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Brandon Acker / 06.23.2019

Remote Control (Deadman) Systems for Blast Machines

A deadman control is a safety feature found on many types of machinery and equipment, from trains to lawn mowers.  Originally developed for locomotives in the 1800s, the deadman switch required the engineer to keep his hand on the switch to keep the train moving.

If the engineer removed his hand from the switch, the train came to a stop. The deadman switch meant the train wouldn’t run out of control should something happen to the engineer.

Titan Abrasive Deadman Switch

Deadman switches for blast machines use the same principle.

The remote control, which is commonly referred to as a “deadman,” is connected to and controls the valves on the blast machine. The deadman provides direct cut-off of abrasive and air to the blast hose in the event the operator loses control of the hose.

OSHA regulations require all abrasive blast machines be equipped with remote control systems.

Titan offers two types of remote control systems. Either remote control system is available as pneumatic or electric.

Pressure-Release remote control

All Titan industrial sand blast machines come standard with pressure-release remote controls (PRRC). Releasing the control-activating switch (Figure 1) closes the inlet valve to the supply air and simultaneously opens the exhaust valve – which causes the tank to depressurize.

Restart is accomplished by closing the switch. This closes the exhaust valve and opens the inlet valve – restoring pressure to the tank. Blasting will stop or start within 1/2 – 3 seconds of switch activation in either mode depending upon tank volume and distance from the machine to the deadman.

The Pressure Release Control system should be considered when work stoppage occurs infrequently or when machine filling is done using a hopper, such as with a blast room or large outdoor hopper.

Pressure-Hold remote control

Figure 2: Titan Abrasive U600 PH
Figure 2: Titan Abrasive U600 PH

Titan also offers an optional pressure-hold remote control system (PHRC). Pressure-hold remote controls keep pressure in the sand blast pot even after the deadman is released, through the use of normally closed, spring actuated valves.

Releasing the control-activating switch (deadman) simultaneously closes both the abrasive regulator and air inlet valves, stopping media and air flow – holding the tank under pressure and ready for immediate start.

Figure 2 shows a Titan U600 Blast Machine with Pressure-Hold remote control. Note the air inlet valve and abrasive regulator located at the bottom of the machine.

Figure 3: Electric deadman switch
Figure 3: Electric deadman switch

These blast machines can be used with either the pneumatic deadman switch or an electric one (Figure 3).

Because of the pressure retention, start-up is much faster and air usage is conserved. Restart requires only activation of the deadman control switch, which causes the abrasive valve to open simultaneously with the inlet air valve. The tank must be manually discharged for refilling.

The Pressure-Hold Remote Control system is recommended for situations where frequent starts/stops will occur.

  • Brandon Acker: President

    Brandon purchased Titan Abrasive from his uncle and founder in 2013. Titan has since redesigned its entire product line to solve dozens of industry challenges.

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    Brandon purchased Titan Abrasive from his uncle and Titan founder, Bruce Maurer, in 2013 after spending five years learning the ins and outs of the business. He and VP of Engineering Brian Fox have completely redesigned the entire product line to solve the dozens of challenges that have plagued the blasting industry for decades.

    Brandon is passionate about American manufacturing, the jobs it creates, the quality produced, and the bright future that lies ahead. He’s a frequent guest on manufacturing podcasts where he shares his deep industry expertise. Brandon holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Arizona State University.