Industrial cleaning is a specialised industry that requires contracted services from experts in their field, reports industrial cleaner Industrial Vacuums (IndVac) MD Dr Clive Roffey.
Industrial cleaning comprises a large variety of services including dealing with hazardous spills, general liquid and solid spillages, dust collection, creating hygienic conditions for food and pharmaceuticals production, and efficiency programmes at mines, he says.
It is important to use the correct equipment for the correct job. For instance, when one is dealing with toxic dust, very fine high efficiency particulate air, or ultra low particulate air filters need to be used to eliminate risks in the waste-air stream.
"With trade unions nowadays being more conscious of the quality of their members' places of work, it is becoming increasingly important for employers to ensure that they adequately clean their warehouses and factories. It is good operating practice and can also become a serious bargaining chip when dealing with labour issues," he says.
Roffey reports that his company specialises in providing equipment that carries the international ATEX safety certification for operation in explosive environments. These environments exist where coal dust, flour, sawdust or other fine metallic powders, such as aluminium and magnesium, are suspended in the air inside warehouses or factories and where exposure to sparks may result in an explosion.
"IndVac provides equipment driven by spark-free induction motors and, uses antistatic hoses and tooling for the accessories. This is a specialised business and not many local companies offer this service," Roffey says.
Further, IndVac has a wide range of compressed air vacuum cleaners that provide powerful suction for a variety of uses, including cleaning and moving products. "In many industrial situations, compressed air is freely available and provides an ideal solution to clear spillages or clean dusty areas. It is often used in conjunction with cyclones, to separate useful products from the waste air stream for reuse, enabling the recycling of spilled products," Roffey adds.
Cyclones further help to reduce dust emissions from vacuum cleaners by catching about 95% of the dust from the waste air stream, increasing savings on filter maintenance.
IndVac also reports that its range of compressed air vacuum cleaners are best represented by the reliable Jumbo vacuum cleaner, which is virtually maintenance free, as it has no moving parts. Roffey says that this system can also be used to safely move large volumes of hazardous dusts and powders between storage locations and reactors. One type of compressed air vacuum simply fits onto the top of a standard oil drum.
Further, the company has a range of industrial vacuum cleaners that are designed for continuous use of eight hours, or more at a time. "These vacuum cleaners are all driven by compressed air, or induction motors as normal brush motors are unable to work continuously without overheating and becoming increasingly unreliable," Roffey says.
Among these high-durability vacuum cleaners is the Big Brute warehouse vacuum. This machine is ideal for cleaning thick deposits, spillages of heavy metal dusts and stones up to 50 mm in diameter. An outrigger attachment allows for the fast wet or dry cleaning of large floor areas, while the standard tools are ideal for cleaning inside narrow lanes and clearing piles of spillage.
The Big Brute vacuum is able to clean out whole grain silos and, with a lift of 20 m, can relocate the remaining grain to another storage facility. It has also been used to suck and collect fly ash dusts over 80 m deep.
Roffey also notes that IndVac has a range of steam-vacuum combination cleaning machines to sterilise areas where absolute hygiene is required, such as in food production and pharmaceuticals facilities.
The company also provides wet and dry vacuum cleaners, as well as silenced, battery, electric, diesel or petrol driven vacuum cleaners to client specifications.
Further, IndVac has started to hire out its equipment, offering a cost-effective solution to companies to do their own industrial cleaning without the need for heavy capital expenditure.