Eco-friendly wheel wash for Wienerberger
Wheelwash has recently installed a new, Rhino Ecowash Extra automatic wheel cleaning system at Wienerberger’s Sandown factory in the West Midlands. The busy site has over 60 daily vehicle movements and required an effective system to secure approval for the on-going operation of the site. The new Wheelwash-supplied equipment supplements a 20-year old concrete bath and site-manufactured spray wash which, on their own, were no longer effective.
The search for a new solution began in November 2014, when Technical Manager, Mark Gooderidge contacted Wheelwash to discuss his requirements. A site visit ensued so that Wheelwash could observe site operations to establish the number and type of vehicles requiring washing, the material to be washed and the degree of soiling taking place. Other considerations including the available space and access to water and power were also discussed in order for Wheelwash to make the optimum recommendation.
Part of Wienerberger’s selection process included a visit to inspect an operational Wheelwash system. UK Sales Manager, Alison Galley accompanied Mark to Measham Brickworks to view the newly installed Extreme from their Ecowash range. This project was selected due to the site material and washing principles being similar in both locations.
Both systems have inverter-driven pumps that provide significant operational cost savings (approx. 50%) as well as the flexibility to turn the wash pressure down when weather conditions allow. The fact that the system recycles 95% of the water it uses supports Wienerberger’s company-wide objective to minimise the use of water on their sites. The Rhino Ecowash range has the additional benefits of delivering a high pressure, targeted spray that thoroughly cleans the tyres, wheels, wheel arches and undercarriage of vehicles large and small. This is important to ensure effective muck removal and therefore comply with legal requirements.
Although all Ecowash products can be inset into a prepared excavation, the system for Wienerberger’s Sandown project was supplied with ramps as the customer wanted it surface-mounted. This way, no civil engineering is required with the exception in this instance, of the removal of a small area of curbing so that the external sump fitted exactly. The sump houses the recovery pump which transfers the wash water into the recycling tanks. Wheelwash has designed this to be externally located to ensure easy access for maintenance purposes.
The wash platforms are supplied with wash-down pipework to minimise any opportunity for silt accumulation in the base and removable internal grids for easy access for additional cleaning. These were deemed to be important features to Wienerberger, who had experience of being unable to easily clean and maintain other wheel washing equipment.
Wheelwash provided full technical support throughout the specification and purchasing process including carrying out a site survey, providing RAMS and supplying a comprehensive suite of drawings to show how the new system would integrate with the exiting site infrastructure.
These had to take account of the distance between the wash platform and water recycling system, which was over 20 metres. The water recycling tank supplied is divided into three sections by baffle and weir plates to aid particulate settlement and water quality. From there, the water flows into a 12,000 litre capacity header tank so that there is always ample water available for use on demand.
Wheelwash delivers all equipment on a crane offload vehicle. The Rhino Ecowash Extra was installed at Sandown within a day thanks to the site being fully prepared with power and water connections available.
As part of the commissioning process, Wheelwash’s trained and experienced engineers provide a training session to familiarise the site operatives with the operating features of the system.
Wienerberger is the world’s largest brick manufacturer operating a total of 204 plants in 30 countries and has approximately 14,800 employees.