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for useful information on, aviation polishing/cleaning products
PLEASE NOTE: All units shipped after July 1, 2013
were shipped with the newer HIGHER TORQUE ATLAS COPCO air
motor power units. (See below for specifications). All Serial
numbers end in "C"
Also, a 6ft (1.8m) extension handle is now available,
for a safer, more extended reach. (For use with the SPEC Model
(To get more information
on "TripleO" in England & their proprietary "NANO
Tech Coating" scroll to the bottom of this page.)
"Hand Held" Large Surface, Deep Cleaning/Polishing/Buffing/Surface
(Manufactured since 1996)
"DRUM TYPE" Polishers
have been developed to RAPIDLY "deep clean" &
polish, plus, provide a "consistent" finish,
on very large surfaces.
The SPEC Machines "Drum"
type polishers are indeed, the most advanced, reliable, versatile,
productive and largest, industrial "hand held" surface
polishing machines, available on the market today. Important
to note: Similar units, available on the market, operate in the
over 3000 RPM range and at lower torque outputs. The lower rpm
(2500 rpm)with higher torque output SPEC Machines
units, allow for far less stress on the polishing pads and parts,
and allow more forgiving and exacting, operator control.
type polishing machines do not completely replace, "circular"
type polishers, but greatly augment the polishing / cleaning process,
specifically on large surfaces. "Drum" type polishers,
used with proper techniques & polishing products, will allow
for a far more efficient, consistent and longer lasting finish,
on a wide variety of surfaces, (painted, bare metal, aluminium,
composite, plastic, acrylic, Plexiglas, Lexan, etc.,).
The most notable benefits of utilizing air driven "DRUM"
type polishers is a greatly reduced labour time, (approximately
1/3rd to 1/2 that of circular polishers. ie: a DeHavilland
Dash 8, - 78 - 100 man hours with circular polishers verses 22
- 30 man hours with Drum type polishers. An AIRBUS A320, 6-800
hrs vs 2 -300 hrs using DRUM type polishers. A Bombardier "Global
Express" wing leading edge 2 - 4 hrs, verses 8 - 12hrs.), with
improved safety, to not only the operators, but to the work surface
The SPEC Machines Industrial "Drum"
type units are indeed, the most advanced, reliable, versatile
and largest, industrial"hand held"
Large surface, Deep Cleaning / Polishing / Surface texturing machines,
available on the market today. (The next step up would be
Robotic or Semi Robotic equipment.)
Keeping todays commercial aircraft "clean"
is an important and ever increasing challenge. Commercial airliners
are getting bigger, are being pushed through more "cycles",
and are operating in increasingly harsh environments. The
equipment we manufacture and techniques we recommend, address
these challenges safely and efficiently. As with any "restoration"
or initial cleaning you may find you will use more product in
the beginning, but after the initial "polishing/deep cleaning"
of each aircraft, a "substantial" decrease in quantity
and type of product will be required for routine maintenance.
For instance, a 1 gallon (3.78Liter) of a high quality "CERTIFIED"
Paint Polish Sealant will do 1 or 2, "737" size aircraft
quite easily, (1, if including wings, tops and bottoms or
2, if doing fuselage only). Initially, the use of "CERTIFIED""paste
type" polishing compound is highly recommended, (a
heavier "CUT" type compound may be necessary for some
areas), to deep clean and polish painted surfaces smooth, (without
affecting the paint hardness). This step will "deep clean" and
prepare the paint efficiently and properly for the use of the
Polish /Sealant, or similar type product. Once the exterior of
the aircraft has been "polished properly", REGULAR "Polishing",
is really, totally unnecessary, even in a tropic / salt water
environment. To maintain the exterior finish, only an annual,
or in extreme cases, a bi-annual "polishing" is usually,
all that is required. Some areas of high wear or abrasion, like
aft of: exhaust, landing gear on belly, APU protection plate,
leading edge areas and such, may require more frequent attention.
A good annual or bi-annual "Polishing" will most definitely
retard, if not completely prohibit, any type of surface corrosion.
Regular "Cleaning" or "Washing", with an appropriate
product, every two months or so, is usually all that is required
to keep all areas clean to allow easy identification of any visible
defects, cosmetic or otherwise. General cleaning should be
done with a good surface cleaner on an "as required"
basis, dependent on your operational environment. The "bright
work" is easily maintained by a regular simple "wipe
down" with a "CERTIFIED" Aluminum Polish / Sealant
to clean, maintain and "re brighten" the surface.
There are two basic large models. The SPEC
"SA"(short arm) and "LA" (long arm). Simply
put, the "SA" is simply more versatile especially for
"up close" work. The "SA" can be turned
into an "LA" (long arm) by simply attaching a 2 ft extension
handle. The SPEC"LA" cannot be turned into an "SA".
The SPEC "LA" is primarily for doing large surfaces
from a "stand off" distance. Both units use
the exact same Atlas Copco power unit. All parts from
all units are interchangeable.
The SPEC Model "SD"
uses a special drum that can
accept standard "Synthetic" abrasive 8"D X 3"ID
wheels, ("stacked") or "Combo Flapwheels".
It has been designed for surface
"texturing" or rapid oxidation / material removal that can be executed, quickly, efficiently and safely.
(On "large" surfaces, approximately 5 times quicker
that Palm or "Jitterbug" hand type sanders.) Contact
us for more details.
Please note: "DRUM TYPE" polishers are intended for, and
work best for, finishing and general "routine"
maintenance on large surfaces. They do not work well for
corrosion or material removal, unless used with the
SPEC "SD" drum & speciality abrasive brushes,
(available from several manufacturers). For this type of work
or "initial" restoration on aluminum and bare metals,
the "SD" Drum is far more productive and will rapidly
remove corrosion. ( On smaller pieces or areas, the SPEC
1300B Series II "Detailer" with standard 6" polishing wheels
is excellent for this purpose. Circular polishers, are also effective,
but they will leave polishing, (swirl), marks. The SPEC
DRUM TYPE polishers with the Wool, Cotton or "Synthetic Blend"
pads will rapidly remove the "polishing marks" left
by the circular type polishers and allow for rapid and efficient
The SPEC Machine model "SA",
"LA", "SD" and SPEC 1300B "Detailer"
Drum polishers all require a consistent air supply of a minimum
of 30 cfm (cubic feet per minute) @ 85 - 90 psi, for maximum performance,
(full torque). A "Rotary Screw" or "Helical"
type compressor is recommended. An "AIR DRYER" or "CHILLER"
is aslo highly recommended for optimum tool performance and longevity.
Our ongoing commitment
is in providing our customers with the finest products possible.
SPEC Distribution International Inc. has undertaken the task of
designing, developing & manufacturing the most advanced, reliable
& versatile, industrial, "hand held", large surface
polishing machines, available on the market today. They may look
simple, but have been designed for INDUSTRIAL use. We have taken
all the best features of current and past "DRUM" type
polishers designs and improved on them. We have designed and built
this equipment with extensive and valuable input from our customers
who specilize in the "large surface" industrial polishing
markets. These clients include: BOMBARDIER AEROSPACE Inc, COMAIR,
LEARJET (Div. Bombardier Aeronatique), NASA's (Dryden Flight Resaerch
Center), BOEING / McDONELL DOUGLAS, QUANTAS Airlines, AERO MEXICO,
DELTA Tech Ops, LUFTHANSA TECHNIK, EXECUJET (Dubai & Nigeria),
QATAR Exec (UAE), FBO SKYSERVICE, INNOTEC / EXECAIRE, FALCON AVIATION
(Dubai), AIR CANADA & AIR CANADA "JAZZ" & "ROUGE",
DASSAULT / FALCON (Reno Nevada), CANADIAN DEPT. OF TRANSPORT (SPECIAL
AIRCRAFT SERVICES DIRECTORIATE), C.A.M.E.C.O. (China Aircraft
Maintenamce Engineering Company Ltd.), A.I.D.C. (Aerospace Industrial
Developement Corp.) Taiwan, to name just a few.
Features and Benefits of the
SPEC Machines Industrial DRUM Polishers are:
- Productivity: On large surfaces the SPEC Machines
"DRUM" type polishers are unparalled in their capability
to reduce labour time and increase producitivity."DRUM"
type polishers do not completely replace, "circular"
type polishers, but greatly augment the polishing / cleaning
process, specifically on large surfaces. "Drum"
type polishers, used with proper techniques & polishing products,
will produce a far more efficient, consistent and longer lasting
finish, on a wide variety of surfaces, (painted, bare metal,
aluminium, composite, plastic, acrylic, Plexiglas, Lexan,
etc.,). The most notable benefits
of utilizing air driven "DRUM" type polishers
is greatly reduced labour times, (approximately 1/3rd to 1/2
that of circular polishers. For
example: a DeHavilland Dash 8, - 78 - 100 man hours with
circular polishers verses 22 - 30 man hours with Drum type polishers.
A Bombardier "Global Express" wing leading edge 2 -
4 hrs, verses 8 - 12hrs. An AIRBUS A320, 600-800 hrs down
to 250 hrs.), with vastly improved safety, to not only the operators,
but to the work surface itself.
- QUIET: Most of the current air driven drum polishers
that operate in the over 1 hp range, produce motor noise levels,
at or above, 95 decibels (a Boeing 747 is about 145 decibels
on take off). SPEC Machines, have been designed
& tested to operate, at full throttle ("free"),
below 75 decibels at a distance of 1.5 meters, (4ft).
This is a huge plus, in not only reducing overall fatigue for
the operator, but for those working on other tasks, in the same
- For comparison : Common
noise levels in decibels (db), (Increasing
Normal conversation -50-60 db
- A SPEC "LA" ,"SA"
& "SD" DRUM Polisher @ full throttle < 75 db
A loud radio -65-75 db
A busy street -78-85 db
A heavy truck about 7 metres (23 ft) away -95-100 db
A pighouse at feeding time -110 db
A chain saw -115-120 db
A jet aircraft taking off 25 metres (82 ft) away ->140 db
- VERSATILE: Interchangeble configurations. SPEC
Machines are easily changed in configuration, simply using
a standard 3/16" Allen type key. The air motor or "heart"
of the machine can be attached to any one of the three
drum sizes/type with one, 10/32 Grade 8, SS Allen bolt. The drum/motor
assembly can be attatched to either of the two types of
handles. The control handle is adjustable to assure full, safe
and accurate operator control of the tool, regardless of the
type of operation, all with a 3/16" Allen key.
- SIMPLE: SPEC Machines utilize "standard"
parts. For instance, replacement air motor blades for the Atlas
Copco air motor are available WORLD WIDE, through any Atlas
Copco dealer or representitive. All the bearings we use
are "standard "and available from any reputable bearing
SPEC Machines use, an Atlas
Copco "LZB" industrial air motor with "sealed
& isolated" TRIPLE gear reduction units, that operate
at 2400 RPM Max., producing 9.3 ft/lbs (12.6NM) of torque,
with an air consumption of 30 cfm @ 90 psi. (Similar competitive
units operate @ 4000 RPM with 5.6 ft/lbs (7.6NM) of torque.
- INDUSTRIAL DEPENDABILITY: SPEC Machines use
Torington® or RHP Brand, Heavy Duty, industrial "roller
type" bearings in the "drum to motor" contact
surface, riding on a special hardened, "tool steel"
race. Aside from an occasional light grease application, these
bearings are maintainence free and extremely durable. They are
completely isolated from any air flow, entering or exhausting
the air motor, eliminating any contamination. Our "Drums"
are machined from a single piece of Delrin High
Density Synthetic Polymer (Acetal Resin), (4" and 5"Diameter
X 8" Wide) & are capable of absorbing an incredible
amount of force from a direct impact, ie: accidental dropping
of the unit or hitting an edge or corner, of a steel work table.
This allows the drum to remain round and true, for vibration
free performance. (Aluminium drums can easily come out
of balance, producing vibrations at high speed that is damaging
to the equipment, produces fatigue and difficulty for the operator
plus, produces an "uneven finish" on the surface.)
- SAFE: Operator saftey is of prime concern. The manner
in which "DRUM" type polishers operate, allow the operator
to work in a "natural "standing position, controlling
only the rate at which the machine moves away from the
operator, across the surface. Circular polishing on large surfaces,
require unnatural operator "twisting", resulting in
potential back strain and loss of tool control.
- All SPEC Machines units come with a complete
1 year warranty on all parts, (except air muffler
& air motor blades.) Any warranty repair or replacement
of parts shall be done at NO CHARGE within the warranty period.
Subsequent suggested annual inspection & or tune up's - Customer
is charged for parts only, no labour charges will be applied
for life of equipment, (as long as customer is original owner
of equipment.) With a clean, dry air supply, we are seeing between
2 &3,000 hrs TBO, (Time Before Overhaul), ("Overhaul",
being an Atlas Copco "Service Kit (Part# AC-SK) @
approximately $195.00 US (Price may vary depending on current
currency exchange rates & other variables).
Proudly Designed, Engineered &
Built in Quebec, CANADA.
The picture on the left above, shows the SPEC
Machines Model "SA" in it's standard configuration
for "BUFFING" and "FINISHING" with a SPEC48C,
4"X8" (Cotton) pad .
Pictured on the right above is the SPEC Machines
Model "LA" & some SPEC58C 5" X 8"(Cotton)
Below shows the available SPEC SD39 optional
or additional drum. Fits easily on both an "LA" (pictured)
or "SA" unit. Allows for use of any 3" ID accessory.
Above shows some of the different
configurations of the SPEC "SD" using the
"SD39" Drum. In
the middle is the 8" wide (20.3cm) wide The "SD39" Drum can be used with on both the SPEC
"SA" and "LA" models. To change between the
Standard 4" or 5" Buffing drums and the SPEC37
drum involves only undoing a 10mm SS bolt and switching drums,
(Less than 1 minute)
NOTE: Standard Model "SA" & "LA"can
easily be converted to this configuration by simply purchasing
the SPEC "SD39" DRUM separately.
Above left shows the Model "SA"
converted to it's " SURFACE TEXTURING / MATERIAL REMOVAL"
configuration with the specially designed drum (#SPECSD39)
that will accept either a 4" wide X 8" diameter (shown
above on left) ScotchBrite® only Drum or (middle) a
6" wide X 8" diameter, 3M Scotchbrite® "COMBO Flap DRUM" (Grey Scotchbrite
interlaced with 280G Aluminum oxide paper) perfect for heavy corrosion,
paint removal or metal surface "texturing" producing
a "SATIN" or a particular "Scratch Pattern"
Textured Finish. Pictured on the right, using the
same drum, it can accept single or multiple, (stacked) standard
1/2"wide X 8" Diameter polishing wheels, (available
in many types & varieties) for tool mark repair, heavy material
suface alteration or "texturing" etc. Contact us
for more information or details on "Rapid" corrosion,
oxidation, material removal or surface "Texturing" on
The control handle is fully adjustable, using
a standard 3/16" allen key, (comes with each unit) to assure
proper and safe operator control, "over center" for
exact control or on the extension handles as pictured below. (Also
can be re-configured easily, for "Left Handed" operators).
The SPEC Machines
Model "LA" with the 5" X 8" drum
and SPEC58 pads. This configuration is for polishing very
large surfaces from a "stand off" distance or standing
position. For instance, aircraft fuselage sides and crowns or
in the case of the top wing surfaces, the operator can be in a
comfortable standing position, as opposed to "hunched over"
when using circular type polishers. The use of an optional 2 ft
extension allows for a greater (and safer) "reach" (see
pics further below on this page). The tool actually becomes "weightless"
on fuselage sides and crowns as it will "climb" or "walk"
away from the operator. All the operator has to do, is
control the speed or rate, of the walk or climb. The control handle
(shown in the extended position below) can be easily re-positioned
for maximim operator comfort and control.
Above: For size comparison, picture shows
SPEC "LA" & "SA", with & without 2'
Extension handle (Part# SH2X).
(1.8M) extension, (not shown)
is for use with the SPEC
Below demonstrates the "Safe Reach
Capabilities" of the SPEC Machines "DRUM"
type polishing machines (with & without SH2X, 2' Extension
The picture on the top left is of the horizontal tail
on a DeHavilland "DASH 8". It is approximately 30 ft
(15 meters) high and you can only get the lift so close to your
work. The center picture demonstrates the "reach" of
a SPEC Machine in a rather tight area for a scissor truck
or similar. The picture on the far right shows a polishing operation
on a wide body AIRBUS A330-300 using one of the drum buffers with
two, 2 ft (61 cm) extension handles attatched. (A 6 ft (1.8m)
extension is also available). This truly demonstrates the safe
"reach capability" of the SPEC Machines polishers.
Try maneuvering a lift between the fuselage and engine nacelle
without sweating about hitting the aircraft. Accomplishing these
jobs, with anything less than a SPEC "DRUM" type
polisher, with a 2 ft (61 cm) extension handle(s) installed, is
not only almost impossible, but downright dangerous. The less
you have to maneuver a lift, around & next to, the aircraft,
the less chance for "an accident". The job becomes quicker
& more importantly, far safer, for all concerned.
Above: "Drum" Type Buffer in use for
paint polishing on a deHavilland TWIN OTTER. Note: Difference
on polished sections of paint.
"DRUM" type polishers in use:
<--- Paint polishing &
Leading edge Polishing ----->
<--"Stand Up" deep clean / polishing operations
on a BOMBARDIER Aerospace, Challenger 700
Above: Paint "rejuvenation" deep clean
/ polish on an AIRBUS A330-300
delicate "Warbird" restoration work.
Note the above sequence, from top right, clockwise.
As the drum buffer is pulled down, (the "cut" stroke),
the polish is applied and leaves a black residue. As the buffer
moves back up, (the "color" stroke), pict B & C,
the black residue dissapears, resulting in a highly polished finish,
without the conventional "wipe out" step, common with
The aircraft shown is a 1940's North American T-6 "TEXAN"
belonging to the Canadian Warplane Heritage in Mt. Hope, Ontario.
The polishing is by SKYWAVE Polishing of Toronto.
BELOW: One pass (cut & color) with a "DRUM"
type polisher. What is rather interesting about this series of
pictures, is; note the sticker and the yellow painted tip. No
damage to each. This truly attests to how safe "DRUM"
type of polishing is, to any given surface.
inlet rings. A proper polishing not only looks attractive, but
allows for proper and effecient airflow and eliminates
the onset of corrosion.
we find some difficult work at best. The alloy involved, by design,
has to withstand extremely high temperatures and thererefore is
very difficult to bring to a bright finish. That being said, the
right products, equipment and techniques were able to acomplish
The Parker Hannifin
"EZ-Mate" quick connect-disconnect SAFETY throttle,
Each SPEC Machines unit comes with a
Parker Hannifin "EZ-Mate" quick connect-disconnect
SAFETY throttle. This unique design allows the throttle
to be part of the air line, independent of the tool. Similar systems
require a throttle with each tool. In a scenario where you have
three types of tools but only one air line, you simply plug the
tool directly to the line and you have instant throttle control.
As an added saftey feature, the tool can only be connected
(or disconnected) with the throttle in the CLOSED position.
This prevents accidental connections to a 2 hp, open
throttled machine, spinning at 2000+ RPM. (The results can
be quite exciting.Trust me, I know!) The "EZ-Mate"
has venting ports, that "exhaust" down stream air to
atmosphere, so disconnect is at ZERO pressure, thereby eliminating
dangerous "HOSE WHIP". The "EZ-Mate"
is not only safe but allows the operator "precision"
speed control of the tool.
"TripleO" in England apply and Buff their proprietary "NANO Tech Coating"
Using a SPEC Model "LA" and the new "Y" YELLOW Synthetic Blend Pads.
See this link BBC News to view the BBC News Article
Or Click HERE to visit TripleO's web site directly
and to see a youTube video clip with a SPEC Model "LA" in action.
To see the SPEC Machines "Detailer",
a smaller "mini" drum type polisher for smaller parts
/ areas, click here.
For more information on your specific needs and on
"DRUM" Type Surface Polishing Technology, please feel
E-Mail usat your convenience.
(Please put: SPEC Machine
Information Request, in the subject line.) It helps weed
out the TONS of spam we get.)
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Distribution International Inc. Home Page
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