The water was dirty but the solution was clear
Wed, 08/28/2019 - 15:46
Commercial Dive Cleaning
There’s a commercial dive operator who maintains massive water-tanks at their worksite in WA’s vast north west. At the bottom of these tanks, a large amount of dirty sediment collects and builds. The customer had installed an underwater robotic device (called Auger) to break up the troublesome sediment, however it was not shifting all the dirt. The blades of the robotic Auger couldn’t reach all the deeper sediment, so they contacted Grant Barfield at the OEM group to discuss a custom cleaning solution.
“When the client came to us, they had the genesis of the idea already in mind – to use high pressure water to blast the remaining sediment free” said Grant Barfield from OEM Group.
“We agreed that a surface mounted pressure cleaner - with a long hose leading to an underwater nozzle connected to the Auger - would reach parts of the tanks they currently couldn’t. Importantly, it would also provide the necessary blast-force to remove the stubborn sediment” he explained.
After inspecting the water tanks, Grant and the OEM Group design team started work on a custom high-pressure cleaning solution.
“We initially designed and built a set-up with just one standard Spitwater HP201S pressure cleaner. The machine sat on the surface, driving high-pressure water through 50 metres of high-pressure hose, down to the tailor-made three-arm nozzle positioned at the bottom of the water-tank” said Grant.
The end of the hose – with the triple-nozzle - was mounted to the robotic Auger which moves along near the bottom of the tank. Now capable of spraying a powerful jet of water, the vast majority of the sediment was broken up by the high-pressure water-blast before the Auger even got there.
Cleaner water and safer operating conditions.
After onsite testing, the first unit proved to work very effectively. In fact, it worked so well, the customer asked OEM Group to build an even bigger rig that could power three underwater arms at once. The plan was simple and effective – ramp-up the output and clean the tanks three times faster.
The initial thought was to design a rig with just one, very-large unit that could drive three hoses down to the three underwater arms. However, after some deliberation, the OEM Group team decided to connect three separate Spitwater HP201S Pressure Cleaner units together to keep the entire unit within Class A safety standards for a Jetting system (AS/NZS).
“As one of WA’s most skilled fabricators, it was no drama for OEM Group to design, engineer and build the heavy-duty skid-platform that all three machines are mounted on. After fitting all three units to the custom-made platform, a 100L header tank was also supplied and installed” explained Shaun Patience, Group Sales Manager.
“We electrically connected all three of the pressure cleaner units to create just one power source. This allows the customer to maintain individual control over each of the 3 units, yet they can operate from one control panel. So, it’s faster, safer and easier” added Shaun.
The end product works brilliantly. As planned, the custom-made cleaning rig – powering 3 high-pressure arms 50 metres below the surface – easily shifts sediment from the bottom of the tank. With the dirt released, the Auger takes it to the surface for removal.
“The customer couldn’t be happier with the result and so are we. This is a perfect example of the OEM Group’s unique skills and demonstrates why we are considered much more than just a trusted supplier – we are partners in productivity with our clients” said Shaun.
“This custom-unit helps this customer to improve safety, reduce downtime and optimise productivity. That’s a fantastic result for any worksite” finished Grant.