Supplier of offshore containers limits material waste by upgrading to a plural-component sprayer

Swire Energy Services are a supplier of cargo carrying solutions, modular systems, fluid management and offshore aviation services.

The company’s refurbishment facility in Aberdeen, Scotland, provides identification, blasting and painting of assets for re-use offshore. Their painting process is a three-coat system comprising an epoxy primer, intermediate coat and polyurethane topcoat. The application of paint is carried out with a Graco single-component sprayer in a heated paint shop.

The major challenge for Swire Energy Services is to reduce the amount of material wasted and the volume of solvent used in the cleaning process and to dilute paint material.

Demonstration with plural-component sprayers

To overcome the problems of paint waste, high solvent use and to meet the mix-ratio demands of the paint materials, local Graco distributor, NOV Wilson, proposed the Graco XP70™ and XP50™ sprayers. Due to the conditions within the paint facility, neither unit required to be heated.

A demonstration was performed using a XP70 configured with a suction hose for the primer and a hopper for the material hardener. The sprayer was also fitted with a mounted Merkur™ flush pump. The demonstration was carried out by the applicators at Swire Energy Services using the actual paint line and the Graco XTR7™ gun, which the team uses on a daily basis. The inlet pressure was set to the level used during the existing application.

Finished units

Reliable and easy to use equipment

During the demonstration, the inlet air pressure decreased by 33% compared to the previous process. The applicators liked the ease of use of the XP70 and the finish. The demonstration ended by pumping the unused virgin material back into the original containers. Paint lines were flushed to show how little solvent is required to clean mixed material in the XP70.

Following the demonstration, Swire Energy Services noted the improvements that could be made to their process, such as:

  • reduction of wasted paint, solvent use and pump servicing;
  • less time spent cleaning pumps;
  • less loss of paint line;
  • XP70’s ease of use.

Given these improvements, Swire Energy Services have modified their paint application process to use XP70 sprayers configured to their application requirements. “These machines have proved to be reliable and easy to use," says Phil Francis, Operations Manager UK (Central), Swire Energy Services. "We are using less paint as less is wasted during paint line cleaning. Also, less solvent is used during the cleaning process. No manual mixing is necessary, which results in less spillage and therefore a tidier workspace.”


For more information about spraying steel structures or Graco's XP plural-component sprayers, fill out the form below.

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