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Vacublast (Wheelabrator) Special Automated Shot Peener with Rotary Table and Twin Axis Robot

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Direct Site Clearance Price [?]
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Thermal Spray & Shot Peening Equipment for the Turbomachinery Industry
Seen working by RSW, Good Condition
Hatfield, Hertfordshire, UK
Stock No
Vacublast (Wheelabrator)
Special Shot Peener
Year of Manufacture
Seen working by RSW, Good Condition
Work Envelope (WxDxH mm) [?]
1600 x 1800 x 1200
Work Handling Method
Fully Automatic with manual option
Other Info
Media grading & classifying
Hatfield, Hertfordshire, UK
External Dimensions (WxDxH mm) [?]
8500 x 6200 x 5300


Vacublast (Wheelabrator) Special Shot Peener with Rotary Table and Twin Axis Robot

This Vacublast unit was designed for complex and intricate peening operations and has a fully computerised control and consists of a comprehensive package of multi nozzle pressure fed blasting with media flow control, grading and classifying to the highest of aerospace specifications.

System comprises of:

  • Large pressure feed pot with 5 branch take off, currently using 4 feeds with 2 splitters supplying the 6 gun robotic fixtured head.
  • Manual inspection and hand blasting station.
  • 500kg folding jib hoist of component and fixture loading.
  • DCE Unicell C72 15kW Dust control plant.

Features include:

A PC based control system featuring "Vacu-Trol" a Windows based H.M.I. with intuitive icon operation of primary machine functions via a standard keyboard and industrial mouse. This system offers unlimited storage of part programs which are written via a pendant axis control unit with push button positioning acceptance.

The media flow is by 400 series MagnaValves controlled via the part program and have a repeatability of 1% of flow set point plus continuous "high/low" flow monitoring.

The air pressure is set via the part program and is closed loop controlled to +/- 5% with constant monitoring.

Other Features include:

  • A 2 axis (Z, X) robotic nozzle manipulation.
  • Powered Ø1.5mtr rotary table with load end extension for the mounting of components and fixtures.
  • Usable working chamber dimensions of 1600 x 1800 x 1200 mm (w x d x h)
  • Full waffle floor media recovery floor
  • Primary cyclonic dust separation
  • Media elevator with air wash facility
  • 5 tier Kason vibratory sieving unit for the removal of over and undersize media and waste.
  • 3 tier media classifier for media roundness grading and removal of broken or damaged shot.

 General Description

The purpose of the facility is for shot peening aero engine blade roots and disc blade slots in order to improve fatigue life. Other components may be processed provided that they are within the capacity of the machine.

The machine is designed to provide shot peening treatment through lances and nozzles which can be attached to the manipulator and slot tool. The manipulator is moved in a strictly controlled and repeatable manner by a Vacutrol II pc based control system.

Shot peening takes place inside a cabinet which is equipped with a roof mounted manipulator and a slot tool mounted on the inside side wall of the cabinet. A precision indexing turntable, which works in conjunction with the slot tool, moves on a pair of rails in the cabinet. The turntable is positioned and indexed via a Vacutrol II program.

The blast cabinet is mounted on the multi hopper waffle floor. During the blasting process shot blast media, together with dust and debris from the workpiece, fall into the waffle floor hoppers to be carried by the recovery airflow via the recovery manifold and recovery ducting to the reclaimer and from there to the dust collector. A vacuum break beneath the reclaimer maintains the recovery airflow during the transfer of media from the reclaimer hopper to the bucket elevator.

The recovery ducting is made up of sections of sheet steel ducts and sections of spiral metal ducting.

The blast cabinet incorporates a manual work station, with a viewing window and an armhole panel with sealed-in rubber gauntlets.

A steel support structure, with a ladder and two platforms, houses the reclaimer, media size classifier, shape classifier, storage hoppers and pressure vessels.

The electrical control system in housed in floor-mounted cabinets which are stationed side-by- side at the rear of the blast cabinet, viewed from the operator’s manual position.

The principle pneumatic controls are housed in a steel cabinet mounted alongside the electrical cabinets.

The free-standing dust collector is of the continuous pulse jet cleaning type and has removable filter modules. The recovery airflow through the machine is generated by a fan assembly driven by an electric motor. The dust collector filters out dust and fine debris in the air stream from the reclaimer, deposits the dust in the removable waste bin at the bottom of the collector and exhausts clean air.



Air consumption


11.2 m³/min of free air compressed to 7 bar.


Power supply required


415 V/3 phase/50 Hz/Four wire.

220 V/single phase/50 Hz. - lighting

24 VDC - controls


Power consumption:

Dust collector fan motor

Cabinet lights

Turntable rotary drive motor

Slot tool

Trolley drive

Bucket elevator motor

Sieve vibrator motor

Roof mounted vertical manip

Roof mounted horiz  manip


Total 30.0 kW

15.0 kW

0.60 kW  (3 x fluorescent tubes)

2.32 kW

3.3 kW

5.34 kW

0.75 kW

0.25 kW

0.37 kW

0.37 kW


Recovery system


Gravity and fan generated airflow via waffle floor and ducting to reclaimer.

Bucket elevator from reclaimer to sieve classifier


Blast nozzles


4 x tungsten carbide

Wall mounted slot tool


Nozzle manipulator:

                Horizontal axis ‘X’

                Vertical axis ‘Y         



1.50 m

1.50 m


Recommended grades of shot 


S110 - S170 - S230


Shot size classifier


30in. diam, 4- screening decks, vibratory sieve


Media storage hoppers


3 x 60 litre hoppers


Shot shape classifiers


One double-spiral chute with a 4.5in  and a 5.0in flight

One single spiral chute with a 6in flight


Control system


Vacutrol II pc based system with Windows program


Dust collector 


Reverse jet filter cleaning,


Filtration area


72 m² - (filter modules in a sealed frame)


Dust can capacity


110 litres


Overall dimensions


10957 mm l x 6356 mm w  x 5773 mm h




          Maximum load              


Motor driven precision indexing table

1.50 m  

500 kg evenly distributed


Transfer tank capacity


15 litres


Pressure vessel capacity


120 litres


Blast cabinet lighting illuminance


1000 Lux


 Waffle Floor Assembly

The blast enclosure is mounted on the waffle floor which covers the entire floor area of the enclosure.

The waffle floor assembly consists of a number of small hoppers arranged in a series of rows, connected at the top edges. Each hopper has a drain hole at its base and the interspace below the hoppers is connected to form recovery ducts for each two rows of hoppers. Grid plates cover the hoppers to provide a level surface to walk on for operation and maintenance purposes.

When the equipment is in operation, air is drawn continuously into the connecting ducts of the hoppers, carrying with it any blast media and dust from the enclosure above. Thus a continuous downdraught ventilation is present inside the blast enclosure.

The ducts are designed to give uniform air velocity to ensure complete and continuous recovery of all blast media, dust and debris produced during the blasting process.

Structural members support a pair of rails on the floor for the turntable carriage to run on. The rails run the full length of the waffle floor and extend outside the blast cabinet to facilitate loading and unloading.

Peening Enclosure

The special purpose blast enclosure is of sheet steel and box tube construction, the walls and roof of which are double skinned foam filled panels. Further acoustic and abrasion resistance is provided by bonded rubber lining material.

The front face of the cabinet incorporates a manual work station with a viewing window of safety glass with an outer screen of clear acrylic sheet. Below the window is a panel with arm holes fitted with arm-length rubber gauntlets. A hinged external panel is clamped over the armholes when operating an automatic program to seal the enclosure and help to suppress noise.

An air inlet panel, fitted with a baffle, is fitted outside the roof of the blast enclosure to allow the free entry of ventilating air but prevent the escape of abrasive. The flow of ventilating air is always downwards through the blast cabinet, from the roof panel to the waffle floor.

Blast cabinet lighting is provided by three fluorescent units in the roof panel with access from above. Each light unit is protected by a sealed glazed unit.

Access is provided by a side-hinged door on the left hand side of the enclosure with a clear opening of 1.7m. wide x 1.8m. high. The door is rubber lined inside to protect it from erosion and is fitted with roller latches to close it securely. The door to the enclosure is fitted with an electrical sensor to ensure that it is closed before processing begins.

Turntable and Carriage

The turntable is nominally 1.50 m diameter, has tee form slots in a radial pattern in the top surface and a 20 mm dia hole in the centre. The maximum load is 500 kg, evenly distributed.
Floor rails in the enclosure support the carriage on which the turntable is mounted. The carriage runs on four vee form wheels which locate on the inverted vee rails within the enclosure. A rack and pinion drive moves the carriage along the enclosure to enable accurate positioning of the component at the appropriate nozzle manipulator working position. The carriage is driven by a reversible geared servo motor.
The drive is governed by over-travel sensing switches and dead stops.

Precision Indexing Turntable Drive

The precision indexing turntable enables accurate alignment between the blast nozzle and the component for peening the internal faces of slots and holes, using either the wall mounted slot tool or the roof mounted manipulator.

The machined steel turntable top is provided with a kerb ring on the underside, close to the periphery. The kerb ring is supported by four cam-follower roller bearings to provide rim stability.

The central hub of the turntable is mounted on a positioning drive which is powered by a 1.5 kW servo motor. The positioning drive enclosure houses a large globoidal cam which is driven by the servo motor and controlled through an electronic speed, direction and indexing interface with the main process controller. The positioning device is designed to provide high station-to-station repeatability with zero backlash.

 In operation the index range is programmed into the main processor control memory. The built-in positioning software then presets positional calibration values and continuously adjusts them during the blasting process. The system therefore operates over a wide range of indexing without manual adjustment.

When correctly programmed, and with the component mounted correctly, the operation of the indexing table is interlocked with the slot tool drive to ensure safe operation without risk of damage to the component or the equipment.

Slot Tool

The slot tool is provided for use with the precision indexing turntable. The slot tool incorporates a precision screw jack driven by a variable speed servo motor equipped with on board encoder emulation.

A parallel bore blast nozzle is mounted on the outboard end of the screw jack and is equipped with a specially toughened deflector which is arranged in the shot stream from the nozzle.

The tool operates so that the blast nozzle and its associated deflector move in unison. Shot impinges on the deflector and ricochets from the deflector to process all areas inside the slot.

The slot tool is mounted on a universally adjustable frame which is mounted in turn on the wall of the blast enclosure, at a convenient position to allow access to the disc slots to be processed. Slots of any angle can be shot peened without the complication of axis re-programming. When not required for use the slot tool can be hinged back manually against the wall of the blast enclosure where it is shielded by a rubber curtain.

The drive to the slot tool is interlocked with, and is controlled by, the main control system so that slots in the disc are presented accurately by the indexing table mechanism. The length and number of strokes is controlle by the main control system. The slot tool will enable the automatic processing of disc slots down to 5.2mm. wide.

Roof Mounted Manipulator

A longitudinally arranged aperture in the roof accommodates the horizontal movement of the two-axis manipulator. The aperture is closed off by multi labyrinth rubber seals and concertina bellows.

The horizontal and vertical components of the manipulator are mounted together to provide the two principal axes of motion. Each component has a square section sealed housing with bearings at either end to support a central leadscrew and nut. Part of the nut extends outside the housing and the extension incorporates a guide through which the manipulator passes into the enclosure.

The horizontal unit is mounted on the upper member of the manipulator support frame and is driven by a gearbox motor, mounted at one end of the housing.

The vertical unit is mounted at its lower end on a linear guide rail. It is attached at the height of the upper member to the nut of the horizontal unit via a mounting saddle bracket which drives it along the rail. Vertical movement is by a gearbox motor mounted on the upper extremity of the unit.

The end of the manipulator within the blast enclosure is fitted with a rigid probe mounted in roller guides.

The manipulator drives are provided with independent controls so that the axes can run simultaneously.

Horizontal and vertical drives are provided with over-travel sensing switches and dead stops to safeguard the mechanisms in case of malfunction.

What is Shot Peening?

Shot Peening is a cold surface treatment of metals with round-shaped media. When the media hits the workpiece, it functions like a micro hammer, making small dents. With a large number of hits, the dents level out. A layer of compressed material is created on the surface, practically cancelling out the possibility of the workpiece structure breaking.  Another term for surface hardening is shot peening, since the process resembles peening.

For more details please see BlastTenik's web site

pdf icon Print / Download Vacublast (Wheelabrator) Special Automated Shot Peener with Rotary Table and Twin Axis Robot Datasheet

Additional files

Full Operating Instructions

Pneumatic Drawing

Electrical Drawings

Photographs taken prior refurbishment. Our refurbishment service is not available on all machines.