Original Date: 10/18/1999
Revision Date: 01/18/2007
Information : Plasma Spraying
In the past, thermal spray processes at Orenda Turbines were subcontracted to several off-site vendors in the U.S. and Canada. The vendors handled the masking, preparation, spraying, and testing operations, while Orenda Turbines monitored the process by performing verification testing and audits of the final product. This approach resulted in poor schedule adherence, lack of process control, cost overruns, and inconsistent product quality. To resolve these problems and improve customer satisfaction, Orenda Turbines began investigating thermal spray technology. In 1996, the company purchased a Miller 4500 Robotic Spray system.
The Miller 4500 Robotic Spray system consists of a six-axis articulated arm robot integrated with a turntable and a programmable controller. Using data acquisition hardware and software, the system controls, monitors, and records the plasma spray parameters. The system can accept multiple spray gun configurations and is enclosed within an acoustical spray room for noise control. Orenda Turbines’ Materials Services Laboratory now performs all in-house coating and evaluations of the process. As a result, the company improved its coating quality and consistency; increased production; developed better schedule adherence; and obtained more accurate and comprehensive data acquisition. A typical job involves applying an abradable seal coating on a stator assembly. If the job is subcontracted, a batch of six costs $470 each (including shipping) with a turnaround time of seven days. By performing this job in-house, Orenda Turbines reduced the total cost to $350 each with a turnaround time of eight hours.
Plasma spraying is a complex process that requires dedicated technical support to achieve consistent quality. In addition, the many variables which impact the quality of the finished product must be consistently monitored. By performing plasma spray capabilities in-house, Orenda Turbines achieves better product quality, shortens cycle times, and improves customer satisfaction.
For more information see the
Point of Contact for this survey.