SkipVac cleans-up at Greenwich
Bardon Aggregates benefit from Gotland vacuum cleaner at busy ‘stack-up’ urban asphalt plant
ONE of the busiest asphalt plants in the South East, Bardon Aggregates’ Greenwich facility, has been using its Gotland SkipVac since 2008 to keep its ‘stack-up’ plant clean and dust-free, much to the satisfaction of manager Jason Haisman.
The SkipVac is used for a combination of tasks, chiefly dust removal and recycling, but also general housekeeping and maintaining high health and safety standards.
Over the years much has been done to insulate the plant, with the result that all the airborne dust now tends to stay within the plant and gather around the machinery and floors.
‘Before we got the SkipVac, all the dust removal would be done manually using brooms, brushes, buckets and barrows. It was a pretty unpopular job that tended to be put off for as long as possible, explained Mr Haisman.
‘Since we’ve been using the SkipVac, the operatives are much happier doing the housekeeping and it’s a task that only takes about 15min each time. It’s also a lot safer as they are not exposed to all that airborne dust.’
The SkipVac is a fully enclosed system from the cleaning nozzle to its internal skip. All the dust is vacuumed directly into the built-in skip and is then tipped back into the coating process to achieve 100% recycling of the waste product.
The machine’s ease of operation has been improved significantly by the addition of a centralized vacuum pipe to the four-level stack-up asphalt plant. Each floor now has its own inlet valve and flexible suction hose, so the operatives no longer have to carry heavy hoses up and down the plant.
‘With the SkipVac providing the suction power at ground-floor level to the central pipework, they just attach the hose to the valve on whichever floor they are working on and start cleaning up,’ explained Mr Haisman.
‘The pulling power of the SkipVac is impressive – each floor is 10m high, so it’s vacuuming the dust and waste through a hose and pipe from as much as 40m or 150ft away.’
The SkipVac is used throughout the plant for various dust-removal duties and, thanks to the installation of 415V sockets in various places, this includes vacuuming the dust from under the cold feeders – a major source of dust generation.
‘The SkipVac collects about a skip-load of dust – approximately half a tonne – every two weeks or so, sometimes more depending on what level of clean we’re doing,’ said Mr Haisman. ‘All of that is recycled back into the process, thereby ensuring our Greenwich plant is very eco-friendly.’