Norton Armouries, based in Eastnor, Herefordshire, is a media production company specialising in manufacturing stage props and special effects. Established in 2000, Norton Armouries has quickly cemented itself as one of the leading players in its sector, continually pushing the boundaries of design and functionality at scale. Their products and expertise can be found in many large productions, including Game of Thrones, House of the Dragon, 47 Ronin, and Mad Max: Fury Road.
In early 2022, Norton seeking to streamline the production efficiency at their site, reached out to Airblast to supply a bespoke blast cabinet suit for their unique business demands to treat polymer castings of prop arms and armour in bulk. Their aim with blasting was to remove the glossy finish of a moulded cast to prep for coating. Achieving this required strict adherence to specific blast pressures and fine abrasive. With this brief in mind, Airblast’s design team designed a bespoke direct-pressure 30-ltr blast cabinet fitted with a high-performance cartridge dust extraction unit.
For Norton Armouries, our expert team devised several innovations for the blast cabinet that are not present on standard variants, chiefly upgrades to the chassis, hopper, and the ability to blast at high and exceptionally low pressures.
The blast cabinet chassis is very large in comparison to conventional offerings. This is due to the size of the products that need to be blasted and the scale at which they need to be processed. The chassis also features full interior lighting, integrated blast gauntlets, a door safety interlock system, and a pressure gauge indicator on the face of the unit. Moreover, this bespoke unit features a 30-ltr hopper to meet their desired production throughput. This large hopper means that operators can blast for longer without refilling the unit with new abrasive.
Norton Armouries had previously a very old, very worn suction cabinet. It provided very limited blast pressures, which led to inefficiencies in the time it took to process its product. As a result, we supplied them with a direct-pressure cabinet that can provide excellent performance at both high (for vigorous blasting) and low pressures (for more intricate work), meaning their unit could quickly adapt to whatever workpiece they’re processing.
We opted for the cartridge dust extraction unit for Norton Armouries because it offers unbeatable performance and low lifetime maintenance costs. Compared to traditional bag systems, cartridge dust extraction systems do not require their filters to be changed regularly or maintained as often. This extraction system can cut operational costs incurred through maintenance and cartridge replacement and offers better performance, which means more value for our customers.
With this state-of-the-art blast cabinet, the craftsmen at Norton Armouries can now benefit from a more efficient and highly optimised surface treatment solution. Blast equipment may seem like machinery most often found in industrial settings, but both heavy industry and artisanal workshops can benefit from a comprehensive surface treatment solution.