VOL. 3 November ISSUE YEAR 2002
in Vol. 3 - November Issue - Year 2002
World Leader in Aircraft Maintenance opens new Metal Finishing Facility in England
Paul Huyton, Managing Director of Surface Dynamics
Chemical Cleaning and Plating Lines in the new Metal Finishing Facility.
Booth for Aluminium Oxide blast treatment with walk-in (left), workstation and internal lance capabilities (right)
A former RAF hangar at Staverton, UK, has been brought back into service with a brand new role …… still protecting aircraft but in a very different way. Messier Services UK - global leader in landing gear maintenance, repair and overhaul - has converted it from an historical relic to one of the UK‘s most advanced metal finishing operations.
Surface Dynamics Ltd. was the selected supplier for dry blast treatment equipment in the state-of the-art facility. The English company based in Cheltenham installed two booths. One booth for Aluminium Oxide blast treatment with walk-in, workstation and internal lance capabilities. The other booth for automated shot peening with orbital external nozzle and rotary internal lance. The equipment allows landing gear components to remain static whilst receiving 360º shot peen coverage from the blast nozzles.
Paul Huyton, managing director of Surface Dynamics, says:
”On the Messier project we were faced with the challenge of automated peening of large components within a compact space. And because of the very competitive and varied nature of MRO work it also had to be suitable for a wide range of components and repair schemes without excessive capital cost. The Messier equipment gives them great flexibility with the controlled and repeatable processing required for shot peening.”
The English manufacturer also provided full certificated training and consultancy services for the establishment of procedures and documentation.
Built at a cost of £1.6 million, the Metal Finishing Facility will operate around the clock as a dedicated one-stop shop undertaking shot peening, grit blasting and plating …… whatever is necessary to guarantee ‘as good as new’ components. The new operation has been equipped and sized to accommodate the full range of aircraft landing gears including those from such weighty customers as Airbus and Boeing. Spanning 15,000 sq feet, the building contains 60 process tanks housed in a seven feet deep chemically resistant concrete pit. The plating processes available include cadmium, nickel, hard chrome and stainless steel passivation. Re-grinding to size, non-destructive flaw detection, stress-relieving and de-embrittlement can also be undertaken.
Protection of the environment is achieved through a number of control measures. These include a purpose-built laboratory responsible for undertaking ongoing chemical analysis. All emissions, discharges and waste streams are constantly monitored to ensure full compliance with ISO 14001 and other statutory requirements.
Says Tim Rice, Managing Director of Messier Services UK:
“The advantages of bringing metal finishing in-house are substantial and we expect to secure a rapid return on our investment. Just some of the benefits will be greater control of workflow, reduced turnaround for faster delivery and reduced plating costs. In due course, owning our own finishing facility will also assist us to grasp profitable new business opportunities in aerospace, to the benefit of the business as a whole.”
The Chief of Defence Procurement, Sir Robert Walmsley, performed the official opening ceremony for the Metal Finishing Facility on June 21st 2002.