Gallito’s Towering Vision

Spray booth and finishing line specialist, Gallito Ltd, has commissioned one of its largest ever shotblasting and painting facilities. The construction will handle giant crane sections for leading tower crane rental company Falcon Crane Hire.

Norfolk-based Falcon Crane Hire specialises in the hire and sale of tower cranes, supplying to sites throughout the UK and beyond. Falcon hires equipment ranging from lifting tackle to giant tower cranes –up to 150 metres tall and capable of lifting 3.5 tonnes over 85 metres.

At its base in Thetford, a key element in the control regime operated by Falcon Crane Hire is the rigorous examination of all crane components returning from site, ensuring that any equipment defects are identified and corrected before cranes go back out on hire. This includes the full inspection and overhaul of all fabricated sections such as booms, jibs and steel frames. Included within the refurbishment procedure is the abrasive shotblasting of fabrications; stripping the existing paintwork to allow inspection of all welds, and to prepare components for re-painting.

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To provide the necessary facilities for blasting and painting the large tower crane sections, Philip Gale, operations director at Falcon Crane Hire, engaged Gallito Ltd to assess the company’s requirement for a modern, purpose-built structure of booths and enclosures, which would be located inside a former wartime aircraft hangar.

The proposal from Gallito, which fully met all of Falcon’s objectives, was to deliver a complete turnkey scheme; encompassing design, manufacture, supply, installation, and commissioning of the enclosures and dust extraction plant. The new facility comprises two large booths, each with a floor area in excess of 100m2 and a working height of 6 metres. Twin sliding doors, together with a central opening in the fascia, allow easy access for large fabrications, which are moved into the booths by use of a bridge crane.

The shotblasting booth is 17 metres long, includes two access doors for operatives, and is internally clad with an abrasion-resistant rubber lining. The installation incorporates an abrasive recovery system which collects steel shot in the floor of the booth and transports it by screw conveyors to a central pit. The shot is then lifted by bucket elevator into an air wash separator, which removes dust and paint particles, before returning the shot to a storage hopper for loading into the blast pot.

The shotblasting booth also has a dedicated dust extraction plant, with an externally-sited filter unit, and interconnecting high-level ductwork which extracts directly from the booth. The reverse-jet type filter is a highefficiency unit, which has a filter surface area of 483m2 , and a total airflow capacity of 37,000m3 /hr. The filter is fitted with special carbon-impregnated, black filter media, designed to allow 100% of the filter media to remain open for dust capture and improved airflow.

The spacious paint spray booth features two low-level filter plenums, running the full length of each side of the booth. Extraction from the plenums is via ductwork, fitted with externally-mounted belt-driven axial flow fans, and terminating with flap-type weather cowls. Again, two personnel access doors are included. Adjacent to the spray booth is a 3m x 2m paint mixing room which incorporates a fully-welded, bunded floor for containment of any spillage. Air is extracted at low level to prevent any potential build-up of solvent fumes and exhausted to atmosphere; air is replaced via a roof mounted inlet filter.

Philip Gale comments: “Gallito successfully completed the installation on time, and within budget, and we are delighted with the end result. Gallito were professional throughout the whole process and their approach to service contributed greatly to achieving a smooth-running project.”

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