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D&S Factors slash production times with Airblast wheel machine

Surface preparation and finishing specialist Airblast Eurospray provided agricultural wheel and tyre manufacturer D&S Factors with an automated wheel machine that is set to cut blasting times by up to 95%.

D&S Factors had taken on extra staff to increase production rates but manually blasting the wheels was taking up too much of their time. Typically, each wheel took around an hour to prepare in the blast room. If the wheel had a particularly tough coating, it could take up to 2.5 hours as the coating would have to be removed with a blow torch before blasting could begin.

After seeing some of their competitors investing in automated machinery, D&S Factors approached Airblast Eurospray to provide a solution to automate their wheel blasting process. Having discussed D&S Factors’ requirements and assessed the facilities at their factory in South Lincolnshire, Airblast Eurospray recommended their 6LK wheel machine. This machine is capable of firing abrasive at high speeds that cannot be replicated in even the most advanced blast rooms. This means the blasting process is much faster and more efficient.

The 6LK model was chosen as it is large enough to accommodate the 59 inch tractor wheels that D&S Factors are often called upon to manufacture and can strip and prepare each wheel in less than five minutes per side. The wheel machine’s unique blast stream adjustment makes it versatile enough to deal with a full range of wheels sizes and blast multiple products simultaneously.

The 6LK holds up to 1.5 tonnes of abrasive and is fitted with an integrated abrasive handling and reclamation system with an air wash separator. The system carefully separates and removes spent abrasive while reusable shot is recycled back into the machine which allows for longer periods of continuous blasting before the machine has to be refilled.

During trials, D&S Factors’ Neil Burden was pleasantly surprised to see just how quickly the 6LK was able to prepare the wheels for coating: “What would normally take us an hour in the blast room has taken just under 10 minutes.”

He was also pleased with the speed and ease of the installation, which caused minimal disruption and was even completed a day earlier than expected. Once the equipment was installed, D&S Factors’ staff received full training on how to operate the equipment safely and efficiently to get the best performance out of it.

The wheel machine is now fully operational and Neil believes it will have a significant impact on their production rates: “We used to process maybe 40 wheels a day during busy periods but now we’re going to be able to do a lot more. Last year was our best year to date and this is really going to help that continue.”

To find out how Airblast Eurospray wheel machines could work for your business, please call 0845 7697225 or visit our contact page.