AVK Polska, a manufacturer of valves for water, sewage systems, gas and industrial extinguishing systems, has reduced the time it takes them to blast clean vital components by around 30%. This significant reduction in cycle time at the company’s Pniewy operation has been achieved by upgrading existing RUMP hanger blast machines with Wheelabrator TITAN blast wheels.
The blast machines are an integral part of the production process, and are used to clean cast iron workpieces ahead of powder-coating.
Before the upgrades, AVK was managing long, complicated and time consuming processes in order to obtain spare parts for the existing blast wheels, causing delays to essential maintenance and unnecessary downtime.
These issues, along with concerns about one machine in particular, prompted the company to contact the team at Wheelabrator Poland.
After assessing AVK’s needs, Wheelabrator replaced the two existing wheels on the machine in question with 11kW TITAN blast wheels.
Advantages the TITAN wheel offered over the existing wheels included:
- improved blast performance,
- reduced abrasive consumption,
- improved machine uptime, and
- noise reduction.
In addition to these technical advantages, Wheelabrator was able to guarantee local availability of spare parts and short lead times for obtaining them.
As the company has a dedicated office in Poland, the Wheelabrator team could also offer service support locally.
While AVK’s problems around servicing and sourcing of parts was the initial reason for replacing the wheels, operations in Pniewy also benefitted from the 30% reduction in cycle time, which has created headroom for production increases.
The company was so impressed with the reliability and performance of the TITAN wheels, that they commissioned a wheel upgrade for another machine shortly after.
Leszek Rogacz, Chief Process Engineer at AVK said: “Getting spare parts for our blast wheels was proving almost impossible in the time scales we wanted to work to.
We knew there had to be a more efficient way of staying on top of blast wheel maintenance. We contacted Wheelabrator initially to ask them to upgrade the wheels on our oldest machine.
“The new TITAN wheels surpassed our expectations. Not only has our parts sourcing become more steady and straightforward, which allows us to plan maintenance better and reduce downtime, but the significant reduction in cycle time has given us more production capacity as well. With results like that, it was just common sense to ask Wheelabrator to replace the wheels on one of our other machines too.”
The upgrades were carried out between August 2014 and July 2015.