in Vol. 17 - March Issue - Year 2016
Blasting And Degreasing In One Step - Automatic And Process-Reliable
Left to right: Untreated and greasy; Blasted and still greasy; Blasted and grease free
Manual addition of the cleaning additive
INJECTO 05 retrofit installation
INJECTO 05 functional diagram
Compressed air connection with 1/2" quick coupling
1" Feed tube connection nozzle with clamp
Electrical safety plug
Adjusting dosage in litres/blasting hour
Filling the reservoir
Thorsten Evert, Managing Director at PantaTec GmbH
Blasting with metallic blasting media is used as a standard procedure in the surface treatment of metals, including blasting to clean and prepare surfaces for corrosion protection coatings.
However, there is an important aspect that requires particular attention, which can adversely interfere with and affect the blasting process and its results from the outset:
Contamination of blasting process and parts' surface by oil and grease from manufacturing.
In order to eliminate that issue, PantaTec designed an alternative technology (already seven years previously), which combines Blasting and Degreasing in just one step.
Finally, it is an addition to the existing blasting process for the treatment of metal surfaces.
The cleaning additive ULTIMATE just needs to be mixed into the blasting media.
Then it can remove oil and grease from the metal surfaces of the blasted parts, the blasting media and the blasting system.
The additive used consists of mineral substances in powder form. These exert very strong adhesive forces on oils, greases, lubricants, coolants and release agents, etc.
The additive is continuously mixed into the circulating blasting medium and is immediately effective.
The additive particles are in the form of platelets, somewhat like cornflakes, but much smaller. As a result, a large surface can be covered with particles very quickly when blasting. The transfer of oils and greases from the metal to the additive takes place in fractions of a second. The particles are then loosened by blasting. Their special grain shape subsequently aids transport through the existing airflow in the blasting machine. The additive particles, with the attached oils and greases, are then separated out from the process through the conventional dust extraction, air separation and filtration system. The impurities are therefore transferred to the filter dust and can be disposed of with the dust easily.
Depending on requirements, the degree of cleanliness achieved can be defined and set for stable and repeatable operation. The key parameters are the concentration of the additive in the operating mix and the coverage of blasting on the parts' surfaces.
Through integration of degreasing in the blasting process, a complete separate operation is skipped. At the very least, therefore, pre-cleaning before blasting can be omitted, without the carryover of oils or greases negatively influencing the blasting process or following manufacturing steps.
Process reliable achievement of the desired blasting results greatly facilitates the manufacture of the component "durable coating".
As a result of the technical benefits and improved process reliability, there are of course further economic impacts: Which means that using the PantaTec process opens up considerable potential for cost savings. This must be always considered in individual detail.
Ideally, the PantaTec Process should be carried out with an automatic dosing system. This will further increase the process reliability and, as a consequence, also the level of quality assurance.
Quite logically therefore, users of the PantaTec process have been pushing for a simple but reliable and cost-effective solution. In 2013, PantaTec put forward a first proposal for an effective and efficient process with the injection principle. This process has already more than proven itself.
PantaTec now presents the further developed 2nd generation of the INJECTO 05 automatic dosing system. The new design includes not only an adequate storage container and defined PLC controlled dosing, but also delivery of the additive, from the production hall floor to the blasting media hopper, over a height of up to 10 m.
Equally, the increased effectiveness and efficiency of the process is improved even further, as the additive feed can be introduced at the optimum position for process engineering.
Using appropriate process control with water or, more specifically, with test ink, determination of the operating point can then take place. This is defined and held permanently stable and repeatable by the PLC controlled dosing unit.
The INJECTO 05 plug-and-play system can be integrated with little effort in both new installations as well as a retrofit in existing blasting systems. The effort involved in installation is about the same as connecting a new washing machine at home.
The INJECTO unit is linked with the shot blasting system so that the cleaning additive is introduced only during the active blasting period. This means that the function of the additive is always assured when it is needed. Conversely, this link to the blasting process also saves unnecessary consumption of additive.
The operation of the dosing unit is dead easy. The dosage quantity, according to the desired level of cleanliness of the blasting system, is shown on the display of the PLC control system in plain text (in litres/blasting hour). The adjustment of the dosage is simply performed with two push buttons: one for more and one for less additive.
The system monitors the correct functioning of the dosing unit and gives an alarm signal when the minimum fill level (with reserve) is reached, for the operator to refill the machine. The operator then fills the machine with a complete 50 litre bag, and then resets the alarm and continues operation.
As a result of the automated process, the defined, stable and repeatable level of cleaning, required for the blasted metal surfaces, is achieved.
As Thorsten Evert, managing director at PantaTec GmbH and responsible for technology and sales, explains:
"The existing and prospective users of the PantaTec process have sent us a clear message:
PantaTec works excellently, but the process must definitely be automated for reasons of process reliability. Naturally, the solution needed to be reliable, easy to use and cost-efficient. In addition, a simple way for installation was required, that was capable of retrofit and, of course, independent of the manufacturer of the shot blasting system.
We believe that we have managed it quite well, with a price for the basic version even under € 7,000. The current demand for the INJECTO 05 has proven itself.
The presentation at PaintExpo 2016 will also give a further major boost to the PantaTec process as a whole."