ISSUES WITH ABRASIVE METERING
Abrasive can be costly: You have the product cost, transportation & handling cost, clean-up costs… and thus the more abrasive you use, the more you spend. Simple, right? And so no one who understands this relationship would knowingly just waste abrasive. Unfortunately, the operative word is knowingly.
BlastOne visits more job sites around the world than all our competitors combined. And we are keen to notice both the efficiencies and inefficiencies being employed by our clients. Besides pressure-related issues, the most common (yet totally correctible) problem we see is incorrectly metered abrasive waste. On about 80% of the sites we visit the workers have not dialed in the most efficient metering from the pot to the blastline and so we watch as profits are literally blasted away into the wind.
Here are the Top 3 Reasons we’ve discovered for incorrect metering waste:
- The blasters don’t know. If it ain’t broke don’t fix it becomes a real problem when one doesn’t know something is even broken. Blasters need to realize there is a reason for the metering valve; both a productivity and profitability reason. Sure – opening it full bore works, but there’s a reason for putting a valve at the bottom of a blast pot and not just a fixed orifice.
- Moisture clumping the abrasive. Rule #1 – always use an air prep (even if the jobsite is in Arizona) to ensure your abrasive is dry and doesn’t clump. When humidity affects the abrasive inside the pot, opening the valve full bore is sometimes the only way for blasters to get flow to their blastlines.
- The idea more is better. There is a point where more isn’t better – it’s just wasteful and costly. Dialing in the metering valve to allow a proper flow (for garnet this is usually around 4 full turns of the metering dial from the closed position) will ensure both efficiency and profitability. Painters don’t willing add thousands of dollars of extra liters of paint to the surface because they believe more is better – why do this with abrasive?