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Effectively Extending Service Life

July 31, 2005
Retrofitting blasting equipment for investment caster

PCC Structural in Richburg, SC, produces investment castings up to 420 lb for aircraft builders, automakers, and manufacturers of equipment for the medical, power, and other general industries. The Richburg facility performs complete processing through to the finishing of components, including value-added processing, finish machining, heat-treat, shotblast, and CMM inspections for their casting customers. PCC recently switched to Wheelabrator’s EZEFIT blast wheels, thereby cost effectively extending the life of their equipment by retrofitting existing machinery with modern components. This system is part of the Wheelabrator Plus equipment modernization program (EMP).

Wheelabrator worked closely with PCC to determine the best approach to upgrading the eight-wheel structural monorail system, before PCC undertook the lengthy downtime involved to change or repair the wheels. This could take up to two hours, and the work was complex because of the 11-piece liner set, manganese housing, and direct drive belt system in the old RLM wheels.

Frank Irons, plant manager with PCC in Richburg, is impressed with the results. “With the new wheels, we have reduced our cycle time from six hours to one. It’s allowed us to increase our production dramatically. And, we have been able to reduce the amount of manual grinding we do prior to blasting — from one hour to 10 minutes.”

Repair time also decreased. “The EZEFIT wheels have cut replacement cost on parts by 50%, and greatly reduced our downtime and time spent on maintenance,” said Irons.

Standard and custom EMP packages are available and have been designed to increase production, accommodate a changing product mix, and extend service life, improve operating efficiency, and maximize wheel blast equipment potential.