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2020 / 2021 Edition

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Lafarge keep the dust down with Gotland

Achieving high standards of health and safety and environmental control is essential on any industrial site. But using shovels and brooms to remove dust and debris is time-consuming, unpopular and potentially dangerous.

At Lafarge’s Northfleet terminal, 4,500 tonnes of clinker a week are offloaded by grab cranes. Spillages are usually collected and put back into the manufacturing process, but clinker can range from the size of a tennis ball to fine dust, and the rain makes the material even more difficult to handle.

Gotland’s CompVAC has been designed to remove anything from dust to 50mm debris (wet or dry).  Using a unit at the Northfleet facility has clearly impressed Martin Homer, the execution engineer at the terminal, who has been overseeing the CompVAC operation. ‘It’s compact and easy to move around using a forklift, so we can use its power effectively wherever we need to,’ he said.

The CompVAC is powered by a 32amp, three-phase power supply, comes with a 20m hose, and includes a set of tools and extensions to help make cleaning up much easier. Waste is collected by the unit’s integral hopper, and through its self-discharging outlet the waste material is discarded into skips, bins, bags or on to conveyors.

Meanwhile, at Lafarge’s Westbury cement plant in Wiltshire, the housekeeping team are using a Gotland SkipVAC to clean up areas where cement dust is present. Running on a standard 32amp, three-phase power supply, the SkipVAC offers effective filtration to keep dust contained, including 40mm debris, and is equipped with a built-in hopper and forklift sleeves for easy transportation.  

Ken Stevens, packing plant manager at the Westbury works, says the machine has helped the housekeeping team achieve exemplary environmental and cleaning standards.

‘Cleaning up around the packing equipment used to be one of the least popular jobs on site, because it was done using just brooms and shovels,’ he explained. ‘When moisture got into the deposits or spillages of cement dust on and under the palletizers, it was very difficult to remove.

‘Gotland’s SkipVAC has changed all that. By fitting additional electric power points around the plant, operators can use it wherever it’s needed. The brushes and extensions, such as the chisel-ended crevice nozzle, have made it much easier for getting to get into the hard-to-reach areas around the palletizer equipment and clean up all the cement dust waste. I strongly recommend the SkipVAC to anyone involved in cement manufacturing.’

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