Astec Underground, Loudon, Tenn., builds Case and Trencor-brand trencher machines. When the company purchased a former John Deere plant for a new manufacturing facility, it sought a machine that would descale 48-in.-wide sheetmetal and prepare the cut edge for painting. A custom-engineered Wheelabrator wire-mesh belt filled the need.
The machine boasts a 60-in.-wide, 5-in.-high work envelope that accommodates both thin sheetmetal and steel-plate burnouts. As a single-pass machine, it cleans steel-plate burnouts at a rate of 4 to 6 ft/min. With it, Astec blasts steel prior to forming, bending, and fabricating the housings for its trenchers.
Forklifts load workpieces onto the wire-mesh belt, and steel shot descales them and prepares cut edges for painting. An air-cannon blow-off assembly removes shot from the top of workpieces. Shot collects in a spill hopper, and the machine recycles it. A Wheelabrator JPSM 3D-9 3,600-cfm cartridge-filter dust collector supplies required ventilation to the blast cabinet, air-wash separator, elevator, and blow-off cannon.
"We've been pleased with both the dependability and operation of the blast machine," says Tim Smith, project engineer at Astec. "Its simple design delivers trouble-free operation with minimal downtime and flexibility for the parts we process."
Wheelabrator's 60-in.-wide Autoblast wire-mesh belt is available with four (or eight) 25-hp TargetLok blast wheels and conveyor speeds from 3 to 12 ft/min. The machine handles flat workpieces, but its height varies to meet customer needs.
International Surface Preparation Corp.