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Digital tools that help you today

This is digital technology that delivers quick payback. In cost savings, performance, uptime.

Fixing your biggest shot blast challenges

Most owners or operators of shot blast equipment can instantly list the main issues and cost drivers of running their machine. At Wheelabrator, we develop digital tools that zero in on those most pressing issues and make a difference fast.

Our tools are developed on the Monitizer® platform, which means once you've adopted one, it's easy to add new ones as they go live.

The first trio of digital applications addresses the top 3 challenges most shot blast machine operators grapple with: abrasive consumption, energy use and maintenance. More are coming soon.



Reducing abrasive consumption

Abrasive costs represent a major part of the overall running cost of a blast machine. And the volume of abrasive going through the machine, relative to the blast result achieved, is a key determinant of wear inside the machine.

Our digital tool for controlling blast media consumption gives an accurate picture of abrasive use over time and relates it to other metrics.

This means root causes of high consumption can be identified quickly. Even complex or subtle causes of increased abrasive throughput can be unpicked and resolved. Reducing or optimising abrasive consumption doesn't just save money on abrasive, it also reduces energy use and wear.

In numbers:

For an application at a hanger-type machine with four 11kW blast wheels, the tool helped directly reduce abrasive consumption (and spend) by 17%, as well as tackling its knock-on effects, resulting in a shorter cycle time, reduced energy use and less wear. The total annual cost savings for this machine, according to our estimates, add up to around €10,000.

Optimising energy use

Shot blast machines use a lot of energy due to the power needed to accelerate the blast media. Bringing that energy consumption down while maintaining a stable blast process can unlock savings and support sustainability agendas.

Our tool for reducing energy use tracks the right parameters to strategically optimise standby and idle times, turbine rpms and more.

This means operators and managers can instantly see if their machines are using unusually high amounts of energy, find the cause and tweak the process. Over time, the machine can be optimised for ever better energy efficiency without negatively affecting quality or throughput (in fact, both may be improved as a side-effect of energy reduction efforts).

In numbers:

Just by reducing idle time by 1 hour per day, the tool was able to unlock €14,000 annually in energy cost savings for a roller-conveyor machine with eight 45kW blast wheels, running in three-shift operation, 240 days a year.

Making maintenance manageable

The inside of shot blast machines is a violent place. Wear comes with the territory. As with all equipment, keeping unplanned downtime to a minimum saves money and resources, as well as ensuring production targets are met.

Our tool for preventive maintenance presents a real-time picture of the machine condition and offers an early warning system for wear and drops in performance - by tracking key parameters like turbine vibration levels, pressure differentials in filters and other performance metrics.

This enables maintenance at exactly the right time, not too soon, not too late, preventing unscheduled downtime without overspending on parts.

In numbers:

Pre-empting blade breakage through early detection and planned exchange cost €1,500 at a reference customer, whereas letting the blade break incurs costs of at least €4,500, depending on the extent of the damage. Blocked filters at one customer resulted in extra cost of €7,500 for clean-up and increased wear.

Improving machine effectiveness

Currently, blast machine operators have limited means of tracking their machine’s operating mode. They don’t have an overview of downtime and idle periods or what causes them, whether it’s faults, delays during loading/unloading, unscheduled maintenance or breaks. 

Our digital tool tracks and displays the effectiveness of a shot-blast machine within the overall production process. Easy-to-understand dashboard reporting allows operators to identify issues and bottlenecks that cause their blast machines to run below optimum throughput.

Operators and managers can compare the efficiency of different product runs or shifts, and pinpoint where something’s not running smoothly and why. Available via Monitizer | DISCOVER, this digital view helps to maintain perfect production and save time, money and resources. 


Upgrade to the future

Find out how you can boost your shot-blast performance by digitally enabling existing equipment with a digital upgrade