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A self-contained combined blast and spray room designed and built by Hodge Clemco has provided BIS Salamis with a compact, cost-effective training facility at its skills centre at Aberdeen.

The company provides industrial services to onshore and offshore oil-and-gas, manufacturing and energy and power-generation industries.

The courses run by the Aberdeen Skills Centre are designed to develop the capabilities of existing staff and train new recruits and its competency assessment programme is approved by the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA).

In order to reinforce its expertise in surface preparation and protective coatings applications, the company decided to install a dedicated training facility for both abrasive blasting and spray painting and to provide onsite training courses.

These have subsequently been approved by the Offshore Petroleum Industry Training Organisation (OPITO).

Whereas abrasive blasting and spraying are usually carried out in separate dedicated rooms, Hodge Clemco has combined them in a single 40ft (12m) container, which has reduced the space required for the facility, as well as lowering cost.

The container has been partitioned internally to provide a blast and spray room, a plant room, an abrasive recovery system and blast machinery.

The blast and spray room, which is approximately 4m long, 2.4m wide and 2.4m high, is lined with rubber curtains to protect it from abrasive damage and has a large viewing window that allows trainees to see inside.

When spraying is under way, a ventilation system passes air through the room and out via a bank of filters at one end.

When blasting is in operation, the filter bank is protected by a pair of hinged steel doors measuring the full height and width of the chamber, which are interlocked with the abrasive recovery and dust collection system for safety purposes.

Inside the room, two breathing air connections and additional emergency stops have been provided, allowing for a trainee and a tutor to work together safely.

An abrasive recycling system has been included that allows blast media to be recovered via a sweep-in floor hopper and cleaned automatically for reuse, with reusable media being diverted to the main storage hopper and the rest being separated out for disposal.

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