A new barrel cleaning machine called EzyLift is set to revolutionise the way barrels are cleaned in the Australian wine industry.
Ulf Thorstensson is well known in South Australian wine industry circles as the owner of Clean Machine, the business in Kilburn best known for its pressure cleaners and service. But there is more to Ulf and his business than meets the eye, as evidenced by a recent patent awarded for a particularly innovative idea.
The patent is for what Ulf is calling the EzyLift barrel cleaner and handler invention which is a significant achievement for a local SA business. More importantly it’s an innovation that improves the productivity and safety of handling wine barrels when pressure cleaning them for the removal of tartrates.
After hearing about incidents involving high pressure hot water and the back-breaking work of manually handling wine barrels into position for cleaning, Ulf decided there had to be a better and safer way.
On a long-haul flight he challenged his inventiveness and engineering talent to create a solution; the criteria being to rotate the barrel, insert the nozzle, and activate the system, all in one simultaneous, safe, and effortless motion. After sketching several ideas he set about building a working model and – with a little trial and error – Ulf invented his EZYLift and proved its functionality.
It’s a unique practical solution, which makes the job easier, safer and more productive. It takes wine barrel handling to a whole new level and winemakers will love it.
The EzyLift is protected with a patent because Ulf believes it presents a global opportunity for Clean Machine to explore. It will be manufactured in house by Clean Machine.
The EzyLift is wheeled beneath the barrel then tilted back to lift the barrel off the rack onto the EzyLift’s four support rollers. It is a robust stainless steel construction that comfortably handles the weight of a barrel, whilst still being easily manoeuvrable.
The four rollers allow the operator to simultaneously rotate the barrel and insert the barrel cleaning nozzle. The nozzle is aligned on a slide mechanism and activated when fully inserted. High pressure hot water through a rotating nozzle then scours tartrates from the inside surfaces, which is currently the most popular technique used. At the end of the cycle the nozzle automatically turns off as it is being withdrawn from the barrel. The barrel is then rotated back into position and the trolley is free to be manoeuvred.
Using the EzyLift is a user friendly process that increases the work rate while at the same time reducing fatigue caused by repetitive barrel handling. More importantly it also helps mitigate the risk of shoulder and back strain.
Another important safety consideration is that high pressure hot water can cause significant injury if inadvertently activated in an open area. The EzyLift however minimizes this danger as the nozzle can’t be turned on unless it is inside the barrel. A winery setting can also often be a very hectic environment; an issue when moving equipment such as the loose hoses associated with traditional barrel cleaning systems. In contrast, since the EzyLift has two wheels and handles similar to a trolley, it’s easy to wheel around, move over obstacles and position between the racks, increasing both safety and ease of use.
Clean Machine supports most barrel cleaning brands, such as PA, Bolondi, Moog, EzyLift and EzyUnder. They all use either a twin or quad pin jet rotating nozzle system connected to a high pressure hot water. Whether you insert the rotating nozzles from above or below the barrel will depend on the racking system used.
The pin jets nozzles typically rotate around a turret to provide complete orbital cleaning coverage of all interior surfaces. With a quad pin jet nozzle configuration every surface of the barrel is covered within 105 seconds.
Clean Machine’s sales approach for EzyLift is to demonstrate how efficient and easy it is to operate and let you be the judge. They are happy to provide a demo anywhere anytime or if you just want to speak to someone who has one, then give Clean Machine a call and they are happy to arrange it.
There is also the EzyUnder – the younger sibling of the EzyLift. It’s a stainless steel trolley mounted rotating nozzle barrel cleaner that can be safely wheeled into position for operation. The trolley safeguards the nozzle and the control valve is positioned inside the handle to reduce unintentional activation. EzyUnder is compatible with Bolondi and Moog barrel cleaning heads.
Where it is not possible to rotate the barrel for cleaning and drainage a siphoning style barrel cleaner can be used. They are equipped with a suction tube for simultaneous cleaning and removing of the rinse water. This style of barrel cleaner uses the same high pressure rotating nozzle system and incorporates a high powered venturi pump and suction tube to continuous evacuation of the cleaning water from the barrel.
Clean Machine’s core business is high pressure cleaners and they pride themselves on their workmanship, backup, and support. They represent industry leading brands like Gerni, Kerrick and Bar, and consistently seek to deliver appropriate equipment for specific environments. The right pressure cleaner saves time and money, does a better job, and increases the longevity of vineyard and winery equipment.
Clean Machine can also engineer Ring Mains system to intelligently connect all of the winery to high pressure hot and cold water. Outlets conveniently placed around the winery ensure a safe and efficient working environment, where multiple people can be operating at the same time.
With a Ring Mains system the pressure cleaners, water supply, hot water service, foaming system, electrics etc. are located in a dedicated area away from equipment, vehicles and people which reduces the hazards of long hoses and electrical cables on the floor of the winery, while the stationary installation keeps diesel fumes out of the facility.
• Further details phone Ulf on 0419 616 803 or visit www.cleanmachine.com.au