PRESSURE, POWER AND PASSION
Apressure cleaner, also known as pressure washer or water blaster, is essentially a water pump, energised by a power source, that takes in water from a water supply and delivers it under pressure to the high pressure nozzle activated by a wash gun.
However, there are pressure cleaners and there are pressure cleaners.
When it comes to choosing these products for industrial and mining sites, companies want units that are more than just the average domestic pressure washer: they need to be robust, capable of delivering high water volume and pressure whilst able to withstand rugged conditions.
And that’s why products made by Australian manufacturer Spitwater are in high demand: the business specialises in a complete range of high pressure water cleaners, used across various resource sectors throughout the country.
Australian Mining Review took a closer look at its quality range and operations.
THE KEY QUALITIES
According to Spitwater director Gary Rodgers, when companies buy equipment for their businesses, they expect two things: genuine value and a solution to their problem.
“At Spitwater we understand this and we guarantee that there is no better product than ours to meet the challenges of commercial and industrial cleaning,” he said.
“We make this promise because at Spitwater we design and manufacture a full range of high pressure cleaners. “We are sure to have the perfect high pressure cleaner to literally make your cleaning problem disappear.
“Industrial cleaning is repetitive and messy whether it’s washing mining trucks and farm machinery, cleaning a food processing operation every 10 minutes, or removing graffiti.
“When you buy a Spitwater you know that your high pressure cleaner will work every time and will clean just as well after 1,000 washdowns as it did the first.”
With range of ‘off-the-shelf’ machines offering water flow rates up to 30 Litres per minute and pressures up to 400 bar, there is no dirt or grime that can stand in Spitwater’s way.
To support the investment, there is a factory backed sales and service office in each state with direct access to an impressive inventory of spare parts, as well as an extensive and experienced dealer network Australia-wide.
THE CLEANING MACHINES
Gary said that Spitwater has been designing and manufacturing machines at its modern production facility in Albury, in southern NSW, for more than 35 years.
“We also have the capacity to build customised models on request for highly specialised applications, such as mining” he said.
“Experience has taught us what our clients have to clean, and we build products to match the challenge.”
Spitwater high pressure cleaners are available in cold as well as hot & cold water configurations, because every cleaning job is different.
The range of available machines can produce pressure up to 400 bar with the hot water cleaners able to produce temperatures of up to 150oC in steam mode.
The inbuilt heating coils in the hot water models are manufactured in-house by the company’s expert tradesmen, using up to 47 m of steel, seamless pipe. Mild steel heating coils are standard, but seamless stainless steel is optional for heavy duty applications.
Spitwater range of electric powered machines offers both single as well as three-phase high pressure cleaners for cleaning jobs which are conveniently located close to an electricity supply. These units are compact, powerful and efficient.
When electricity is not the best option, then the company’s portable petrol, Diesel and hydraulic high pressure cleaners are an excellent choice.
With engines up to 30 hp and pressure up to 400 bar, they are suitable for any cleaning situation.
“There is no need to compromise the maintenance regime or hygiene procedures because of a remote location,” Gary said.
Spitwater uses steel and brass where other brands use plastic. The brass components are machined in-house from solid billets, using high precision computerised lathes, and the steel is cut with modern laser cutters and welded in the factory.
Gary said that sophisticated robotic welding equipment and state-of-theart computer-controlled combined laser cutting and turret punching technology are used to achieve the goal of delivering perfection every time.
“And that is just the start,” he said.
“Beneath the immaculate powder coated or stainless steel covers, the bases of Spitwater high pressure cleaners are all zinc-annealed to ensure corrosion resistance for a very tough lifetime.
“These are perfect for years of cleaning on a busy worksite.
“Our experienced tradesmen perform the critical tasks that require an expert hand.
“They roll, bend and weld all of the steel pipe and tube that go into our high pressure cleaners,” he continued, “Once the steel components are made, we fit only the highest quality Italian made pumps, Honda or Kubota engines and other components to complete our machines.”
“Our philosophy is clear, if it is not the best it does not get used.”
THE IMPORTANCE OF CLEAN ENGINES
Gary said pressure cleaners had a part to play in reducing fire risks associated with heavy duty motor vehicles, such as mining trucks.
“Engine compartment fires are a reality,” Gary said.
“However, some simple maintenance and cleaning can prevent this from happening.”
Gary said the importance of a clean engine bay cannot be overstated.
But not everyone has the proper knowledge how to perform this important task.
Spitwater has outlined a step-bystep cleaning method that can help businesses maintain a clean engine bay:
• Prepare your pressure washer, degreaser and applicator for action
• Allow the engine to cool before cleaning as applying chemical or water to a hot engine can create problems, particularly electricals
• Fasten or remove any loose items such as covers or guards to avoid damage from chemical or water
• Disconnect the negative terminal on the battery – this will help protect electrical components from being damaged by water
• Use plastic bags or wrapping to cover any sensitive areas including ECU’s or air intakes
• Spray the engine and surrounds with degreaser using an applicator sprayer or soft brush to assist the cleaning before applying any water
• Depending on the grime level allow between three minutes to 20 minutes dwell time for the degreaser to work, and repeat the process if necessary
• Clean off using your pressure washer and then pass over once more for a final rinse avoiding any sensitive areas.
Gary said this simple method can go a long way in preventing engine compartment fires.
“While any pressure washer can be used for this task, using a hot water pressure washer will produce the best results,” he said.
“We also recommend using a good quality degreaser, which must be applied with a pump-up sprayer for best results.”
CASE STUDY 1
Spitwater came to the rescue of a large gold mining company based in Papua New Guinea, who wanted to remove heavy descaling of oxygen spargers (steel pipes) in the autoclaves.
The client had asked Spitwater to provide a machine with enough pressure and water flow to sufficiently descale the steel pipes, which had been blocked with large deposits of scale due to the hardness of the water.
The environment inside autoclave pipework is extreme, with temperatures reaching 150°C and pH levels as corrosive as stomach acid.
The current method of cleaning these spargers is to disassemble and manually scrub them with a large scourer, a process which can shut
down the gold refining stage for three days, costing hundreds of thousands of dollars in downtime.
Spitwater used the HP6030 electric pressure cleaner, a custom-built machine running at 600 Bar at 30 L/ min.
This machine was supplied with a 10 m, R8 wire braided, 1/4in thermoplastic hose, with a 10,000 PSI rated, button drain nozzle designed to navigate its way through small pipes.
The pressure from the tip of the nozzle unblocks and cleans even the largest deposits of scale off the inner walls of the pipes.
The pump is driven by a 50 HP stardelta electric motor running at 1450 rpm, coupled to a Pratissoli HF18 high pressure pump.
A Hammelmann, heavy duty, dry, cutoff foot valve controls the water flow which gives the operator two hands to control the drain hose.
This mean machine, with pump speed of 800rpm, also used a five-tooth belt reduction system and a 100 L header tank.
CASE STUDY 2
Gary explains how Spitwater helped one of Queensland’s largest caged egg suppliers, based just outside Toowoomba, solve a problem.
The business contacted Spitwater seeking a solution to efficiently clean its sheds to maintain high quarantine standards in order to prevent disease outbreaks and maintain general cleanliness.
In the past it had been hiring standard high pressure cleaning equipment and trying to adapt the processes to suit its application.
“After conducting a site inspection, the Spitwater team found a real understanding of the problems they faced,” Gary said.
“The property has 25, 100 m long chicken sheds.
“Each shed houses several thousand birds over eight levels and they need to be cleaned and sterilised every three months.”
Spitwater provided four Model SW21200PE pressure washer units complete with 100 m hoses on reels and foaming lances.
This pressure washer delivers 21 Litres per minute and 200 bar pressure and was the perfect combination to provide the speed and efficiency required for the business.
A sterilising solution was applied through the foaming lance from roof to floor and then easily washed down using the high pressure lance.
The units proved so effective in this application that this customer bought another four units for a newly completed operation at a nearby site.
BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE
The company’s modern, 15,000 m2 manufacturing facility uses the latest state-of-the-art manufacturing technology.
Spitwater offers a truly national presence with factory-backed distribution centres in Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney, as well as dealers and distributors throughout each state and territory, all offering sales, parts and service support to customers.
It backs its quality range with world class parts and after-sales service support.
It utilises only the highest quality components from manufacturers like Honda, Kubota, Interpump and PA, placing the high pressure washers at the forefront of the industry.
In addition to pressure cleaners, the company also produces a range of fanforced, popular, portable industrial Jetfire LPG and Diesel space heaters, and distributes a high quality range of industrial and commercial vacuum cleaners.
Model SW2021 Mine Mate, electricpowered, hot & cold three-phase, 20A cleaner (3000 PSI, 21 L/min, 10 HP).
Model HP110, electric powered, cold water, single-phase, 240 V 15A pressure cleaner (1650 PSI, 12 L/min, 3 HP)
Model HP201S-HD electric-powered, cold water only, three-phase 20A pressure cleaner (3000 PSI, 21 L/min, 10 HP), shown with optional hose reel and 20m of hose.
Model 23-350HYD hydraulic-powered, cold water pressure cleaner, 5000 PSI, 23L/min).
Model SW15-200DES Hatz electric-start Silent Diesel pressure cleaner (3000 PSI, 15 L/min, 13 HP).
Model SW21-200DE electric start Kubota Diesel pressure cleaner (3000 PSI, 21 L/min, 23 HP).