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Significant improvement of productivity, machine availability, quality and energy consumption

When it comes to throughput, achieved surface finishes, costs for maintenance or energy consumption, older shot blasting machines frequently no longer meet today’s requirements. But investing in a new machine is not necessarily the only alternative! Rösler’s TuneUp division, specialized in the modernization of shot blasting machines of any make, offers a complete retrofit program for existing equipment. The technical upgrade, tailormade to the individual requirements of the customers, allows not only to increase the capacity but also improves quality, equipment availability and energy efficiency. And, of course, it also helps to reduce the operating costs and adapt the equipment to the latest legal technical standards. An up-front binding return-on-investment calculation ensures that the individual customers benefit of high investment security.

There are many reasons, which might demand the replacement of older shot blasting machines, for example, too high costs for energy and maintenance, frequent equipment downtimes, a throughput capacity that is no longer sufficient, poor processing results or changes in the work piece mix. All these reasons might result in the need to invest in a new plant. Naturally, the investment in new equipment can be very expensive. Therefore, especially in today’s economically challenging times, more cost-effective solutions are needed. One such solution is the retrofit of existing shot blasting machinery. “Of course, a technical upgrade is not an universal remedy. However, the exchange and modernization of equipment components along with general system improvements offers the possibility to bring shot blasting machines, which are 10 years old or older, to a level, where they fully meet all current technical requirements in a cost-efficient manner”, explains Manfred Kohmann, as technical project leader the primary customer contact for retrofit projects at TuneUp. This brand of the Rösler Oberflächentechnik GmbH is specialized in the modernization of shot blasting equipment, regardless of the make.

A binding return-on-investment calculation minimizes the risk for the customers
The individual requirements of the equipment owner are always the starting point for any modernization project. In a first step the retrofit specialists prepare a precise analysis of the actual condition of the shot blasting machine in question. If the analysis indicates that the desired technical improvements can be achieved with a refurbishment program, the engineers at Rösler develop a retrofit concept that takes into account all requirements specified by the customer. Michael Motschenbacher, team leader at TuneUp, adds: “At the same time we prepare a binding return-on-investment calculation that takes into account all the operational equipment data provided by the customer. In the past years numerous projects have proven that the cost savings achieved, for example, by a turbine exchange resulted in a payback period for the complete investment of 12 – 15 months”.

A turbine exchange increases productivity and lowers energy consumption
A major reason for such short payback periods is the unrivaled Rösler portfolio of state-of-the-art turbines ranging from single or twin disk wheel designs to the high performance Gamma turbines. All turbine components are available in different materials like cast steel, tool steel and carbide steel or combinations of these materials. This unmatched variety allows the creation of turbine packages that are individually tailored to the application at hand and that are fulfilling all customer requirements regarding throughput, operating costs, energy consumption and maintenance. Michael Motschenbacher explains: „Most customers choose Gamma turbines, because they offer significant cost advantages and exceptionally high productivity”.
Key for the outstanding performance of the Gamma turbines are their curved throwing blades in “Y” design with a precisely calculated curvature angle. Compared to conventional turbines, the Gamma design allows extremely fast throwing speeds and a precisely bundled blasting stream resulting in a drastically higher blasting efficiency. This increases the overall performance and significantly reduces processing times. „The installation of Gamma turbines into their existing shot blasting machines allowed numerous customers to eliminate a complete shift, increase their overall throughput and considerably improve the quality of their shot blasting results”, comments Manfred Kohmann.
Another significant feature of the Gamma turbines with “Y” shaped throwing blades is their energy-efficient media acceleration and delivery. They produce energy savings of up to 25 %. Michael Motschenbacher elaborates: “The potential for energy savings is also very attractive for relatively new shot blasting machines, because it allows the operators to obtain or renew a certification according to DIN EN ISO 50001“. It might even be possible to partially finance equipment modernization projects through a grant from an energy efficiency aid program.
The special “Y” design of the throwing blades also allows the use of both blade sides. Compared to a conventional turbine, this already leads to a double life time of the blades. By selecting the ideal wear material, the service life can even be raised up to 16 times. This increases the overall equipment availability and, thus, helps reduce the maintenance costs. Rösler is so sure of the superiority of the Gamma turbines that TuneUp offers its customers to test them in their shot blasting machine cost-neutral for a certain time period without having to make a firm commitment.

Systematic solutions for all kinds of retrofit challenges
For the various equipment modernization tasks TuneUp offers a broad spectrum of different solutions. Manfred Kohmann explains: “If, for example, the main task consists of achieving repeatable shot blasting results, this can frequently be achieved by adding an automatic media replenishment system”.
Shot blasting machines are generally exposed to a certain amount of wear. The wear rate is significantly higher in foundries using a sand casting process, where the media might be contaminated with a certain amount of core and mold sand. In such cases the installation of a magnetic separator can extend the service life of the wear parts of turbines and the machine considerably. A magnetic separator from Rösler reduces the sand content in the media to 0.01 percent.
Since 2017 the 42. federal emission protection regulation (BImSchV) in Germany demands regular, rather expensive, tests for legionella contamination in wet dust collectors. As alternative to these time consuming and costly tests Rösler offers an automatic dosing system for injecting a specially developed additive that prevents legionella contamination. „This retrofit solution, available as stand-alone unit, maintains a constant pH value on a high alkaline level in the wet dust collector and, thus, prevents the formation of legionella. The pH value is constantly monitored and documented”, explains Manfred Kohmann. From a health-related point of view, this system may also be of interest to operators who place a high value on sustainability, even if there are no local regulations governing its use.
The range of retrofit solutions also extends to material handling and work piece transport. Manfred Kohmann remembers a project: “The owner of a tumble belt machine made by another manufacturer had the problem that work pieces were regularly caught between the bars of the steel belt. This produced a significant amount of scrap. We solved the problem by completely redesigning the belt.
The examples described above clearly show that the modernization of an existing shot blasting machine is frequently a more cost effective alternative to the purchase of a new machine. Because of the current economic situation shot blasting equipment is frequently under-utilized. Therefore, this is a good time for the owners of shot blasting machinery to inform themselves about the modernization possibilities for their equipment. Of course, free-of-charge and without any financial obligation.  

For over 80 years the privately owned Rösler Oberflächentechnik GmbH has been actively engaged in the field of surface preparation and surface finishing. As global market leader we offer a comprehensive portfolio of equipment, consumables and services around the mass finishing and shot blasting technologies for a wide spectrum of different industries. Our range of about 15,000 consumables, developed in test centers located all over the world, specifically serves our customers for resolving their individual finishing needs. Under the brand name AM Solutions we offer numerous equipment solutions and services in the area of additive manufacturing/3D printing. Last-but-not-least, as our central training center the Rösler Academy offers practical, hands-on seminars to the subjects mass finishing and shot blasting, lean management and additive manufacturing. Besides the German manufacturing locations in Untermerzbach/Memmelsdorf and Bad Staffelstein/Hausen the Rösler group has a global network of 15 manufacturing/sales branches and 150 sales agents.
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