Following a two-year study by a major automotive parts manufacturer, this customer converted their multiple shot peening machines, one at a time, from cast steel peening shot to Pellets LLC stainless steel (302/304 alloy) conditioned cut wire shot.
This two-year study and conversion began primarily because of the threat of dust fires in the dust collection system. The company was looking for an alternative shot peening media to reduce dust and therefore the threat of dust collection fires. The study began in the summer of 2016.
The company wanted to make sure that the new product would produce the peening results that were needed on their automotive parts. After months of study, the results were in and the product development group reported in June of 2017 that the peening results were excellent and met or exceeded all of their specifications and requirements.
They began to plan for the conversion of their peening machines, one at a time. This could take quite a while but the customer wanted to make sure no mistakes were made along the way.
In one 24-hour initial study, the amount of undersized media produced with the stainless cut wire shot was three pounds compared with 60 pounds from the cast steel shot. The study personnel also commented that the operation was a lot cleaner using the stainless steel cut wire shot.
And so the conversion of each machine began.
The company historically consumed approximately 250,000 pounds of cast steel peening shot per year and the commensurate disposal of the spent shot was also required.
After several months of complete operation with conditioned stainless steel cut wire shot, here are the results reported to us by the customer:
- Their customers are reporting much cleaner and brighter parts.
- Their employees like the media because it produces significantly less dust.
- Their management is impressed with the reduction in dust and the safety department has given them an A+ for the dust fire risk reduction that was implemented as a result.
- Their outside lab reported that the cast steel disposal had a flammability issue and had to be disposed of as hazardous combustible material. But the stainless steel waste did not have a flammability issue and therefore did not have to be classified as hazardous ignitable waste material.
- They no longer need to use a lubricant sheet in the blast machines to keep the parts from clinging together.
- Consumption of media was less than a third of the cast steel peening shot, resulting in significant cost savings and much less waste to be dealt with.
- There is a strong possibility that the used undersized stainless steel shot can be recycled and reused by someone that needs a smaller conditioned cut wire shot.
We couldn’t be happier with the improved safety issues, the cleanliness improvement and the overall reduction in media required for our shot peening operations (and the resulting waste removal reduction).
While the initial cost of the stainless steel cut wire peening media was quite a bit more expensive, the result of using two-thirds less material and therefore two-thirds less waste resulted in a substantial cost reduction as a result of switching to stainless steel cut wire shot from cast steel peening shot.