Thursday 16th Aug, 2018

Choosing the right vacuum for the job

The VHS110 Z22 vacuum is powerful, yet portable.

Chris Callicott from Nilfisk speaks to ABHR about how the company can assist in matching industrial vacuums to different areas of industrial processing.

High power industrial vacuums are irreplaceable tools in heavy industry to collect great quantities of dust or granular materials that escape during the working process.

Waste collection prevents product contamination and results in fewer stoppages to the working machine.

Nilfisk is a global manufacturer of cleaning machines for heavy industry. It makes industrial vacuums, sweepers, centralised systems that are able to satisfy any kind of cleaning need and improve safety and health while reducing costs.

“Industrial vacuum systems are used primarily for containing dust and there are two types of hazardous dust: dust that can be inhaled and explosive or combustible dust,” Chris Callicott said.

“Both have the potential to kill,” he adds. “We treat them both seriously and we’re very particular about who we allow to have access to our product… there are a limited number of dealers and those dealers we work very closely with to ensure that we’re mitigating risk for all parties.”

Many of Nilfisk’s customers for industrial vacuums are seeking to use the product in asbestos applications, with others coming from demolition, construction, pharmaceutical and food sectors.

One of the biggest markets for Nilfisk is the food manufacturing industry, where its products are used to reduce the risks from explosive dust.

“Baby formula is quite a high risk area,” said Mr Callicott. “We have customers that are in biscuit manufacture or confectionary, wherever there’s sugar as that is a high risk application. Even the tube type of coffee powders because they have sugar mixed with them.”

Nilfisk is currently working with a milk powder plant to supply 10 machines for its facility.

“They are big plants and one machine won’t cover the whole area,” said Mr Callicott. “Sometimes end users also need a range of differently certified machines to cover different areas of the plant.”

Mr Callicott said that good housekeeping is essential in industrial applications as built up dust can create numerous problems.

“For example, if you have no build up of dust and have a small ignition it’s not as dangerous as having the initial ignition that then rattles all the built up dust that might be on rafters or pipes or tops of machines.

“It forms a cloud and then you have a secondary explosion,” he said.

Typically, industrial customers know the rating of the area in the plant they want to keep clean with a vacuum system. However, Mr Callicott said it’s important to do your homework.

“It’s not legally up to us to tell them they need a specific type of vacuum but if they don’t know the rating of the different zones within the plant, we suggest they engage a consultant.

“Once they have a rating on the areas we can help them with the right equipment,” said Mr Callicott.