Wheelabrator Automated Airblast Peening System

Peening landing gear for the Aerospace industry

Burlington, ON - (May 18, 2009) - In August 2008, a Wheelabrator Automated Airblast Peening system was commissioned at Hawker Pacific Aerospace; the first in its Sun Valley, California facility. For more than half a century, Hawker Pacific Aerospace has been a leading independent landing gear overhaul and repair organization with a reputation for service excellence.

Prior to the new installation, the company was outsourcing the peening of its landing gear and related components. Outsourcing caused great hardships to Hawker Pacific's production schedules due to dependence on their sub-contractor's workload, not to mention issues of quality and lack of control. Wheelabrator regional manager Kevin Poling along with factory engineers worked with Hawker Pacific Aerospace over a period of two years prior to contract finalization. During this period, the technical details of the equipment and Hawker requirements were fine tuned and matched to the extent that none of the other contenders could provide a comparable solution. The final result: Wheelabrator® Automated Airblast Peening Machine; a 5-nozzle, multi-axis nozzle manipulator system with a Work Car for part conveyance and presentation.

The second challenge was to introduce a sophisticated peening machine to operators that weren't necessarily familiar with this process. This issue was mitigated by the easy to use operator interface supplied with the machine. Touch screen controls provide access to real-time process monitoring that includes collecting and storing critical data. Numerically-controlled nozzle carriage(s) are positioned for optimum peening in select areas. With this recent installation, parts that previously took months to process by their subcontractor are now completed in days!

"I have been extremely happy with the customer support. I am a firm believer in Vendor Management. Wheelabrator has been able through software interface to fix, adjust and educate myself as well as the Operators with phone and internet support. Wheelabrator's Engineering and Support Team travel immediately to our Facility and made sure we were able to integrate the Shot Peener into our production line, said Mr. Mark Sawyer, Operations Manager, Hawker Pacific Aerospace.

It is important to understand the critical nature of peening aerospace components such as landing gear. The process is highly regulated and users of such equipment are required to comply with OEM specifications as well as audits such as NADCAP (Supplier management and audit system for suppliers to the aerospace industry). Wheelabrator Peening systems such as at Hawker Pacific Aerospace are designed and built compliant to stringent requirements of NADCAP and other OEM audit systems. This includes automatic monitoring, controlling and reporting critical process control parameters such as air pressure, media flow, media size and real-time display of the process, all of which contribute to repeatable and consistent peening results. With this machine and its NADCAP accreditation, Hawker Pacific Aerospace is on the accelerated path towards adding shot peening to their competitive scope of services.

"We have not had to have a part sent out for shot peening since this machine was installed in August of 2008," confirms Mr. Sawyer.

High-carbon alloy landing gears require processing in compliance with specifications with very critical tolerances. These parameters are met with versatile equipment using the right peening media. Overhauling the landing gear requires re-peening to protect them from failure due to fatigue stress and wear. The Automated Airblast System can adapt to different media types, control media size classification, flow rate, and peening pressure to ensure consistent peening results.

Landing gear peening applications are also addressed by employing centrifugal blast wheels for external part areas, and nozzle-lance style (airblast) to target internal areas, or a unique combination of both (hybrid) in a common enclosure. Such a system can represent a considerable cost-savings in equipment and a reduction in work handling. From wing spars and engine components to landing gears, a Wheelabrator Automated Peening system can be configured to suit most customers' peening requirements.

Wheelabrator Group is a global provider of surface preparation and finishing solutions. Committed to offering the broadest array of technologies, products, replacement parts, services and technical know-how, Wheelabrator Group works closely with customers to deliver the best solutions for their specific requirements. The company's strategically located and electronically linked offices allow Wheelabrator Group to provide unrivaled customer service and support worldwide. For more information on Wheelabrator, visit the web site at www.wheelabratorgroup.com or e-mail info@wheelabratorgroup.com.

Wheelabrator products are protected by patents issued and pending in the United States and other countries.

Wheelabrator reserves the right to change the specifications referred to in this literature at any time, without prior notice.

Wheelabrator is a registered trademark of Wheelabrator Technologies Inc.

All Topics