Our ATEX Origin Story
As many people already know, the roots of SpaceVac can be traced back to the first product we released onto the market – our gutter cleaning system. A revolutionary development at the time, the system quickly became popular across the UK and further afield internationally.
As the popularity of the product grew however – we kept coming across companies and facilities management partners who loved our technology and ideas, but couldn’t find a way of using the gutter cleaning tools inside – where dust, combustible materials and other matter can build up at high levels as well.
This in turn led to the development of our Internal cleaning system which was built around a slimmer cleaning pole and featured a range of brushes and specialist tools for cleaning inside but even that didn’t meet the rigorous demands of some of the clients we were meeting.
Lots of buildings – including facilities like wood shops, laundries, food manufacturing plants etc – feature areas that are defined as ATEX areas – this means potentially explosive atmospheres where a single spark or discharge of static could cause explosion, secondary explosion and with it – huge damage and potential injury.
In the summer of 2015 a single event occurred that bought the need for our cleaning equipment in these kind of specialised areas into sharp focus: the Bosely Mill explosion.
The explosion at this wood flour mill reduced the building to rubble and tragically claimed the lives of four employees when explosive material was ignited accidentally – causing the blast that destroyed a 4 storey building and a number of large fires.
It’s a case that sent shockwaves through the community and the wider sector and one that very clearly identified the need for us to go back to the drawing board and develop what became the ATEX version of our cleaning systems.
A completely non-conductive version of our system that is guaranteed to provide safe, spark-free operation in ATEX certified zones. Meaning operators could now quickly, easily and safely remove the combustible materials from ago head height – improving cleanliness in these areas but also drastically reducing the potential risk of explosion.
The product has quickly become the centrepiece of the Spacevac range and was the first of its kind anywhere in the world to be certified as safe for use in these specialist environments.
Never one to rest on our laurels – as you can find over here on the blog – we recently launched a number of new additions to our ATEX range including the new ATEX lite and 50mm variants. Be sure to book a demo of them on your premises to see how you could keep your employees safe and your cleaning costs low.