Abrasive Blasting 101
Smart abrasive cabinet maintenance requires knowing when to replace or upgrade your machine. Most people assume this means planned decommissioning due to wear and tear, but it also includes abrasive cabinet upgrade due to increased production needs or new applications. If the right machine was purchased the first time, increased output can mean changing the gun size inside the machine and not buying a replacement of second machine!
Abrasive blasting, commonly referred to as sandblasting, is a useful process used to clean and rebuild many new and used parts across many industries such as medicine, automotive, manufacturing, etc. At Media Blast, we separate applications into two categories: Production and Home Use. Production-grade applications are those that require extended machine operation, the fastest possible processing times using the highest frictional heat to create the lowest possible labor time. This may also include the elimination of frictional heat found on the Hurricane Wet Blasting Cabinets. Home Use applications are those that require intermittent machine operation when processing time is not as crucial as using a smaller air compressor requiring 220 volt single-phase power (as opposed to three-phase electrical power you find in larger facilities using 460 and higher voltage). In other worlds, the
Pro Tip: The available electrical power voltage and phase can limit the available compressed air volume to 20 to 25 cfm maximum.
Sometimes, customers purchase a less expensive abrasive blasting machine because the processing volume is not large enough to warrant the additional costs associated with production-grade machines. For a time, that trade-off may work, but once the processing volume increases beyond the capacity of the machine the operation is no longer viable. The decision makers are now better off upgrading their cabinet to increase production, decrease processing time and increase return on investment – ultimately improving bottom line operation costs. The less expensive machine almost always operates with a smaller gun or nozzle size and lower frictional heat at any pressure than Production type equipment. A company buying a Home-Use machine is telling yourself your use will never increase. Labor time also relates to payroll taxes, if you can reduce the time using Production equipment it will save the increased cost of the machine quickly, “Time is Money”.
Pro Tip: Buyers beware of machines that claim to be “heavy-duty”. This is a term used when a machine has very few features that warrant mentioning, thus “Heavy Duty”. What makes a blasting cabinet Production-grade is a large cfm gun size that operates with an appropriate sized dust collector and dust collector cleaning cycle, which meet the required maintenance cycles. You often find companies indicating “Heavy Duty” and seldom mentioning the dust collector exhaust blower cfm used for cabinet visibility, separator reclaimer type and efficiency for abrasive recycle and a larger quicker faster cfm gun size. Production cfm gun or nozzle size can be 90-100 cfm in size with frictional heat much higher at any blasting pressure. This gun size can do all the work of a 12 cfm gun size in 1/27th the time, ask us how!
Media Blast offers a variety of production-grade, industrial-blasting cabinets that can increase production while decreasing operation time that also lowers labor payroll taxes. If you’d like to know whether or not your application requires an industrial abrasive blast cabinet, visit our Buying Guide.