ACS Coatings are a family-owned and operated coating centre, based in New York, USA.
They apply PVD hard coatings to tools, moulds, and components, and have been servicing the local machine shops since 2001, with customers from ½ a mile away, all the way to Asia. ACS pride itself on staying technologically current, while continuing to provide some of the best customer services in their industry.
Vixen Surface Treatments are a designer, manufacturer and global distributor of wet blasting and surface treatment machinery.
The Vixen distributor based in the USA, helped ACS Coatings to find the best machine for the results they wanted to achieve. They decided on the Aquablast 915 as they found it had a large cabinet interior, the slurry pump provided a larger and more uniform blasting pattern than the old machine they had used previously, and the visibility was great due to the wiper system keeping the viewing window totally clean.
Prior to purchasing the Aquablast 915, ACS Coatings owned a small, off-brand wet blast machine for a number of years.
As it was constructed from mild steel, they had to deal with corrosion and rust issues, the siphon-feed gun design meant that the blasting zone was small, and the media constantly settled out of the water, meaning the finish on their parts was uneven and inconsistent.
ACS Coatings have found they have been much more successful in achieving a uniform finish on their parts with the Vixen Aquablast, and the all-stainless steel construction has eliminated the rusting issues.
The closed-loop water system has not only reduced their water usage, but they are also no longer restricted in placing the machine near a drain or water main.
Here is what ACS Coatings had to say about purchasing their machine from the UK –
“We received the unit less than a week after ordering, which was faster than our electrician could get the electrical service run to the installation site in our facility. We left the 915 wrapped up in our warehouse until he was done, only to discover that the recirculation filter housing had cracked during shipment. We made a call to Rick, and we had a new filter housing in our facility in the USA in 2 days, having been shipped directly from the factory in England.”
The Aquablast 915 is used in their workshop to pre and post-treat the surfaces of cutting tools, moulds, dies, and machined components.
As the machining of superalloys and other hard materials like powdered metal has increased within the past 5 years, there has been a higher demand put on cutting tools, which means higher demands for the coatings applied to those tools.
Many of the more recently developed coatings require post coating surface treatments, such as wet blasting, to optimize the cutting surfaces and the tool performance.
The suspension of the abrasive in the water stream allows ACS Coatings to use extremely small mesh size, which is impractical in a dry blasting machine, plus removes the creation of airborne fine particles that occurs in a conventional dry blast cabinet.
Additionally, the water carrier helps cushion and distribute the abrasive media to create a more uniform treated surface.
Mark Romach then went on to say –
“The 915 is at a great price point to enter the production processing of parts that require wet blasting. While ours is an entry level model, we are able to handle a large variety of tool sizes and shapes because of the simple yet flexible design, and still benefit from the core technology without a huge investment.”
“We investigated other Vixen models with rotary tables, larger cabinets, and automation options, but the base 915 is perfect for our current product portfolio.”
“The availability of technical help in both the USA and England is a great benefit. Spend some time on YouTube and check out the various videos that Vixen has produced – we have found them to be very educational and full of resources.”