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#Product Trends

The Power of Equipment Modernisation

Shot peening is a crucial step in the manufacturing of springs. At ThyssenKrupp this used to be carried out by a 25-year-old Gutmann shot peening machine, which still met the high quality standards required, but was no longer up to date when it came to ease of use, machine availability, maintenance cost and energy efficiency. It was also limited in the product range it was able to handle.

To optimise production processes, the ThyssenKrupp team decided to buy a new shot peening machine and let the old one make a pit stop at the Wheelabrator Plus Technology Centre, for an equipment upgrade as part of a comprehensive Equipment Modernisation Programme (EMP).

The result: ThyssenKrupp now have two machines at their disposal, both equipped with the latest shot peening technology. One is new, the other as good as new – at less than half the cost.

The “new” old machine, designed for three-shift operation, now runs with significantly reduced idle times, mostly due to improvements on blast wheel wear parts. It''s also equipped with a range of blast programmes that can achieve a precision surface treatment for a range of product geometries and materials. This means the machine is not only up to date, but future-proof.

The example from Germany shows a growing trend for equipment upgrades to meet the demands of tight global supply chains, as upgrades usually come with shorter turn-around times, lower cost and alternative financing options. Machines also have to be more flexible to allow production to respond quickly to ever faster product model cycles.

Markus Bremer, Senior Vice President & Sales Director at Wheelabrator Plus, commented: “In fast-paced, highly sophisticated industries such as medical technology or automotive manufacturing, time is often the most important factor – here EMPs are the faster route to a “new” machine. Three weeks can make the difference between being able to deliver a contract and losing it.


  • Wheelabrator