Automated Masking System Revolutionizes Surface Treatment Processing

A case study about how an automated masking line drastically reduced the processing times required for an aero engine component.


MTU Aero Engines, Germany’s leading aero engine subsystem supplier and MRO service provider, was looking for a way to automate their labor-intensive masking application.

They needed to reinforce and seal silicone rings on blisks and protect the parts during surface finishing. Their method required manually attaching, pulling, fitting and clamping thermal adhesive tape, silicone rings, or masks and metal covers to shield the sensitive areas on components from stress and strain caused during processing. MTU wanted to eliminate the labor-intensive manual masking as well as the scrap generated and create a more automated manufacturing system.

Since the existing process used a masking material that could not be scaled up to the needed throughput, MTU required a customized solution that enabled fast, precise masking with the flexibility to cover complex shapes on demand. Additionally, the product needed to withstand high-temperature finishing processes and protect sensitive areas from unwanted coating or overspray.


A Dymax team that included Application Engineering, System Integration, and Internal Sales was created to work with MTU to develop a total solution comprised of a maskant, and automated dispense and cure machine. 

Two SpeedMask® maskants were recommended for their excellent surface protection properties during higher temperature, abrasive finishing processes and for their ability to peel cleanly. Both products allowed for easy, removal of the maskant after proper cure, ensuring that no material was left on finished parts, which could have resulted in rejection during quality inspection. 

For easy, fast dispense and cure of the materials, a Dymax syringe dispenser and light-curing spot lamp were suggested. The dispenser was selected for its precise control over fluid dispense, delivery of micro-shots, beads, or fills, and ability to be incorporated into a system integration operation.

Along with the need for fast light cures and the flexibility to reach material deposited onto complex geometries or in hard-to-cure areas, a spot-curing lamp outfitted with a lightguide was chosen. When combined with precision optics and robotic arm, the equipment allowed surfaces to be masked virtually to zero tolerance levels, offered no limit on the contours that could be produced, and cured in seconds for increased output.

The team devised a cost-effective implementation of the system, provided proper shop floor training of Dymax products, and a created a technical support plan for the life of the process.


By adapting a customized dispensing and curing system paired with SpeedMask® resins, MTU Aero Engines was able to replace a manual application procedure with an automated one. The company drastically reduced the average processing time of one complex part from 4 hours down to 14 minutes and eliminated the high scrap rate of 14,000 silicone rings. 

In addition, the precise placement of the maskant on parts prevented leaking during surface processing, improving part quality, and reducing scrap and rework for exceptional cost savings. The company also has a unique advantage in the marketplace due to this one-of-a kind masking system that augments the overall manufacturing process and increases production throughput.


MTU Aero Engines, an aero engine subsystem supplier and MRO service provider, was using a hard masking process that could not keep up with demand. They collaborated with Dymax's Application Engineering and Systems Integration Teams to devise a complete masking solution that included a new maskant, as well as custom semi-automated dispense and light-cure workstations.

Related Products

Check out the other Dymax products that work in conjunction with this one to create a complete solution

Check out the other Dymax products that work in conjunction with this one to create a complete solution

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