A little more than two years ago, Advanced Coating Technologies (ACT) embarked on an ambitious $50-million expansion project. It constructed a new 40,000-square-foot building in Middletown, NY, to accommodate the application of various coatings to a wide range of parts.
The company plays a crucial role in the performance of Pratt & Whitney jet engines for commercial and military aircraft. Its thermal burner coatings provide essential heat resistance to the burner section of the engines.
Recently, ACT expanded its capabilities. At one time, the company only applied ceramic coatings via electron beam physical vapor deposition. It now offers low-pressure plasma spray metallic coating and air pressure spray ceramic coating.
With the metallic coating operation, ACT’s scope of capabilities has greatly increased. The company used to coat just engine parts such as blades and vanes. Today, it can coat an entire ground casting-a complete piece of metal.
One of the key concerns in outfitting the new building and its coating departments was finding suitable workbenches for technicians, or “detailers,” to work. Steve Schelling, purchasing manager at ACT, was largely responsible for specifying the new workbenches.
“We knew we wanted benches that could duplicate the capabilities of the Pratt & Whitney workbenches we used in the original building,” he explains. “Our initial search was guided by that need for specific functionality, as well as a desire to pinpoint the best value.
“W.W. Grainger is our corporate contract supplier,” says Schelling. “We saw workbenches from Pro-Line on its Web site. From there, we went to the Pro-Line site and soon got in touch with them.”
After carefully examining Pro-Line’s offerings, Schelling decided that the Millenium II electric height-adjustable workbench could perfectly address ACT’s range of application needs. It can be programmed by operators using a single switch to preset up to three heights into memory, or users can push an override button to set the bench at any desired height.
“The Millenium II not only fit within our budget, it easily meets the needs of an array of applications while providing tremendous ergonomic advantages,” says Schelling. “Each workbench is used by a range of detailers.
“We usually operate with three shifts, and our technicians range from 5 feet tall to over 6 feet,” Schelling points out. “They are performing myriad tasks, such as loading coaters with parts, applying parts to a fixture and collecting data from parts. Regardless of the task, however, the Millenium II helps eliminate the potential for any employee stress or strain.”
Another key factor for ACT in opting to work with Pro-Line was the company’s ability to customize its equipment to meet unique needs. “We sent Pro-Line photos of benches that Pratt & Whitney was using, in order to highlight some of our custom needs,” explains Schelling. “Within days, Pro-Line sent back a blueprint and their work was dead on. The customization went very smoothly.”
For more information on workbenches, call 800-739-9067 or visit www.1proline.com.