New Coating Booth Reduces Lead Times for Extra-Large Parts


Fusion Inc. in Houston has just completed its largest, state-of-the-art coating booth to help make the coating of larger components a less arduous process.

Coatings are used to help components survive harsh service conditions, which can greatly increase service life. Many OEMs protect their new components by coating them with different carbide and super alloys so as to extend their service life.

The new coating booth, however, is sound proof and equipped with a dust-collector.

It can handle customer components up to 96 inches in diameter and 28 feet long and up to 80,000 pounds. The booth itself is 16-feet-wide by 13-feet-high by 51-feet-long.

The roof opens hydraulically, so an overhead crane can be used for loading and unloading. The booth has a gantry-supported robot, which can be programmed in detail for any areas in need of coating.

It also incorporates the latest LED lighting and interior cameras, so customers can log on and view their individual components being coated in real time.

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One of the more innovative features of the booth is its ability to robotically coat large crankshaft rod journals. This is the first coating booth with this capability.

Crankshafts have connecting rod journals that are off-center on “stroke.” The robot is able to follow the stroke of the crankshaft, so it can be coated.

The booth was the idea and creation of Stratton Gillis along with engineers Bob Curd and Paul Curfman with the help of intern Reese Chesnut. Reese is attending Mississippi State University pursuing a mechanical-engineering degree.

Fusion also has added a tug and two large capacity transfer cars to safely move large, heavy components to-and-from the blasting room to the booth.

Fusion Inc. started in 1959 as Ceramic Coating Inc. and has been a leader in the development of thermal spray applications and finishing for 57 years. The company specializes in the repair of downhole components, wind-turbine main shafts, and rotating/reciprocating components including large industrial crankshafts. Fusion offers High-Velocity Oxy-Fuel (HVOF), Twin Arc, and Plasma coatings along with finishing capacities up to 96 inches in diameter by 37 feet in length and 80,000 pounds.

Coating is not new for the wind industry. Fusion has sprayed main shafts using the HVOF process since 2010. But Fusion has seen a growing trend for larger main shafts for wind turbines. Fusion now can accommodate 96 inches by 28 feet in the coating booth and 96 inches by 37 feet in its largest grinder. 

Source: Fusion Inc.

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