Tips on Robotic Shot Blast Cleaning


In the following video, Bob Watkin, owner of RBW Enterprises, Inc., shares expert advice on improving production rates and cost efficiency using robotic shot blast cleaning. Demonstrating with the company’s FasterBlaster shot blast system — which features a unique, centrifugal blast machine that moves up, down and sideways to clean both horizontal and vertical surfaces — Watkin discusses critical considerations for planning and executing a blast-and-paint project.

About the System

The FasterBlaster shot blast machines use centrifugal blast wheels, driven by 30hp electric motors, to throw steel shot against the surface. No air is required in the blasting process. Due to the high vacuum generated by the dust collector, the machine seals tightly to the surface; therefore, no containment is required and the surface is left virtually dust free.  

Its flat mat seal creates a suction-cup effect against the wall, roof or floor surface. The seal vacuums tightly over weld seals. Since there are no emissions, there is no need to blow down the surface, and paint can be applied near the operating machine. Applying a coating while continuing to blast the surface not only saves time but eliminates the need to reblast if inclement weather interrupts production.  

KleanVac Dust Collector FasterBlaster16 FasterBlaster32 Small-Pipe Seal Box

The system’s KleanVac Dust Collector vacuums the removed coatings directly into a 55-gallon drum. No clean-up is required, and the total disposable waste is a few drums of paint dust, metallic dust, rust and media fines. The entire system is operated by one person using a wireless, hand-held remote control.

The smaller FasterBlaster16 has a 16-inch-wide blast pattern and can be used to clean around obstructions more closely. The larger FasterBlaster32 is used for wide-open areas, where higher production is needed. Both machines can break down to go through a 24-inch diameter manway for internal tank cleaning.

The portable FasterBlaster stands out for its ability to clean pipe of all sizes, plus plate, interior and exterior tank walls, tank roofs, tank floors, dome roofs and wind towers. While it has traditionally been used to clean large-diameter pipe — from 8-inch diameter to large wind-tower sections — the system now offers a small-pipe seal box. This box-seal assembly allows cleaning of 1/2-inch- to 6-inch-diameter pipe. The small-pipe seal box quickly attaches to the FasterBlaster in place of the main seal assembly.

For additional videos, visit videos.rbwe.com.

*Claims or positions expressed by sponsoring authors do not necessarily reflect the views of TPC, PaintSquare or its editors.