Wheel blasts through surface-prep work

Wheel blasts through surface-prep work

Ezefit wheels speed production and reduce maintenance at Carolina Commercial Heat Treating.

A 1950s model Tumblast blast-cleaning, part-surface preparation machine could not keep up with the aerospace and automotive work at Carolina Commercial Heat Treating (CCHT) in Fountain Inn, S.C. The company wanted to speed the machine up, run more parts through it and reduce the amount of time spent on the machine's blast-wheel maintenance.

Old wheels ran 17 to 20-minute cycles, but after replacing them with Ezefit blast wheels from the Wheelabrator Group (www.wheelabratorgroup.com), CCHT's cycle times dropped to five minutes. In addition, the company now can do half tubs of parts at a time instead of one-third tubs. In all, the company has increased production through the blast cleaning machine by 75-percent.

The Tumblast machine runs two shifts a day, six days a week. The direct-drive Ezefit wheel eliminates V-belt maintenance issues, and a one-piece cast manganese housing reduces the number of liners required to protect the housing. CCHT says it justifies wheel cost by the maintenance savings these features provide and by the wheel's superior performance.

Ezefit wheels offer the inherent advantage of bi-directional rotation and can lower replacement-parts inventory by working in clockwise or counterclockwise applications with a single style wheel. Their direct-drive designs offer standard and custom base mounting for increased versatility. Wheels are available in 2.500 and 3.500-in.-wide blade sizes, in 1,800 and 3,600-rpm versions and in a variety of diameters.

The wheels include the Targetlok feature that is designed to ensure consistent blast-pattern targeting no matter how many times tune-up kits are changed. Shops can also incorporate Target-Trak, a product that allows them to control blastpattern targeting and adjust blastwheel targeting to increase blast efficiency from a remote panel.

Ezefit wheels can be installed on most other manufacturer's wheelblast equipment.

Currently, the wheels are installed in several machines besides Tumblasts, including table equipment, spinner hangers, monorails and railcar cleaners as well as all new Wheelabrator equipment.

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