When Viking won the contract to design, build and install a spray booth system for Pratt & Whitney Air New Zealand Services (trading as the Christchurch Engine Centre), the CHCEC is a repair and overhaul (MRO) centre for the IAE V2500 series turbofan aircraft engine, Viking sales and design manager Ross Metcalf knew that the company’s expertise as a New Zealand-owned extraction manufacturing company that designs and manufactures systems from scratch will be put to good use.
Part of Christchurch Engine Centre’s brand new plant at Orchard Road in Christchurch is a spray booth system. But it is not an off-the-mill spray booth. It is a semi down-draft, positive-pressure, temperature-controlled spray booth facility, with an integrated paint mixing room, complete with overhead crane rails inside capable of lifting 150kg engine components.
“It was something different,” Mr Metcalf says. “The whole project had to be engineered to suit. It is a turnkey project that we had to provide engineered solutions to.
“One big tricky part is that the roof line of the Pratt & Whitney building already had crane rails installed, and we had to get the spray booth exhaust system in and get all the ducting up through the narrow confines between the crane rails.”
To get the ducting through, Viking ran extensive offsets and transitions through the crane rails, and out through the roof. “It may sound easy but every bit has to be calculated,” Mr Metcalf says.
“This is the sort of stuff that Viking does well. We design, build, install and certify our products in New Zealand. With our 35 years of manufacturing experience, we know how to engineer systems for specific scenarios.”
Another challenge was that crane rails that are able to lift up to 150kg engine components had to be installed inside the spray rooms.
“An ordinary booth structure would not be able to support such a weight, so we designed and built a complete structural system over the spray booth so it will have structural integrity to support a 150kg crane rail inside,” Mr Metcalf says. “This is separate from the structure we built to hold all our equipment on the roof.”
As for the noise levels, which had to be below 65dB, Mr Metcalf says it was hard to attain for a spray booth system of this nature.
Sean Kitchen from Christchurch Engine Centre says it was a pleasure to work with Viking. “The project needed a fair amount of design and engineering considerations and having those face-to-face meetings and site visits made it all easy,” he says.
Scoping the project started in September 2013 and the spray booth system was commissioned in August 2014. “It seems a while but we had to wait for the building to be completed before we could start installation,” Mr Metcalf says.
“We have done a spray booth for Air New Zealand 12 years ago and it is good in that respect that we have been selected again. This project was won on its own merit.”