VOL. 15 November ISSUE YEAR 2014


NEWSBEAT – Conversations with Rosanne Baiker

in Vol. 15 - November Issue - Year 2014
Big Enough to Cope, Small Enough to Care
Edwin Houweling, Managing Director of Straaltechniek International in Belgium and Slovakia

Edwin Houweling, Managing Director of Straaltechniek International in Belgium and Slovakia

GN bracket and blade

GN bracket and blade

GN Wheel

GN Wheel

MFN had a chance to talk to Edwin Houweling, Managing Director of Straaltechniek International in Belgium and Slovakia.

Can you explain in which areas Straaltechniek is active and since when?

Since 1982, the Straaltechniek International Group has been an independent organisation specialising in the design, engineering and production of products within the following trade-areas:
Industrial surface treatment and protection
Anti-Corrosion technology
Shot Peening technology
Our engineering department possesses all the expertise and advanced techniques required to design and manufacture the most efficient blasting and peening equipment for our customer needs.
Continuous growth since the company was founded necessitated a clear subdivision into a number of independent subsidiaries such as:
Aeronautic Industry
Shot-blasting and foundry
Marine Industry
Boilers and Tanks
Railway Industry
Our mission is simple and forceful: "Innovative and perfect quality products in close cooperation".
More than 100 employees in Europe are working day in, day out to ensure our mission becomes reality.
With our own branches in Belgium, Holland, Germany, United Kingdom, Norway, Slovenia, Romania and recently Slovakia, and many more agents and representatives around the globe, we supply and service our equipment world-wide.

Can you tell us about your quality assurance and after-sales service?

Quality assurance at Straaltechniek International goes further than ISO standards.
Optimising business processes is a matter of constant concern to us. Systematic checks are a permanent feature of our business process, from the time when we receive an order to guidance on final delivery. However, we are not limited to delivery only! After-sales service is an important part of our business philosophy. Servicing of other machine brands is done with similar dedication as for our own machines. For all brands, we have access to supplies of spare parts.

How do you see the future of Straaltechniek Group?

It goes without saying that we strive to continue our financial healthy growth. New and unique developments will strengthen our group. With this confidence, we can accept many challenges ahead.

Which development would you like to point out?

As we have been participating for decades in designing and testing better and cost-saving blasting wheels, Straaltechniek International designed a revolutionary blade equipped with a support bracket over its entire width, which is a huge optimization compared to every other wheel in the industry.
This GN� wheel can be used in several areas of the industry:
Shot blasting
Grit blasting
Shot peening

Is this a unique concept?

Yes, it certainly is. Traditional carbide blade supports result in severe peak- and bending stresses within the blades and these cause long down-time and high cost.
Straaltechniek International designed its blade in such a way that it is supported over the full width to reduce peak stresses by a factor of 10 compared to competitors' blades.
This unique design was recognized and rewarded with a patent (BE 2012 / 0244)

How would you like to characterize the wheel?

The GN® WHEEL is equipped with the latest TRIPLE 'F' technology:
Forward curved carbide blades
Full width blade support
Flow optimization
The GN® WHEELS are 100% fully machined parts.
The blast wheel has two side discs, runner-heads, in order to assure a perfect balance of the wheel and a perfect guidance of the abrasive flow.
The symmetrical sandwich construction (double-disc) of the GN® WHEEL channels the blasting abrasive efficiently through the wheel. While traditional wheels loose blasting power due to vortexing abrasives, power is optimized in the GN® WHEEL since connecting bolts are assembled within the revolutionary support brackets.
By design, collision speeds are reduced at the entrance leading to decreased wear of both blades and abrasive. Along with the shot/grit projection angle, this allows the projection speed to increase to 25%, leading to a significant decrease in abrasive usage compared to wheels equipped with radial blades.
The blast wheel side plates as well as the impeller, control cage and feed spout are constructed of highly wear-resistant materials.
The GN® WHEELS are available in diameters between 300 and 506 mm and fit to turbine housings of most current and future customers.

Can you give a summary of the advantages?

The advantages of the GN® wheel are:
Lifespan of support disks up to 3 times higher
Lifespan of the blades is over 10 x longer than tool steel blades
Lifespan of the blades is 30% longer than carbide blades of any competitor
Forward curved blades
Reduced stresses on blades (10 x less) due to full width blade support
Energy efficiency is increased by 14%
Up to 70% more blasting efficiency
Shot-flow optimization up to a factor 7
Retrofit possible on various machine brands

Can you clarify some of them more specifically?

I will try to clarify the advantages in a few groups, which are:

Increase of the lifespan of the parts
By using a special wear-resistant alloy for the construction of the blades, Straaltechniek International guarantees an increase of the life of the vanes by 10 times compared to all other tool steel blast wheel vanes on the existing market. Depending on the application, experience has shown an increase of life up to 20 times longer! By using the special wear-resistant material for the other parts, an increased lifespan of 3 to 4 times can be expected. This has shown that the GN® WHEEL is operating under the most severe circumstances with angular GH grit with hardness above HRC 64.

Better and faster blast cleaning of the parts
By applying the strong curve on the vanes, the abrasives have a higher outlet speed of up to 30% (depending on the wheel diameter). This higher outlet speed results in an increased energy impact of the abrasives on the part up to 70%.
This means the hit on the parts is harder and more efficient and therefore the blast cleaning is faster and better. Angles and corners that are more difficult to reach will be blasted far more efficiently.
Thanks to the specially designed and machined parts, the loss of abrasive flying around the wheel housing and attacking the machine chamber instead the parts is reduced to a minimum.
On top of this, since the wear on the wheel parts is far less, the original settings of the hot spot remain far more time-efficient throughout the life of the parts.

Stress reduction in the blades
Straaltechniek International designed its blade in such a way that it is supported over the full width to reduce peak stresses by a factor of 10 compared to competitors' blades.

Less overall maintenance costs and less downtime
Since the vanes last 10 times longer, there will be at least eight times less changing of these vanes, and thus at least ten times less downtime.
When eventually replacing the blades becomes a necessity, Straaltechniek has simplified the overhaul process. Operators can replace the blades without having to disassemble and reassemble the wheel, which minimizes the downtime tremendously. Blasting can continue immediately after the blade has been replaced.
There will no longer be a need to re-adjust the hot spot settings regularly thanks to the special design of the opening in the control cage and to the wear-resistant parts.

Less abrasive consumption
By having an increased outlet speed of the abrasives and thus a much higher energy impact, less abrasive throughput is needed to get an even better blast-cleaned surface.
Thanks to the special design of the curve of the vanes, there is no breakage of the abrasive when it leaves the control cage. This compares to straight vanes giving hard hits to the abrasive and breaking it on the charge of the vanes. This leads to energy savings in the order of approximately 14 %.

Retrofit projects replace or add equipment to existing situation to improve their energy
efficiency, increase their output and extend their lifespan while decreasing maintenance and costs.
The GN® WHEEL can be part of the retrofitting as well. In almost all cases, our engineering team is able to find and calculate a solution to optimize your existing machine.
This new generation of blasting wheels boasts features that significantly reduce the cost of ownership whilst improving efficiency and reliability to guarantee an excellent performance.

MFN would like to thank Edwin
Houweling for the interview!

For Information:
Straaltechniek International N.V.
Antwerpsesteenweg 100
2630 Aartselaar, Belgium
Tel. +32.3.870 61 70, Fax +32.3.870 61 76
E-mail: edwin@straaltechniek.com