Standard machine, outstanding performance: Aegis Rubber Engineering orders same again after 20 years

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Aegis Rubber Engineering Ltd, a leading UK rubber engineering company, was so satisfied with its blast machine of 20 years, it opted for a direct replacement from Wheelabrator – with two decades of blast technology progress built in.

Established in 1989, Aegis Rubber Engineering designs, develops and manufactures anti-vibration and shock isolation parts for industries including: wind energy; marine; rail; industrial; and specialist automotive.

To ensure consistent high quality and longevity of the bushes, couplings and mouldings manufactured, a quality bond between metal and rubber is crucial. Surface preparation plays a critical role in this.

To achieve the right key, the metal must be degreased and grit-blasted with steel media before rubber is then bonded to the part. 

For 20 years solid, Aegis Rubber had been running a Wheelabrator BB-170-HD tumblast machine for this process.

The equipment performed so well, that the company sought a direct replacement when the old machine eventually had to be decommissioned. 

Aegis Rubber approached Wheelabrator and purchased a T170R tumblast machine, which is essentially the same model as the old machine, albeit with 20 years of blast technology innovation built in.

The new machine was ordered in May 2017 and commissioned in August 2017.

Zero downtime, super fast blade changes

Paul Wastie, technical director at Aegis Rubber Engineering Ltd, said: “The new Wheelabrator machine is more compact, easier to operate and has helped us drive improvements in programming, maintenance and filtration. Most importantly, though, we’ve had zero unplanned downtime since installation and the finish of parts is perfect every time. 

“We produce a lot of tailor-made products taking them from design and prototyping through to testing, production and analysis, so we run a huge variety of cycle times. The new Wheelabrator machine has intuitive touchscreen controls which makes the process as simple as ‘programme and play’.

Despite going for a like-for-like replacement, the two decades that separate old and new machine at Aegis Rubber are instantly noticable.

The newer model has evolved dramatically in terms of ease of maintenance, ease of use and reliability.

Paul explains: “In the area of maintenance, the improvements have been transformational for the team here. Replacing blast wheel blades, for example, used to take us several hours. We can now do it in just 30 minutes.”

SmartLine, smart choice

Aegis Rubber’s new T170R is a Wheelabrator SmartLine tumblast machine.

SmartLine equipment is perfect for light to medium standard applications and comes at a highly attractive price point. 

SmartLine tumblast machines are extremely compact, requiring minimum floor space and no pit, and can be delivered and installed quickly.

Paul Mitchell, UK Equipment Sales Manager, Wheelabrator said: “When it comes to shot blast machines, which by their very nature eat themselves up from the inside, the true value of equipment really shows over its full lifetime. That’s why there could be no higher endorsement of our machines, than a customer running one for two decades – and then coming back to ask for exactly the same thing again. And, of course, the technology, quality of machines and durability of parts has evolved and improved considerably during the intervening 20 years. 

“At Wheelabrator, we don’t rest simply knowing that our components are exceptionally high quality, from SmartLine right through to Special machines, we also work with customers to ensure wear is kept to a minimum and performance remains optimal at all times. Moving forward, our engineers will visit Aegis Rubber Engineering on a six-monthly basis to keep their new machine running tip-top.”