Australian Pump, with a management team that comes out of the Earthmoving industry, really understands the challenges of maintaining plant. Here John Hales, their Chief Engineer, analyses the benefits of using steam to clean gear.
HEAT DOES THE TRICK
Equipment owners know that keeping plant clean is a fundamental part of the maintenance program. A clean machine is easier to work on and make major issues visible before they become disasters.
High pressure cleaning without heat takes longer, uses loads of detergent, and creates potential contaminated run off. The use of a hot wash machine, and by that we mean anything from 80˚C through to full strength steam at 130˚C, is more effective and faster.
Aussie’s way of turning cold water into steam is simply to put a boiler between the pump and the gun and hose. That enables high pressure water to be heated as it goes through the boiler coil. The coil is heated by a diesel fuel burner. Correctly used it is fast, effective and can be low cost.
We calculate that 60% to 70% of all cleaning is done in a wash bay adjacent to the workshop. Wash bay sheds, outfitted with single or three-phase mains power supply, suit the application of diesel fuel heated electric drive hot wash machines. Those ‘steamers’ may require 240V or 415V, depending on the size of the motor and the pressure and flow required.
Aussie’s Sizzler is a great starting point. The Sizzler is an 80˚C 1,800 psi single-phase machine that comes loaded with features and is not built like the conventional European-style steam units. By that we mean it’s got a steel chassis, four wheels for stability, a stainless steel cover, and slow speed pump and motor.
“Built to last, these little machines are fitted up with a range of ‘failsafe’ equipment that makes them really easy to use and protects both the operator and the machine from mis-adventures” said Hales.
The machines are compact and favoured by hire companies as well. They can come with an optional stainless steel frame with lifting bar!
BIG PRESSURE TOO
Much bigger steam cleaners are also available with flows of up to 20 litres per minute and 4000 psi pressure rating. Using a 4000 psi steamer, with the temperature knocked down from the 130˚C maximum temperature to an operating 80˚C, will get the job done much faster, and burn a lot less diesel duel through the pressure cleaner. Operators don’t realise that 80˚C melts grease just as fast as the higher temperatures but uses half the fuel!
Further information on Aussie’s range of ‘Hot Shots’ is available from Australian Pump Industries. Apply for your Aussie Earthmoving Contractor Club membership and learn more about how high pressure cleaning can help you cut costs.