Anticipating increased demand for its innovative products, GKN Aerospace’s (Chem-tronics) El Cajon, California facility wanted to add a fourth plasma spray booth to its operation in the greater San Diego area. A vertically integrated manufacturing company, GKN Aerospace specializes in the fabrication of lightweight, chemically milled titanium and aluminum alloy parts for engines, airframe structures and launch vehicles for the worldwide aerospace industry.
For GKN Aerospace, there were a number of critical factors regarding the industrial gas supply for the new operations. First, they wanted the hydrogen gas they used in the new HVOF system to be delivered safely. Second, timing and experience were critical to meet their targeted deadlines. To achieve these objectives, GKN Aerospace turned to Air Products. Although not the supplier of industrial gases at the facility, Air Products’ extensive knowledge of thermal spray applications, industrial gases, and delivery systems—as well as its exceptional dedication to safety and track record of serving the aerospace industry—were all beneficial to GKN Aerospace attaining its goals.
“We undertook the turnkey installation, including design and installation, for the gas delivery system for the new spray booth.” states Chris Hopkins, Air Products’ Regional Engineer, continuing, “Our role then expanded. We conducted a safety review of the gas delivery systems for all of GKN Aerospace’s thermal spray operations, making specific recommendation on everything from pressure relief devices to air handling equipment specifications.” Additionally, GKN Aerospace had Air Products’ engineers develop process and instrumentation diagrams (P&IDs) for all of the industrial gases used at the entire facility. As a further extension of this work, Air Products made recommendations with specifications for converting GKN Aerospace’s argon gas delivery system from copper to stainless steel piping.
“Air Products’ role expanded at GKN Aerospace because of our ability to quickly provide comprehensive advice to meet their needs,” explains Rob Hostinak, Air Products Industry Engineer. “Our goal and GKN Aerospace’s stated vision mirror each other. GKN Aerospace’s vision is one of satisfied customers who know that the company is committed to excellence, with quality products delivered on time and at a fair and reasonable cost. This is exactly what Air Products strived for in our work at GKN Aerospace—providing one-source thermal processing and industrial gas experience, quickly and reliably.”
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