Turtle & Hughes Industrial division was tasked with assisting our business partner in improving its masking process that protects the surface finish of an aerospace component. Our goal was to introduce a product replacement to save our customer time and money.

The existing masking material was a heavy, resin paint that was manually applied by brush. This process was time-consuming and often resulted in inconsistent thickness levels. If the masking was applied too thick, it would cause loading issues on the machines along with tool deflection resulting in deviant parts.  If applied too thin, it was harder to remove during a secondary cleaning process, as it would pull off in small pieces. Even when applied just right, the removal of the masking material was extremely tedious and the cleaning operation could take up to two hours to complete.

Both parties worked together with industry giant 3M™ to develop a template for a durable film that could easily be applied and pulled off from the part. The first step in the confirmation process, was product testing; the initial results were very positive. Next, we measured the results in application, machining and cleaning steps.

The testing confirmed that the 3M™ product provides a more consistent and durable protective surface, and improves productivity by drastically reducing the time for application, removal and secondary cleaning. In addition, the 3M™ product also significantly lowers the cost per application. The end result is a $39,500 annual cost savings to our customer.


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