PROJECT DATE: 2018
Rotadyne collaborates with Geosentinel on a portable and effective tooling washout called the WASHBOX, which has grown to become a leading product within the arena of environmentally sustainable design, and a must-have within construction sites.
Every day, construction site washouts contaminate an estimated 15 million litres of drinking water with liquid waste, toxic chemicals and leftover solids. These washouts are necessary; workers must wash off their tools multiple times throughout the work day, however they often lead to pollution in the infrastructure and plumbing, as well as the environment if discharged onto soil, sewers or waterways.
But now, there’s a more effective way for tradespeople to get their tools clean, while keeping it green.
Rotadyne went onsite with Andrew Crimston and Michael from Geosentinel WASHBOX in Sydney investigate how they have taken tool cleaning from a messy and often even hazardous chore, to a high tech, cost effective solution to water inefficiency and waste pollution in construction sites. The WASHBOX is an excellent example of how the push environmental sustainability does not happen in spite of innovation, but rather inspires it.
Geosentinel originally produced the WASHBOX here in Australia in 2006, however their collaboration with Rotadyne began in mid-2019.
Traditionally, tools used by workers that would be covered in chemicals and products were cleaned at low tech washouts, which were reportedly unproductive, environmentally unfriendly, hazardous and messy. In some cases, this messiness ultimately caused defects in the building itself with mould, bad odour, contamination of finished plumbing, and water damage all being significant risks. Additionally, issues were found with functionality, effectiveness, mobility and maintenance.
The WASHBOX now solves all these issues, providing a fully automated, self-cleaning, connected system which not only provides an effective, mobile space for tool cleaning, but also has an installed dashboard data presenting system which informs customers on results in waste reduction. The WASHBOX uses a rent out system with provided delivery, servicing and maintenance, which elongates products lifecycle and prevents dumping of unwanted parts in construction zones.
“It’s an extremely high tech solution for the problem it solves.” Andrew Crimston, Geosentinel
WASHBOX has been used in a number of environmentally conscious projects, working with the highest echelon of workers both across Australia and internationally. During this time, it has undergone many changes in design and manufacturing, including the switch from stainless steel to much lighter rotationally moulded plastic pieces. The current WASHBOX model includes an aluminium frame and a total of 10 different rotationally moulded plastic components assembled within it.
Rotadyne maintained a focus on tolerancing and warpage during production, as the pieces must not only fit together, but also fit within the precise measurements of the metal frame. All plastic parts are provided by Rotadyne, including the tank, the filter trays and the splash backs for both small washouts at 180L and large ones at 500L. The switch from steel to plastic allowed for the addition of bidirectional wheels in the trolley version of the WASHBOX, which has been a game changer for construction workers who now have the flexibility to move and position their washouts within a space which is often restrictive.
“[Rotational moulding] Allows us to have a system which works more effectively, which improves user experience, and which enables the trolley version… we couldn’t make this out of stainless steel, it would be too heavy.” – Andrew Crimston, Geosentinel
“My favourite part is the embossed logo!” – Michael Wale, Geosentinel
While the new embossed logo is not essential to the functionality, it provides advantages such as brand security as well as aesthetics. The new WASHBOX also takes advantage of the added colour flexibility provided by rotational moulding, choosing from our array of colour options to create both green and blue pieces, as well as include large instructional graphics on its front. Rotational moulding allows for these designer features so that the finished product is not just durable, but also desirable.
Increased mobility and aesthetics are benefits awarded by the conversion to plastic pieces, however the predominant reason which inspired this change was product functionality. The use of stainless steel made it virtually impossible to fabricate the fluted arches inside the tank which is essential to stimulate the funnelling effects by which the tank works.
As tools are cleaned, the arched walls of the tank creates a centre of gravity which directs the waste to the bottom of the tank. Meanwhile, the tank fills with water, eventually triggering a buoyant switch at its top which cues the draining of the tank. All the waste is at this point perfectly positioned to drop into the filtration system, minimal leftover residue left in the tank. The shape of the tank is therefore essential to the overall function of the product, and is what inspired their collaboration with us here at Rotadyne. After 12 months in the making, the WASHBOX has developed into a highly effective and sustainable tool washing technology.
“Rotational moulding really enables this product to exist.” – Andrew Crimston, Geosentinel
Geosentinel are now setting their sights onto new environmental milestones, such as their development of a carbon reduction strategy to achieve carbon neutrality certification, or their aim to achieve a higher green star rating (awarded for environmental sustainability of buildings). Improvements to the design are therefore still ongoing in order to achieve these environmental goals, creating design challenges such as increasing the maximum capacity of the tanks.
The WASHBOX is evidently beneficial on multiple fronts. It is cost effective and in accordance to environmental laws. It reduces required fresh water by 98%, is easy to use and maintain, is durable and function, and skyrockets onsite productivity. Overall, this is an impressive product that Rotadyne is proud to have played a part in developing and helping establish as a key asset within the construction industry.