Graco Inc.

Graco Helps Start-Up Abrasive Blasting Business Find First-Year Success

Overview:

ECO Vapor Blasting Solutions, LLC, located in Atlanta, GA, is a growing company providing surface restoration and cleaning for the commercial, industrial, municipal and residential industries. Using Graco's EcoQuip Vapor Abrasive blasting equipment, the company wrapped up a successful first year at the end of 2016, bringing safer, more effective and efficient blasting solutions to customers ranging from residential to industrial.

Challenge:

ECO Vapor Blasting Solutions owner Winston DuBose quickly learned just how versatile Vapor Abrasive blasting can be. The company's first chance came three days into operations, with the opportunity to provide a solution for removing dried concrete from ready mix trucks.

One major issue that ready mix operations face is concrete drying on the "rollers." When that happens, the large drum will not turn properly, or may even cease to work. Prior to meeting DuBose and ECO Vapor Blasting Solutions, the ready mix company was using jackhammers to remove the concrete, a process that was both time consuming and potentially damaging to the trucks. With one demonstration – that took less than a minute – DuBose had secured a new customer. The plant manager and several observers simply said, "WOW!" when they saw the dried concrete being blasted off of the trucks more safely and efficiently.

"It took longer to set up the equipment than to demonstrate its capabilities," said DuBose. "I knew then that if I could successfully take dried concrete off of a ready mix truck, the opportunities for blasting with Graco's equipment would be unlimited."

Over the course of the year, DuBose and team tackled a number of other projects as well, from blasting a 100-foot-long band of tar from the facade of a school building under renovation, to removing the chipped, cracked paint from a large aluminum gazebo in a homeowner's backyard. The most rewarding job completed to date was the removal of multiple layers of paint from a historic home. The general contractor and the homeowners were amazed at the results. After almost giving up on finding a solution to effectively remove the paint, the EcoQuip Vapor Abrasive blasting system came to the rescue.

Solution:

The ECO Vapor Blasting Solutions team uses an EcoQuip EQ400t blasting system for its projects, both big and small. With one year completed, DuBose has yet to see a project that the EcoQuip unit could not tackle.

"So far, we can take paint, rust, corrosion and more off of just about anything," DuBose added. "In most cases, there's a way to find a solution to what our customer needs."

Over the course of the year, the company has learned where issues can arise and how to avoid them. Choosing the right blasting media is an important step in avoiding issues.

"If we're blasting a new surface, I always start with a test to make sure that the blasting won't damage the substrate," said DuBose. "This way, we're sure we have the right media for the job. So far, we've found that most projects can be completed with either 40/70 mesh recycled glass or garnet."

Containment issues also came up on a number of jobs. Removing the tar during the school renovation project presented an interesting challenge – the tar was 18 feet off the ground, with a brand new brick wall below it. With greatly reduced dust from Vapor Abrasive blasting, DuBose contained the area with six millimeter plastic to catch the residue and protect the new brick walls. At the end of the day, the plastic was rolled up and disposed of properly.

"When you hear that Vapor Abrasive blasting reduces airborne dust by up to 92 percent compared to traditional dry blasting, you are hearing correctly," said DuBose. "There’s no such thing as total dustless blasting, but the EcoQuip system cuts down on dust significantly."

Results:

After a year of successful operation, ECO Vapor Blasting Solutions has built a consistent share of business across several markets, and the opportunities are endless.

"The EcoQuip system is very well-suited for my business, and for the variety of industries we serve," said DuBose. "The equipment is phenomenal; it looks professional and works well, plus has had no performance issues so far. Obviously, it is imperative to keep our equipment properly maintained as well, but we found routine maintenance easy to accomplish on our 400t."

DuBose looks forward to expanding the business in 2017, and is currently securing new opportunities in water and wastewater treatment plants.

Specifications

Contractor: ECO Vapor Blasting Solutions

Industry: Surface preparation, blast cleaning

Application: Cement truck and school

Material Specifications: Garnet or recycled glass, Mesh 40-70

Graco Equipment: EcoQuip EQ400t

Before and after

Dried concrete on chute
Dried concrete on a discharge chute was a major problem for concrete mixing plant.
Concrete removed with vapor blasting
The same chute after the concrete was blasted off with the EcoQuip EQ400t.

"There’s no such thing as total dustless blasting, but the EcoQuip system cuts down on dust significantly."

– Winston DuBose
ECO Vapor Blast Solutions