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Specialised Coatings

A recent blast room installation at Specialised Coatings highlights some of the many processing options available and demonstrates how Airblast is willing to go the 'extra mile' to provide a room which meets customers' precise requirements.


Specialised Coatings Ltd is a family company established in 1990 in Halifax, West Yorkshire. Thanks to hard work and by never being afraid to invest in the latest processing technology, Managing Director Dave Wadsworth, has seen his business grow until today, it is recognised as a leading industrial finishing company in the North of England.


The company provides a full shot blasting, stove enamelling, powder coating and wet spraying service for its customers which include major manufacturers in power generation, leisure, street furniture, aerospace and leisure industries. However, the Directors felt that they were encumbered by their blast room, particularly when processing long components, so they decided to replace it with a larger, more flexible room that could cope with all their requirements.


Dave began searching for a replacement. His goals were to find a blast room that would allow greater throughput, be very flexible, maintain product quality and most of all be 100% reliable.


When looking round for the best equipment Dave took an unusual approach. Rather than simply inviting tenders from all leading manufacturers, he first sought the opinion of associates at coating manufacturers, blast media suppliers and spoke directly to operators who use blast rooms on a regular basis.


"It soon became clear that only two manufacturers were worth pursuing. However, one tried to 'sell' us a modified standard product, but the other, Airblast was prepared to work with us to first understand our problems and needs and then provide a turnkey facility that would work for us."


"Their willing attitude, track record and the opinion in the business that their Airflex scraper abrasive recovery system was the most reliable around, swung it and we ordered a complete 13m x 4m blast room installation."


One of the main challenges Airblast faced was that Specialised Coatings in fact wanted two separate blast rooms, each of which could be used independently for most of the time but combined to form one long room as and when required.


Airblast achieved this by fitting full size, sealed partition doors within the room. When closed, two rooms are created - one 6m long and one 7m long. Both utilise one common Airflex system which consists of three full length 200mm wide floor corridors, covered with heavy duty grating. Each corridor includes a series of scrapers which continually sweep used abrasive on the forward stroke to a transversal corridor.


It is then transferred via a bucket elevator to a separator which returns good media to the blast cleaning machines and dust, debris and broken down particles to a dust collector for disposal.


Because one of the rooms is offset to provide an enclosed area to accommodate the bucket elevator, abrasive separator and blast cleaning machines, the Airflex system was modified to cater for this.


Also included at the design stage were features to contain the noise. Specialised Coatings' factory is surrounded by houses and knowing that high noise levels would inevitably attract complaints from neighbours he insisted that operating levels should not exceed 78 dBA. By using double skin wall and roof panels, infilled with sound deadening materials, Airblast was able to achieve this.


Other special features include a reinforced area in the centre of one of the blast room floors to accommodate very heavy assemblies and specially reinforced lower sections to the inner walls which will withstand the inevitable handling knocks, without damaging the integrity of the structure.


As it was vital that production should not be disrupted, Airblast agreed to a tight window to complete the work, allowing Specialised Coatings to carry out blast cleaning in the new room just two weeks after stopping work with the old. To allow production to continue over this period Airblast loaned them two of their containerised blast rooms.


In conclusion Dave says: "We are delighted and cannot praise the equipment or the people at Airblast highly enough. We now have an efficient facility which is so well protected, acoustically that even when standing next to the booth, you can hold a perfectly normal conversation - our neighbours don't even know we have a blast room running."


"The fact that they gave us a one-year guarantee was a great comfort, but quite frankly the way the room and recovery equipment has performed so far, we do not anticipate having to call them out anyway."


"I must also commend their installation team - ours is an old building which threw up several unforeseen problems during commissioning. Their obvious enthusiasm and ability to accommodate our changing requirements as the project developed was the mark of true professionals," he concluded


Airblast specialises in designing, engineering and manufacturing a wide variety of abrasive blast cleaning and paint spraying systems that match the needs of the client, whether it be to adapt an existing system or construct a complete blast room or paint booth. The Specialised Coatings contract highlights the company's ability to handle complete projects from beginning to end and provide a comprehensive turnkey installation service that is tailored to specific customer needs.