Vol. 24
March Issue
Year 2023


in Vol. 24 - March Issue - Year 2023
Reducing Costs and Energy Consumption in Blasting

Fig. 1: Example of a medium-sized blasting system: Cost comparison blasting and degreasing (blue-green) vs. wet-chemical (blue-red)

Fig. 2: The fully installed dosing system on a large blasting system with 12 blast wheels

Fig. 3 and 4: Greasy steel parts before surface treatment

Fig. 5: Filter prematurely clogged

Fig. 6: Blasting media with too much dust

Fig. 7: Blasted but not clean

Fig. 8: OEE: Comparison of blasting costs for 1000 hours of production

Fig.9: Crane manufacturer components

Fig. 10: Water wettability before and after PantaTec blasting

Fig. 11: Filling automatic dosing unit INJECTO 05

Improving the cost-effectiveness of production processes has always been an important task, especially to increase your own competitiveness. In the recent past, this need has become even more pressing. The reduction of energy consumption and the costs for gas and electrical power has taken on a completely new dimension. The improvement of the CO2 footprint has also become a central aspect. Therefore, production processes must be put to the test, also in surface treatment by blasting.

The following fundamental articles show two approaches with which the PantaTec-technology can sustainably reduce costs in surface treatment:
supplementing the conventional blasting process with the DEGREASING function.
improvement of the Overall-Equipment-Effectiveness (OEE) of the blasting system.

Approach 1 is already well known:
For this purpose, we examine in Fig. 1 the costs for wet-chemical pre-treatment with conventional blasting versus the combination of blasting and degreasing in one operation with the PantaTec-technology.
In Fig. 1, the considerable savings potential becomes immediately apparent. 
The costs for wet-chemical cleaning including subsequent energy-intensive drying before or after the blasting process can at least be significantly reduced. In many applications, they can even be saved completely, provided that the blasting system and the components to be processed are matched to each other.
In the many concrete applications of the last 12 years, the PantaTec- technology has established itself as an industry standard.
It is now also understood that only the automated application of the entire system brings the decisive benefit. This means the PLC controlled direct injection of the specially developed cleaning additive ULTIMATE into the abrasive flow of the blasting system. The associated dosing technology with the INJECTO 05 has proven itself for many years.
The respective blasting system, regardless of its design, and the PantaTec dosing unit are combined into a single unit and then reliably deliver the desired cleaning results. This makes a directly subsequent coating possible.

Approach 2 is becoming more and more important:
Increasing the OEE by upgrading blasting processes with the help of the PantaTec-technology.
Let's take a closer look at the everyday starting situation and the commonly observed operating conditions in the blasting process:
Semi-finished products and components made of metal such as welded constructions, castings, stamped parts, folded parts and similar often come out of the manufacturing process contaminated by oily and greasy auxiliary media.
These are then usually blasted directly in blasting systems without thorough pre-cleaning.
However, these layers of residues cannot be removed during conventional blasting. Instead, some are transferred to the blasting medium and the blasting system.
The often recognizable consequences are then always:
Oily and dusty residues on blasted surfaces, thus unsuitable for permanent coatings
Prematurely clogged filters, leading to increased dust content in the abrasive and the blasting system, clean surfaces (-) no chance, the strongly decreasing removal rate considerably prolongs the expensive blasting time
Premature shutdowns of the blasting system for wear and tear repair, maintenance and cleaning increase and last much longer.
All these significantly reduce the OEE and lead to completely unnecessary additional costs.
Nevertheless, time and again insufficient or even no appropriate countermeasures are taken, such as thorough pre-washing and drying or the use of the PantaTec-technology.
With the PantaTec-process implemented, the negative consequences of introduced oily and greasy residues from upstream manufacturing steps can be fully eliminated.
A practical example: at an internationally known manufacturer of mobile and construction cranes, almost no wet-chemical treatment and no accompanying drying was necessary anymore. Neither before nor after the extended PantaTec-blasting-process.
The PantaTec-technology improved the blasting processes in such a way that even the original performance of the blasting system could almost be achieved again.
The required quality of the blasted surfaces could again be achieved in the best possible throughput times, while simultaneously increasing the availability of the blasting system.
In this way, the unit costs for blasting were significantly reduced and thus the overall costs for surface preparation were reliably decreased.
In addition, the consumption of expensive energy (gas and electricity) was considerably reduced and thus the CO2 footprint was also sustainably improved.
With their comprehensive approach, PantaTec's application engineers have already helped many users from small and medium-sized businesses to large-scale industries to reduce their costs (-) with quite modest effort.
At this company, for example, blasting costs were reduced by a mid-six-figure Euro amount per year at the first large blasting system with 16 blast wheels after the PantaTec-procedure was completely implemented.

The PantaTec-technology

Developed by a user almost 15 years ago, the PantaTec-technology is known to provide a simple and reliable remedy for the applications described:
The blasting system automatically triggers the feeding of the extremely fast-acting cleaning additive ULTIMATE in the pre-set quantity from the INJECTO 05 dosing unit.
The specially formulated cleaning additive must be injected into the abrasive flow in the correct manner, and then it mixes directly with the blasting media and is immediately effective. Thanks to its special properties, ULTIMATE also needs only an extremely short time in contact with the contaminants during the blasting process. These are bound in a flash, isolated and immediately discharged from the blasting system as waste through the air wash and dust collecting system. The blasting dust including additive particles with the bound oily contaminants is disposed of as before.
Very important: due to its special properties, the cleaning additive does not form any residues in the blasting system and has a strong wear-reducing effect when used correctly.

Summary and recommendation:

Knowing the potential for improvement, the first or next step would be to question the actual situation in your own company and then enter into a dialogue.
The goal is the precise individual improvement, technologically and above all economically. This must be done considering the concrete individual situation and possibilities on site. The investment required to implement the PantaTec-technology with the INJECTO 05 dosing system, which has been tried and tested over many years, is low. The required equipment for a medium-sized blasting system can already be brought in for about € 8,000.

For Information: 
PantaTec GmbH
Carl Zeiss Str. 8
32549 Bad Oeynhausen, Germany
Tel. +49.5734.51488-50
E-mail: info@pantatec.de