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A weeks work in one day

How a leading industrial coatings contractor unlocked 71% more productivity (at 15% less cost) with GMA Garnet™.

Apache Industrial Services has been a leading industrial blasting and coatings contractor for more than three decades. The company has earned its strong reputation in the petrochemical, industrial and energy sectors.

Throughout 30 years in business, Apache has seen the industrial landscape continually evolve. With project timelines tightening, waste slag's performance issues had become major roadblocks to productivity and profitability. Recent OSHA regulations and supply shortages only heightened the company's concerns about their current abrasive.

Apache also knew its techniques and equipment were keeping its blasters from optimising their productivity and costs. But like any high-quality contractor, the company wanted to know exactly what would be gained before switching its blasters from one abrasive to another.

As Apache was mulling a switch, its team was contracted to oversee blasting operations at a new storage tank facility in White Castle, Louisiana, USA with a razor-thin timeline. Seizing the opportunity to test waste slag alternatives, Apache contacted GMA. We were ready to illustrate exactly how GMA NewSteel™ and Black Beauty Fine stacked up.

GMA's Technical Experts organised a full demo blasting trial for Apache's Site Manager and Maintenance Manager. The trial design mirrored the requirements of Apache's upcoming job: three blasters on an eight-tonne pot with a 2mil to 4mil required profile.

When GMA performed this side-by-side, real-time comparison of GMA NewSteel™ and Black Beauty Fine, the results were clear. While both technically delivered the required profile, GMA NewSteel™ produced a 2.8mil profile, while Black Beauty Fine just squeaked by at 3.9mil.

Compared with Black Beauty Fine, GMA NewSteel™ cleaned nearly twice as many square metres (feet) per hour, with 50% less consumption. 

In all, GMA's garnet abrasive delivered  71% more productivity at 15% less cost—and that's not even factoring in the cost to paint waste slag's excess profile.

After earning Apache's trust with the comparison trial, GMA Technical Experts conducted an on-site situational analysis to identify both challenges and opportunities for optimisation. We looked into organising multiple blasters around a large tank, coordinating the start and stop time of blasters, and preparing equipment on time. By ensuring the proper type and use of abrasive metering valves, resolving issues with coiled hoses and identifying compressors that weren't operating properly, we helped Apache reduce risk and avoid downtime. 

“In one day with GMA Garnet™, we completed the amount of  work that would normally take a week with Black Beauty Slag." Apache Foremen Clay Donaldso said. 

By switching from waste slag to a premium garnet abrasive, Apache increased productivity by 71%, saved 15% in project costs and lowered consumption by 50%—and eliminated the health hazards associated with slags. Armed with a safer, more productive abrasive and the proper blasting technique, Apache's team is getting the job done right—and moving on to the next in record time. 


By Kevin Zimont, GMA Americas