Process plant expert enhances GKN’s process line

Paul Boughton

Process plant specialist Plasticraft, part of NHE, has helped one of the UK’s leading manufacturers of aerospace components to optimise its anodising process with the installation of two new processing tanks into an established production facility – one that has continued to operate efficiently since its original installation by Plasticraft in the early 1980s. The refurbishment work for GKN Aerospace at its Cowes, Isle of Wight premises, is enabling the organisation to gain from leading process line technology and system design, with an installation that not only accommodates arduous chemical duties, but which has also addressed key positional and logistical considerations at the site.  

“The process line is dedicated to the application of protective chemicals as part of an aluminium anodising process that centres on the production of a range of aircraft components,” comments Jason Lowe, estates coordinator at GKN Aerospace Services. “The facility applies protective treatment to bare metal prior to painting, with relevant controlled chemicals held in the lead-lined tanks – a key part of both the original and new Plasticraft installations – while also featuring product positioning via suspension from an overhead crane.”

Lowe explains that one of the main factors that has been addressed by Plasticraft’s engineers at the site relates to the physical positioning of the new tanks. Since the original line was installed, another processing plant has been located adjacent to and around the Plasticraft line, which raised a number of issues with regard to the installation procedures for the new units.

“Our solution was to install each tank in three sections which, in turn, meant we were not only able to optimise the speed with which the project was conducted, but to do so without unnecessary impact on other processing facilities at the site,” comments Will Green from NHE. “Despite these specific challenges, we were able to complete the work within the timeframe specified by GKN Aerospace – the installation had to be concluded within 12 weeks to meet forward production plans.”

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