Problem Solved — Helicopter Paint Facility at Bluegrass Army Depot

GFS custom industrial spray booth

Run by L-3 Communications, the Bluegrass Army Depot in Kentucky is a high-technology instrumentation and maintenance facility for helicopters. L-3 Communications has maintenance contracts with the U.S. Army to service rotary wing aircraft, which includes the repainting of aircraft. L-3 was in need of a paint booth to provide a safe, productive and energy-efficient environment for these painting operations.

L-3 started the project in August 2003 as a fast track project, requiring that engineering begin almost immediately, followed by the manufacture of sheet metal and structural components. Because of the immediate need of repair and repainting of aircraft returning from combat operations, the time schedule was very important. GFS worked with L-3 to design, manufacture and install a paint booth to meet their requirements within the tight time frame.

The booth was shipped in late spring 2004 and installed soon after. By August 2004, startup was complete and they had begun painting in the booth. This fast turnaround time was impressive for a booth of this size and complexity.

The paint booth features state-of-the-art, 4-stage, NESHAP filtration. The first three stages of filtration are located in a single wall at the rear of the booth. The fourth stage is located behind that wall and features non-regenerative carbon filter cells that capture VOCs from the painting operation. The booth is air conditioned with temperature and humidity controls. Exhaust recirculation of 80% recirculation and 20% exhaust is used to reduce energy consumption.

The control panel on the booth uses a PLC controller to control all operations of the booth, including purge and cure cycle times and temperatures. A VOC sensor monitors the concentration of VOCS in the booth, alarming the operator if concentration reaches a set limit.

GFS also supplied fire suppression and fall protection for this project.

Booth Size: 40 ft. wide x 90 ft. long x 25 ft. high

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