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Upgrading and Installing Blast Facilities at Letterkenny Army Depot
To assess, upgrade, and install grit blasting facilities for a military center of industrial and technical excellence
Letterkenny Army Depot
To increase productivity at an existing surface preparation facility, and then to install a new blast room with automated media recovery system.
Airblast AFC was first contacted by Letterkenny Army Depot in 2015. The depot’s work included grit blasting and surface preparation, and it was searching for innovative technology to help it increase its throughput. Airblast AFC was called in to find a way to help the depot meet increased demand.
Based in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, Letterkenny Army Depot is used to conduct maintenance, modification, storage, and demilitarization operations on tactical missiles and ammunition. Its mission is to repair and modernize air and missile defense systems, enabling multi-domain operations for U.S. and allied forces.
Originally established as an ammunition depot, today the facility comprises over 18,000 acres and is the largest employer in Franklin County, with over 3,600 employees. Letterkenny Army Depot prides itself on being the premier professional organization in air, missile, and space systems. It is also dedicated to emerging technologies that have the potential to enhance the military’s capabilities. This means that continuous improvement of the facilities and their equipment is central to achieving these goals.
The depot shares Airblast AFC’s philosophy of remaining flexible, ready, and relevant to each new obstacle and challenge we meet. So, when Letterkenny told us that it needed to find a way of improving its productivity to meet increased demand, Airblast AFC was ready to help the facility adapt to the constantly changing workload at reduced cost, with superior quality, and ahead of schedule.
After visiting and assessing the existing blast facilities, Airblast AFC recommended an addition to the existing blast room: an Airflex Full Floor Sweeper Recovery and Media Reclamation System. With this system installed, media that fell to the floor anywhere in the approximately 18’ W x 50’ D blast room would land in a series of reclamation channels. These channels would deliver the abrasive to a filter, at which point spent media would be separated from reusable media, which could then be returned to the blast machine. This constant, full-floor media reclamation technology meant that the operator could continue blasting without needing to stop and sweep abrasive media to a collection point or wait for abrasive recovery to complete before continuing.
This new system dramatically improved the blast room’s productivity at Letterkenny. In fact, the improvement was so notable that Letterkenny reached out to Airblast AFC again in 2018 for a second project. This time around, the depot asked Airblast AFC to install a complete blast room measuring 30’ W x 20’ H x 50’ D. The blast room boasted our class-leading dust extraction design for increased visibility, improved safety, and a superior finish. The facility was also equipped with an Airflex Full Floor Sweeper Recovery System for uninterrupted blasting and maximized productivity.
For Letterkenny Army Depot, it has always been essential that its workforce is able to maintain a unified focus to embrace their daily tasks and takes personal responsibility for their roles. To achieve and sustain a high level of performance requires state of the art equipment that removes barriers and allows the workforce to focus on their roles – and this is where Airblast AFC excels. For over 70 years, the depot has demonstrated its commitment to supporting the nation – and Airblast AFC is proud to have fostered a strong relationship with Letterkenny Army Depot through our shared commitment to excellence.