitel cell
  • Random forest
  • Steel
  • Voltage
  • Zinc coating

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering (miscellaneous)
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Modelling and Simulation


Dive into the research topics of 'Parasitic resistance as a predictor of faulty anodes in electro galvanizing: a comparison of machine learning, physical and hybrid models'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this