VOL. 8 September ISSUE YEAR 2007


in Vol. 8 - September Issue - Year 2007
Getting More Out Of Your Mechanized Abrasive Blasting Equipment

New RAPID-LOC™ Wheel from Pangborn Corporation reduces maintenance time and improves equipment performance

Mechanized abrasive blasting equipment has long had a reputation for being high-maintenance and time-consuming to repair.  As expected, the feed parts of a traditional wheel receive the most wear during normal daily use.

To address this problem, Pangborn Corporation recently introduced a new wheel designed specifically to minimize normal wheel maintenance through reducing the time required for feed parts change out.  Users have the potential to save considerable maintenance time, increase available production time, and improve the cleaning efficiency of their existing abrasive blast equipment.

A new approach to wheel design

Almost all wheels previously available on the market require removal of the feed spout, impeller case/control cage and impeller to be able to access and replace the vanes or blades.  This process can take as much as two hours depending on the wheel configuration.

The RAPID-LOC™ wheel from Pangborn Corporation takes a new approach to wheel design.  By allowing vane removal and replacement without disassembling the wheel, maintenance time is slashed.

Slashing installation time

The user begins by loosening the RAPID-LOC wheel box lid.  Once the lid is open, the vanes are readily accessible.  Unlike many designs, the Pangborn wheel box lid does not have to be completely removed to change out the vane.  Instead, the lid is hinged. This speeds up the process especially if the machine wheel is in a hard-to-access position.  In addition, the hinged design is safer and easier, as the maintenance person does not have to completely remove and hold a 50 pound lid.
By tapping in each vane with a rubber mallet, or “dead blow” hammer, the maintenance person creates clearance between the vane lock pin and vane.  The unique design allows removal of the pin with minimal vane movement.  After the pin is removed, the vane can be removed.  Under normal circumstances, the entire vane removal process can be accomplished in under ten minutes, dramatically shorter than with a traditional design.

To install new vanes, the user begins by simply sliding the vane into a dovetail groove located in the runnerhead.  Then, he inserts the vane lock pin and pulls the vane out to rest against the lock pin.  The vane installation process can be accomplished in approximately five minutes.

In fact, the total replacement time for a set of Pangborn RAPID-LOC wheel vanes is typically under twenty minutes.  If the ROTOBLAST® wheels are in easy-to-access locations on the machine, replacement time can actually be reduced to as little as ten minutes.

The benefits of these time savings add up fast.  It’s no secret that in today’s competitive work environment, machine utilization and uptime is a necessity for survival.  By saving 90 minutes in maintenance time, the user gets 90 additional minutes of machine uptime.  This immediately translates into significant monetary savings and vastly increased production. 

For example, if a typical four wheel machine is fully utilized, with the vanes changed every 500 hours using the RAPID-LOC design has the potential to add over 50 hours of maintenance savings. That’s also 50 additional hours of production over a year’s time. 

Eliminating guess work

The new design also uses the maintenance-saving PATTERN-LOC™ feature.  This allows the wheel to be accurately targeted through the normal process of rotating the impeller case or control cage. 

The setting can then be locked in place using a 90 degree locking arm that fits into a slot in the impeller case flange.  The impeller case can be removed for replacement without moving or taking this locking arm off.  A new impeller case can only be installed in the exact same rotational orientation as the previous impeller case.  This eliminates the guess work of retargeting the wheel and reduces maintenance time. 

New runnerhead design

Traditional wheels use a tapered bore with taper-lock bushing to attach it to the motor shaft.  Aligning the runnerhead and tightening the taper-lock bushing can be extremely time-consuming.  In contrast, the RAPID-LOC wheel features a straight bore runnerhead design.  The runnerhead simply slips onto the motor shaft.  It is held in place by a key and a bolt secured through the impeller driver into the motor shaft. The motor shaft does not need to be turned and stepped, as with some wheel designs.  This eliminates the potential for motor shaft failure that can result in fatigue fracture as a result of turning and stepping.

Increased cleaning performance

Perhaps even more important than the potential maintenance savings, the RAPID-LOC wheel also offers an extremely high level of performance.  With a four-inch vane width and wheel diameters from fourteen to seventeen inches, this model throws a wide and long abrasive pattern with abrasive velocity up to 310 feet per second. 
In fact, depending on what model of wheel is being replaced, certain users can often achieve cleaning efficiency improvements of more than 100 percent.   Some retrofit customers have actually cut their cycle times in half.  This especially will benefit companies performing processes with hard to clean parts, such as foundries with burned-in sand on their castings or structural steel or plate companies with heavy scale on their product.

The RAPID-LOC wheel can be furnished in a number of configurations for a variety of needs, including:

Direct drive wheel 25–75HP

Spindle-driven wheel 25–75HP

60 cycle 14”, 15”, and 16” diameter wheels

50 cycle 15”, 16”, and 17” diameter wheels

Extra clearance parts for shot sizes up to S780 are also available. The RAPID-LOC wheel can be retrofit on other manufacturers’ abrasive blasting equipment or can used to upgrade existing Pangborn models. 

Since 1904, Pangborn Corporation has been a world-leading manufacturer of complete surface preparation systems, equipment and services.


For Information:

Pangborn Corporation
580 Pangborn Drive, Hagerstown, MD  21742
Tel +1.800.638-3000, Fax +1.301.739-2279 
E-mail: info@pangborn.com 

Pangborn LTD
Riverside House, Brymau Three Estates 
River Lane, Saltney, Chester CH4 8RQ, UK
Tel +44.1244.659852, Fax +44.1244.659853
E-mail: sales@pangborn.co.uk

Pangborn Turkey
Libadiye Caddesi, Tahrali Sokak, Tahrali Sitesi
Kavakyeli Apt. B Blok, D-2
Camlica - Istanbul, Turkey
Tel +90.216.4706410, Fax +90.216.4706411
E-mail: sales@pangborntr.com