Fall Protection & Budget Costing

Access & Fall Protection

Access to painting of the aircraft is possible using floor-supported devices. While the use of floor-supported devices is not feasible for a blast media booth due to buildup of media on the floor, this is not true of a paint booth. If the use of overhead access devices is necessary, the structure of the booth is adequate to support these devices. In addition, since the devices are closer to the painted surface, they are shorter and necessarily stiff, reducing wiggling and accidental nicks in the plane’s surface. The structural strength of this paint booth allows the easy installation of fall protection devices. The cables or channels used in fall protection designs can be easily attached to the steel beams supporting the roof panels. The booth structure is designed to handle these sometimes-severe loads and shocks.

Budget Costing

Below are budget prices for two large aircraft inserts. These sizes can be used to paint many airframes and their overall sizes will be listed.

Included in pricing estimates should be:

  • Air handling for a 70-degree temperature rise but no humidity control
  • All ductwork and seals; intake ductwork to a rooftop-mounted cupola (FBO)
  • Access platforms and walkways for mechanical equipment
  • Lighting in the booth ceiling and walls
  • Plenum doors and drives
  • Electrical control system with PLC controls
  • Structural steel and sheet metal to completely enclose the booth
  • Three-stage air filtration (Method 319), per NESHAP standards, with exhaust fans and stacks
  • Complete mechanical and electrical erection of the booth

It is not unusual to build paint barn projects for $22 to 25 million. hat price tag includes sitework, lockers offices and a weather-tight envelope, but the overall cost of a paint project should be much less with an insert than a paint barn.

Other scenarios can also reduce overall project cost, yet offer the same strong advantages as a paint booth insert. The structural steel that is so much a backbone of this concept can be clad with metal building panels and insulation to form a stand-alone paint hangar at little additional cost.

Conclusion

The use of a paint booth insert for painting large aircraft meets all of the tests for an effective paint booth (safety, health and quality), enabling a good paint job. The use of paint barns achieves two of the three objectives, but rarely provides the level of control of the painter’s environment that is so essential to getting a good paint job. Inserts are a practical method of achieving all of the objectives of a paint facility. In large aircraft painting, airflow is lower, energy and lifecycle costs are lower and lighting is better than in a comparable paint barn. In addition, paint booth inserts are environmentally friendly and have a much lower investment cost.