Metal Finishing Guide Book


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There are no two ways about it, blasting can be messy – that's the traditional reason for it being relegated to a distant room. But there are many very clean blasting operations, and yours can be, too. Today, we can put modern blast equipment inside some work-cells – which was unthinkable in the past. Cabinets have evolved, dust collection can be fortified, and new techniques implemented. Eliminating dust through smart equipment and media selection should be a priority. A work cell machine can be compact and simple. For example, a powered spindle that rotates your part allows blasting to proceed while your operator attends to other tasks in the cell. Wet slurry blast7 machinery combining wash – blast – rinse in a single step. That is lean. And because these machines are inherently cleaner, they can fit into the process cell, so queuing, steps, and lost time are eliminated. On other systems, media catch trays, some of which are self-cleaning, can be added, as well as features and controls that keep dust emissions at bay. Vertical sliding doors and doors with delay-timer locks help keep things compact and clean. Scrap a poorly performing or undersized9 dust collector and upgrade to a self-cleaning cartridge model with "surfaceloading 10" filters. Consider equipping it with a pulse-cleaning controller11 with monitorFigure 3. A work cell machine where a robot does the blasting. This wet slurry blast machine8 is compact and clean. ing gauge, after-filters (HEPA) and a variable frequency drive with airflow controller12. It should have a sealed waste drum. Every part of the system should be under negative pressure; some blowers pressurize their dust collector, and a small leak there will make a big mess everywhere. 4. BLAST THROUGH THE BOTTLENECK What's slowing you down? Is it your material handling, the blast machine, a poor selection of process variables, or something harder to pin down? Handle it Whether you're cleaning large engine housings in a walk-in room or deburring tiny injector nozzles, material handling is critical. And there is a wide variety of tools available that facilitate processing your part's properties and batch sizes in your working environment. Some of these include: • Robotics • Turntables: continuously powered, indexing (satellite) and spinnerhanger • "Lazy Susan" turntables – stationary, with dolly, or powered in-and-out • Crane slots in the roof 14

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