REMONDIS’ subsidiary, Buchen, offers a highly specialised service for cleaning contaminated and clogged up bulk containers: its mobile silo cleaning service. The cleaning work is carried out using cutting-edge equipment and is fast, efficient and safe as the cleaning operatives do not need to climb into the container at any time. Whether it be coal, fertiliser, plaster, cement, cereal, animal feed, salt or clay: no matter what substance is kept in silos, at some stage or other it is going to adhere to the walls or form clumps. This not only results in a build up of debris but also slows the flow of material down and reduces the space available for storage – a classic case for Buchen‘s mobile silo cleaning team.
Buchen is one of the first businesses in its industry to have been awarded the quality seal for industrial facility services by the quality assurance organisation
Besides needing to have the relevant experience and know-how, silo cleaning work also requires highly specialist equipment. It is precisely for this reason that Buchen employs special cleaning systems that create a number of advantages. No matter which appliance the team uses, they never have to actually climb into the containers making the task much safer for them. Indeed, this aspect of their work is an important argument in their favour for customers operating in, for example, the food processing industry as such businesses are subject to stringent hygiene regulations.
Their work processes are also ideal for the chemicals industry as Buchen’s gear is both anti-static and spark-proof and so meets the industry’s very strict safety standards. The company uses a modular system for its cleaning work. The various appliances, therefore, can be installed quickly, can be adapted perfectly to the conditions on site and only require a 380 volt power supply. All types of deposits are easily removed with this equipment – and in silos up to 45 metres deep.
With this silo cleaning system, the hydraulically powered whips attached to a high strength, multi-part telescopic arm gently remove the deposits from the container
The BinDrill® system can help if a bridge of material has formed inside the silo or the silo discharge section has become clogged up
The Cardox® silo cleaning system breaks up clogged-up material in bulk containers by suddenly releasing liquid carbon dioxide
The actual choice of system depends on the requirements of each individual project. In many cases, the team employs the BinWhip® system – a portable hydraulic device that is powered by an industrial explosion-proof motor. The aluminium construction has a high strength, multi-part telescopic arm with a cleaning head attached to the end with flexible whips. This arm is inserted into the container via, for example, a hatch at the top of the silo from where the operative can precisely control the powerful device as it cleans the silo without damaging its walls. One particular advantage of this system is that it is fully hydraulic.
The cleaning systems are fully hydraulic which creates a number of advantages.
This enables higher torque levels and greater levels of performance to be achieved than would be possible with a conventional compressed-air system. To be able to reach the same level of impact, compressed-air cleaning heads must be operated at much greater speed which makes it more difficult to control their movements. Moreover, the hydraulically powered cleaning heads can be rotated in a clockwise and anticlockwise direction and they create less dust in the interior of the silo. The BinWhip® system is often used in combination with the BinDrill® system – a drilling device powered by the same hydraulic unit. This appliance is used, for example, if a bridge of material has formed inside the silo or the silo discharge section has become clogged up. In such cases, the Buchen experts first drill a hole through the material and then insert the cleaning head with its flexible whips through the gap into the inside of the container.
If tonnes of material need to be detached within milliseconds, then the Buchen team uses the Cardox® system. The compacted materials are broken up by a rapid release of liquid carbon dioxide. Here, the system uses high strength, reusable steel tubes filled with liquid CO2. The gas is activated by a small electric charge causing it to expand. It is then released via a discharge nozzle creating a powerful pushing force reaching pressures of up to 3,000 bar. If the container to be cleaned has permanently fitted tube sockets, then the compacted material can even be removed whilst production processes continue as normal. The Cardox® system is also able to be employed at high temperature, for example in waste incineration plants and furnaces.