|Various hazardous materials
|WSP 2000 “water extractor” in fire department design
Roche is one of the world’s leading pharmaceutical companies. Around 8,600 employees work in Mannheim producing medications to fight cancer and diagnostic products – such as liquid reagents and blood sugar test strips. Mannheim also houses a large research location. An in-house plant fire brigade protects against fires and handles soil and water pollutant control.
When fluids are leaking, the company fire brigade needs to be ready. Since they need to be able to handle a variety of media, including hazardous materials in some cases, flexibility is a key criterion when choosing their equipment.
The Roche plant fire brigade in Mannheim uses two fire-service vacuums made by Ruwac Industriesauger GmbH. Both WSP 2000 type vacuum cleaners can operate in two modes – Suction and pumping. They either collect the extracted material in a 45 litre container, or pump the collected fluid to the closest drain inlet, for instance.
The vacuum cleaners have glass fibre-reinforced plastic drums and stainless steel pumps and are therefore suitable for vacuuming and pumping corrosive materials. The large balloon tyres on the rear axle ensure mobility, and can even easily handle stairs. Roche uses the fire service version of the WSP 2000 because it has connectors for fire-service standard hoses.
The standard version of the WSP 2000 is not able to handle high pumping rates, for example to quickly pump out full shafts. Because of this, Roche asked Ruwac whether it offered a water extractor with an especially high extraction capacity. Ruwac engineers designed a special version of the WSP 2000 which has two pumps and a 100-litre collector drum. The customised unit has a fluid pumping rate of 2 x 18 m3/h with a 1 metre pumping head. The maximum pumping head is 9 metres and the unit can develop up to 4,800 l litres of air per hour. The pumps have separate switching and can therefore be switched on and off to meet requirements at any given time. In addition, the drainage connections on this device are on the bottom of the container instead of on the top. This feature means that the column of liquid in the drum increases the pumping power. This is particularly useful when the pump is running against an empty hose. This is just a small detail but one which greatly increases the unit's performance.
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