The end of the year is a great mile-marker for annual maintenance. An ounce of prevention sure beats several pounds of equipment needing to be shipped to Comco for a major repair. Check out the maintenance tips below to make sure your system is in excellent shape for the new year.
1. Check your supplies
Prevent production interruption by making sure your team has what they need to get through the next few months. That includes nozzles, abrasive, abrasive hose, window shields and tune-up kits.
You can’t blast without abrasive. Get part numbers here.
Don’t just cut off worn sections. Learn why.
Replace when frosted and peeling. Get part numbers here.
Perform DIY maintenance with a tune-up kit.
Replace at 10-15% growth. Get nozzle part numbers here.
2. Check the PowderGate Nosepiece
The nosepiece regularly opens and closes to allow and block the flow of air and abrasive during a blast cycle. As with anything that abrasive touches, the nosepiece can wear over time. A channel or groove can form on the side of the nosepiece as air and abrasive flow around it. If the channel becomes wide and deep enough, the nosepiece will not form a seal with the output fitting when the PowderGate closes. Air and abrasive will continue to find a passage, and the constant low-level seep will eventually erode the output fitting, too.
Soft abrasives tend to take a long time to wear down the nosepiece, but aggressive abrasives like aluminum oxide and silicon carbide tend to erode the nosepiece quickly, especially in applications that require high blast pressures or large nozzles.
How to Check It and Replace It
Make sure your Comco blaster is ON but not blasting (footswitch is not pressed). Put your finger over the opening of the nozzle for a few seconds, then release it. If you feel or hear a burst of air exit the nozzle, that indicates a leaky nosepiece. Replace it immediately. The nosepiece is easily accessible from the side of the AccuFlo® without having to remove the cover of the unit. Contact Technical Support at email@example.com or 1-818-841-5500 if you have any questions about wear and replacement.
The Comco part number for the PowderGate Nosepiece is MB1653.
3. Check the Modulator
The modulator is the heart of any Comco blasting system, so regular replacement protects your overall investment. Here are 3 ways to identify a worn modulator.
Watch for Low Flow
When a modulator is too worn to seal properly, the abrasive stream starts off strong but drops off to almost nothing within 3-5 seconds.
Listen for a Rattle (MicroBlaster® only)
In the MicroBlaster, a good modulator hums, and a worn modulator rattles.
Track Blast Hours
This is the most accurate way to manage modulator maintenance. The AccuFlo modulator has a lifespan of 5,000 blast hours; whereas, the modulator on the MicroBlaster, Powerflo® and DirectFlo™ last about 2,000 blast hours.
The Comco part numbers for each modulator:
AccuFlo: MB2250-1 (115V) and MB2250-2 (230V)
*Housing assembly only; reuses the coil from existing modulator
4.Check the HEPA Filter
HEPA filtration removes 99.97% of particles from the work chamber in the ProCenter Plus™ workstation. When the mallets can no longer knock spent abrasive from the filter surface, then the HEPA filter is full and needs to be replaced. HEPA filters tend to reach capacity after 6-9 months of regular use.
Replace every 3 months if…
If your blasting system runs all day and/or processes a high volume of parts, then replace the HEPA filter after 3 months of use. If you are blasting with abrasive that is smaller than 25-microns in size or if you are blasting with sodium bicarbonate, then you should also replace the filter after 3 months of use. Sodium bicarbonate breaks down into dust after blasting, and those extremely fine particles embed deep into filter pores.
The Comco part number for the HEPA Filter is CTR280-1.
5. Check out the Replacement Parts page
Consult your manual to do a full inspection of your Comco equipment. If you notice wear on components that are not mentioned above and need to replace them, use the Resources-Support page to find replacement parts with exploded diagrams, access part numbers and descriptions as well as FAQs. If you have additional questions, of course, we are always here to help!
Notice Moisture or Oil?
If you notice moisture or oil contamination inside your blaster, read this. You will need to send your machine in for repair. To obtain an RMA#, contact Technical Support at firstname.lastname@example.org or 1-818-333-8531.