In many industries shot blasting is an indispensable surface treatment technology. Apart from the goal of achieving the best possible results, customers always demand short cycle times, the lowest possible costs and minimal material input. Rösler fulfills these requirements, among other things, by utilizing ultra-modern simulation software. In addition, virtual models significantly reduce the time for engineering – especially for large, complex machinery – and ensure that the equipment is available within shorter lead times.
Shot blasting is an excellent tool for surface cleaning, deburring, surface preparation for painting or coating and shot peening. As such the shot blasting technology is used for creating optimal surface finishes, be it to ensure problem-free downstream manufacturing operations or to optimize the functional characteristics of a product. With shot blasting and any other industrial processes the customers face the challenge of improving productivity and cost-efficiency as well as minimizing the use of valuable resources. Rösler supports its customers with state-of-the-art simulation software during the planning phase for new shot blast equipment, especially with regard to process development and optimization.
Achieving optimal results with high cost-efficiency
With the Rösler simulation software every physical stage of the shot blasting process, including the respective work pieces, can be displayed in a 3D model. This includes the blast media type, the thrown media quantity and the media flow. The data generated by the so-called particle simulation allow a precise evaluation of how much blast media is required, and with which impact energy it must hit different work piece surface areas to achieve 100% coverage. At the same time the data help determine the required turbine power, the ideal position of the turbines and the design of suitable work piece fixtures. The simulations facilitate the development of shot blast machinery and processes for achieving optimal shot blast results with the lowest possible number of turbines, low energy input and minimal machine wear. They also help reduce capital expenditures, operating costs and use of valuable resources.
Another benefit of simulations is that shot blast machinery for new work pieces can be planned on the basis of CAD data, well before the actual work pieces are available in prototype form. This saves precious time, because a shot blast machine can start productive operation at the same date it is commissioned. Time-consuming and costly processing trials with actual work pieces are more or less completely eliminated.
Moreover, the simulations also provide valuable insights as to whether the specified blast results can be achieved on work pieces with a given geometry. Should this not be possible, the simulation results provide valuable pointers regarding the optimization of the work piece shape.
Shorter planning phase and optimal shot blast results in case of complex equipment projects
Planning and commissioning complex, big shot blast machines for treating components with large dimensions, for example, 20 x 5 x 4 meters (L x W x H) is particularly challenging. Usually, for such large work pieces practically no machines are available for running processing trials. In such cases simulation and virtual planning of the shot blasting processes may be the only tool available for achieving excellent blasting results and high equipment efficiency. For exactly this purpose Rösler developed another software module that models large, complex equipment and the respective shot blast processes. On the one hand the realistic and correct depiction of the blast patterns and the underlying media flow substantially reduces the overall investment risk. On the other hand, the time requirements for planning and commissioning of a shot blast machine can be significantly shortened.
Faster processing of entire work piece batches
When it comes to shot blasting entire batches of relatively small work pieces, for example in multi tumbler blast machines (RMT), the optimal mixing of work pieces and blast media can significantly influence the processing results and cycle times. For such applications the software allows the simulation and optimization of the tumbling action of the work pieces in the drum-shaped blast chamber. This will result in the shortest possible process times. In some cases, cycle time reductions of around 25 % per batch could be achieved resulting in a considerable capacity increase.
Energy-saving and effective dust collectors
In shot blast machines the turbines and dust collectors require by far the highest energy input. This applies to standard as well as large shot blast machines. Therefore, the software package also includes a special air flow simulation module that determines the air volume required to safely evacuate the dust generated during the blast operation from the blast chamber. If the dust can be evacuated more effectively by an improved air flow, it is possible that a smaller dust collector can be utilized resulting in a lower energy consumption. In any case, an optimized air evacuation system helps reduce cycle times and, therefore, increases productivity. Furthermore, the work pieces are leaving the shot blast machine cleaner, thus facilitating downstream manufacturing operations.
Digital twins of blast turbines increase operational efficiency
To reduce their energy consumption and wear rate and, at the same time, increase their operational efficiency, Rösler works with digital twins of the blast turbines. The replication of the particle flow provides a virtual analysis of the wear areas in a turbine. This, in turn, allows the implementation of geometrical turbine modifications for minimizing the wear rate. Other simulations can be conducted with the goal of increasing the turbine efficiency, which, in turn, will result in additional energy savings.
Thanks to the broad application of simulation software for the design of shot blast equipment and the respective processes, as well as for the optimization of the airflow and turbine technology, the lead times for Rösler shot blast machines are substantially shortened. Moreover, they produce substantial energy savings and a lower wear rate. All this results in significant customer benefits.
Simulation systems for mass finishing processes dealing with complex work pieces
To date the development of mass finishing processes for single piece processing of geometrically complex and difficult to machine work pieces, such as knee implants, required numerous processing trials. For such elaborate applications, usually handled in so-called drag finishers, Rösler is also utilizing simulation technologies.