new blasterZumbrota Bearing and Gear has added another unique piece of equipment to the shop that will reduce the backlog in differential rebuilding.

A third automated shot blaster was recently delivered and installed in the blaster area. At ZBAG, an integral step in the rebuilding process for rear differentials is to clean up the core in a blaster to remove the scale, buildup, and corrosion that commonly occurs on any under parts of vehicles that are exposed to the salt and sand used on winter roads in northern states.

The need for a better cleaning method became apparent several years ago when a key customer observed that, cosmetically, the differentials were not what he had come to expect from ZBAG. Typically, shot blasters of this type are built to clean engines and engine blocks, and are not large enough for the rear differentials, which can be nearly seven feet long. So a custom order was placed for a blaster large enough to accommodate the rear differentials, from L.S. Industries in Wichita, KS. Another large blaster was added to clean aluminum, and last month, a second blaster from L.S. Industries arrived that will enable the builders to clean up their differential housings much faster than they used to.

“It’s been a bottleneck in the shop,” said shop supervisor Loren Kispert. “Builders were having to wait a long time for a blaster.”

A wall mounted crane has been installed in the blaster area that lifts the cores into and out of the blasters, which are used to cleantransmissions and transfer cases as well as the rear differentials.

“We’re going to get a cleaner product,” remarked builder Terry French, “and not having to wait will speed things up.”