Lafarge Cement venture develops new silo cleaning system

Lafarge Cement venture develops new silo cleaning system
Published: 22 June 2011

Lafarge Cement and Silo Cleaning Services have developed a new cleaning system that improves the safety of its employees.

The ‘Roof and Wall Master’ technology was invented by Silo Cleaning Services in response to a challenge Lafarge Cement faced at its Hope Cement Works in Derbyshire.

Ashley Bryan, Lafarge Cement’s Hope Works manager explains: “We had a large amount of cement build up in the top of one of the cement silos, which needed to be cleaned in a safe manner.  The usual cleaning systems require a person to go into the silo, however, we felt that this was unsafe in this instance.  In response to this problem we asked Silo Cleaning Services to come up with a solution.”

The ‘Roof and Wall Master’ works by using a series of tentacles driven by very high speed air.  The tentacles are attached to a sweeping arm which can be lowered into the silo and operated without the need for anyone being inside.    

Ian Dawson, deputy national health and safety manager at Lafarge Cement comments: “The product has been a great success here at Hope Works.  By removing the need for anyone to work in a confined space this technology has provided a safe solution to a common problem in the industry.

“Health and safety is a key priority for Lafarge Cement and we continue to look for ways to help improve safety across the industry.  Following the introduction of the ‘Roof and Wall Master’ at Hope Works we invited the Mineral Products Association (MPA) and the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) to the site to demonstrate the safer technology to the industry first hand.”

Ian Gibson, Health and Safety Manager at MPA Cement said: “In common with its member companies, MPA Cement’s number one priority is safety.  We welcome Lafarge Cement UK’s initiative in finding new ways to reduce the risk to staff from high level silo cleaning and we were very impressed with what we saw at Hope Cement works.  Silo Cleaning Service’s new high air pressure ‘whip’ marks a step change in silo cleaning and clearly has industry wide application.  We fully support any development that minimizes the risk of injury to staff and contractors.”

Russell Thomas from Silo Cleaning Services added: “We have had excellent feedback from the Health and Safety Executive, particularly as the HSE has been prioritising finding solutions to cleaning confined spaces without man entry.

“We are delighted that it seems that the safety improvements delivered by this equipment can be applied to many more applications than we first thought, including cleaning cyclones and concrete mixers.  This technology removes the need for anyone to enter these confined spaces.  It also saves on expensive scaffolding and downtime, helping site managers reduce their costs.”