Retail container stores have experienced popularity over the years, helping everyday households to organize. Now, imagine that same thought with an industrial container shop, such as the one located at Corpus Christi Army Depot.
The Container Shop is a significant resource where refurbished assets are “canned” or prepared for shipping in containers to the customer. The assets are engines, transmissions, rotor heads, and blades.
There are plans to renovate CCAD’s Container Shop, a 20-year-old plus facility, with an estimated cost of $16 million.
The shop replaces hardware, repaints, and inspects each container, also referred to as “cans”. The renovation plans include design, redesign, and retrofit of new and existing work structures. The facility will include new tools, facilities, equipment, machinery and work processes.
The newly renovated Container Shop will have an automated Plastic Media Blast booth with equipment to remove dirt and paint as the first step in can refurbishment. PMB is a large containment booth used for the rapid, safe removal of coatings from almost any surface without the use of toxic chemical strippers, sandblasting or mechanical abrasion methods. Protective coatings, finishes, and corrosion would continue to be manually removed.
Use of PMB relies on technical data requirements (e.g., corrosion control prevention, surface preparation, and treatment) and material composition (e.g., soft metal parts, etc.). While PMB equipment and processes continue to evolve, the artisan adds variability in techniques through manual operation of equipment.
Leveraging technology is an effective control measure when planning, preparing, and executing PMB processes.
Adebanjo Layade, CCAD general engineer, has been actively engaged in research to determine industry’s best technology and equipment to meet CCAD’s requirements and improve workflow using an automated PMB. Efficient, innovative abrasive blasting systems increase productive yield and flow, while decreasing costs related to maintenance, utilities, and material loss.
“The automated PMB will completely strip all the paint for a better visual inspection of each container,” said Layade. “This leads to improved quality and eliminates errors due to human oversights. The blasting booth has the potential to increase productivity with the ability to run continuously with reduced labor requirements and increased flexibility and productivity.”
Layade has worked closely with the Army Corp of Engineers and other stakeholders to develop a facility designed to accommodate container repairs with improved engineering controls that effectively capture air contaminants.
Automated blasting eliminates exposure to noise, ergonomic stress, and legacy heavy-metal coatings that are removed from containers and aircraft. The artisan will be controlling and monitoring the PMB while the programmed automation is doing the work inside.
CCAD produces thousands of end-items in a year. Each end-item contains multiple lower-level items that are routed (e.g., repaired, overhauled, etc.) throughout the depot. It is important that each container is refurbished correctly as the end-item, or asset in each container, is of significant value.
The newly renovated facility will have environmental controls that mitigate the corrosion concerns while cans are in queue.
Gary Moore, Container Shop supervisor said, “Employees will really appreciate working in a better environment .... We all look forward to the renovation.”
CCAD is the aviation industry leader in maintenance, repair, and overhaul of helicopters, engines, and components.