Recently our expertise was required for a large intricate cleaning job. The largest goat milk co-operative in the country needed to have a high clean performed in the canning and distribution complex of their dedicated infant formula plant.

Our team faced some fascinating challenges with this job, the most interesting being that all the areas were in a negative vacuum and that being a dry powder plant no liquid could be involved. This combined with the heights of between 5-15 metres, the areas to be cleaned including

  • I-Beams
  • Purloins
  • Wall ledgers
  • Downpipes

and that no dust was to settle on any lower surface meant no dusting was allowed. This posed some interesting issues and it was decided that a “dry” clean was the best solution as no water or liquid cleaners could be used.

All easily moved items were taken out of the job areas and any fixed machinery and immovable stocks items were covered and masked to eliminate any possible contamination from above.

The work was carried out using HEPA (High Energy Particle Absorber) filtered vacuum cleaners, that because, the work was in a dry powder plant also needed to be anti-static to eliminate any possibility of electrical charges being generated which could cause a dust explosion. Dust explosions are a huge hazard in a variety of manufacturing plants, combustible dust builds up in the air and can combust.  Several factors must be present for an explosion to occur including: (but not limited to)

  • A combustible dust
  • Oxygen
  • An enclosed space
  • An ignition source

HEPA filters must remove 99.97% of particles that are equal to or 300 nanometres (0.3µ) in diameter and to be truly effective the vacuum cleaner is a sealed unit to ensure no air leaks before passing through the filter.

To further challenge the team there was a daily “white glove” test carried out by the client throughout the work site, this really kept the mind focused on the job at hand. It took 4 team members 5 days to complete the contract and satisfy all the clients stringent requirements.

The client was more than happy with the completed clean and has now implemented a high clean schedule with us to ensure their products remain, clean, clear and contaminant free.

Please do give us a call for all of your high-level cleaning requirements.  We are Impac PreQual certified and all of our staff are NZQA qualified for heights work.

“We will do whatever others can’t or won’t do”

Simon Nee

Simon is the Head Technician at Rapid Facility Services.

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