CUSTOM-BUILT BLAST CABINET IS COST-SAVING PRODUCTION UPGRADE FOR BAE SYSTEMS
BAe Systems Surface Ships has increased the production capabilities of its component finishing department with the installation of a high-capacity blast cabinet with custom-built handling features from Hodge Clemco.
The current work-load for the company includes two Queen Elizabeth class aircraft carriers and vessels for the Oman Navy, all of which involve larger components than previous projects and resulted in an increased use of sub-contractors for pre-painting surface preparation work.
Based on the current work-load, BAe Systems estimates that savings on sub-contractor costs will pay for the new cabinet within 12 months. Inclusion of a track for loading components and an internal turntable for rotating them while they are being blasted has also improved handling procedures and productivity. Fully opening doors are fitted at both ends of the equipment to provide optimum accessibility, and both these and the chamber are double-skinned and rubber-lined to reduce noise.
The cabinet has an illuminated chamber measuring 2000mm wide x 1500mm deep x 1000mm high with two pairs of sealed glove ports to give operators a choice of working positions. By rotating the internal turn-table and changing working positions, operators can clean most components in a single operation without having to remove them from the chamber and reposition them.
A dust extraction system including an additional ventilation spigot creates effective air-flow within the chamber and maintains good visibility for operators. Blasting is performed via an 8mm tungsten carbide nozzle connected to a 1446 SGV CR pressure blasting machine with steel grit valve, RMS remote control system, water separator and dial air-pressure regulator.
Abrasive is automatically collected through the floor of the cabinet and graded for re-use or disposal. Acceptable media is fed into a hopper mounted directly on the blast machine, while dust is collected in a quick-release bin for disposal.
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