Cable-based high-speed drain cleaning tools have seen rapid growth in popularity across the drainage industry, with equipment manufacturer Rioned the latest to enter the market with its RioFlex range.
While the RioFlex high-speed flexible shaft drain cleaning machine shares similar features with other milling machines on the market, the company claim it offers significant advantages over the competition.
Mark Cox, UK Sales Manager at Rioned, explains: “The RioFlex is the only machine in its class supplied with an adjustable radio remote control. It means operators have full control over the speed and torque of the rotating head to maximise cleaning efficiency while reducing the risk of damage to pipes.”
The new machine has been put through its paces by Rioned’s key customers in the Netherlands, including Van Vught Sewerage, a long-established drainage contractor based in Tilburg. Roel Vermeer, Technical Manager at the firm, says the RioFlex has filled a gap in their equipment provision.
“What we missed was a powerful machine for removing lime from internal pipes,” he says. “Until recently, we did this work with a spring machine, but it was a time-consuming job.”
“When we heard about the RioFlex, I was immediately interested. And after seeing the machine, that enthusiasm only increased. It is a solid machine with a very powerful and reliable engine package. I took the high-speed cleaner with me to a job at the local hospital, where we often come across calcified pipes. And it worked perfectly. The RioFlex broke the lime into very small pieces so that we could rinse it away afterwards."
The cable for the RioFlex is housed in a flexible outer cover that allows navigation through the tightest bends in smaller pipes and also means a camera system can be deployed at the same time without risk of damage. Roel says this has improved productivity: “We did use a spring machine for this type of job but it’s very time consuming, first having to enter the tube with the spring machine, and then the camera.”
“A big advantage of the RioFlex is that the spring is protected by a flexible cover so that you can simultaneously enter the tube with an inspection camera and work purposefully and efficiently. It is easy to work the remote control. Just adjust and you have one hand free."
The RioFlex is powered by a dedicated 0.55 kW electric motor producing up to 3,000 RPM. The high rotation speed allows the thorough cleaning of drain walls using a selection of specialised tool attachments suited to sewer cleaning, CIPP preparation and cutting applications. The new unit has a detachable engine for ease of use in tight spaces and has been designed to allow simple on-site servicing by the contractor.
Roel says they have been impressed by the power of the machine: “We found you never actually have to run the machine at full speed. It can do up to 3000rpm, but 1500rpm is also very powerful.”
In the UK, Rioned is offering the RioFlex as a finance package from £215 per month. Mark Cox is confident customers will soon see the benefits: “If you asked most contractors, they would want an easily transportable tool that can clear and clean rust, cement, scale and small tree roots in smaller concrete, metal and PVC pipes from 40mm to 100mm. The RioFlex offers a comprehensive solution for internal drainage works.”