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General Electric Super-Plant Spray Booth Installation


General Electric Aviation, Dowty Propellers’


Gloucester, UK


Install 13 new dual spray booth and oven facilities, housed inside a flameproof enclosure


In late summer 2019, Dowty Propellers’ (owned by General Electric’s Aviation Division) reached out to Airblast to aid in transitioning equipment and facilities to their new super-plant in Gloucester.

Dowty Propeller’s new state of the art headquarters spans a staggering 189,000 square feet and, honouring its British Aviation heritage, even features its own museum dedicated to British aerospace. Dowty Propellers is a leading propeller manufacturer for military and civilian aircraft and hovercraft, including the RAF and USAF Lockheed Martin c-130J Super Hercules Military transport planes. Dowty Propellers’ military heritage stretches back to 1938 and encompasses iconic military aircraft as well as today’s front-line air lifters.

The company’s current products are based on its expertise in composite propeller blades and digital control units. During production, their propellers require treatment in spray booths and ovens. Their former site in Staveraton had multiple spray booth finishing facilities. Moving their existing paint booths to the new super plant was inexpensive. Still, after conducting an investigation, these booths (supplied by others) did not offer the performance they were looking for.

The Solution

We noticed that the original booths didn’t provide even airflow and temperature over the workpiece. We deemed that to rework these old facilities would be untenable – new purpose-built facilities offered greater value.

As their propellers were over 2mt tall and were almost the full height of the spray booth they were processed in, Airblast knew it was essential that the heat distribution across the propeller and the airflow throughout the entire booth had to be even.

Convinced that new installations would benefit production and cut costs, Airblast received the green light for construction. Airblast’s expert team built thirteen technically excellent duel spray booths and ovens over several months and included ventilated abrasion facilities. All of which were housed within a flameproof enclosure.

The Challenges

One of the significant challenges of this project was limiting VOC’s expelled into the atmosphere. Sustainability and environmental impact were considered at all stages of the project, from the design to the final installation. The solution to cutting VOC’s to the atmosphere was to incorporate carbon abatement. Before the VOC’s passed through the factory’s stacks, carbon scrubbers would capture particulates before entering the atmosphere.

The Result

The final cost of the turnkey project came to approximately £3 million and was built in 10 months. The entire installation was an incredibly technical but rewarding experience for the Airblast team, and we are proud to have been a part of the project.

Contact Us

For more information on our technically excellent blasting and spray facilities, please get in touch with us on our contact page. Alternatively, call our sales team on +44 (0)1778560650 and they will be happy to advise you.