Intellego UVC Dosimeters create an infection-free working environment in the Chilean mining industry

In the Chilean mines of multinational company BHP Billiton, the giant yellow mining vehicles – so-called dumpers – have to work twenty-four hours a day to reach production and profitability goals. At the start of the corona pandemic, the challenge lay in how the disinfection of the cabs at each shift change would be carried out and controlled in a way that was both safe and time-efficient.

The disinfection procedure has now, thanks to specially built UVC lamps from Vortex and dosimeters from Intellego Technologies, been able to be shortened from half an hour to five minutes per vehicle and cab. When the cabs are disinfected at least twice a day, the solution means that the vehicles can be in operation for at least fifty minutes more per day compared with previous cleaning routines and disinfection methods.

It was in connection with a procurement that the company Sanit Chile, well-known manufacturers of solutions for cleaning and disinfection with UVC light for a variety of applications, started the subsidiary Vortex, which primarily develops and provides solutions for companies in the mining industry.  

“Our customer requested a safe, secure and efficient solution that shows that they live up to the requirements for disinfection of the cabs in the company’s many work vehicles. It must be clearly shown that the cleaning processes give the desired result so that employees can be offered a clean, hygienic and infection-free environment,” says Juan Luis Guzman, CEO of Vortex.

The new cleaning system has proven to be very easy to use, which is appreciated by employees. The system consists of two components; a specially designed UVC unit that is mounted in the vehicle and dosimeters that are replaced by the drivers themselves at each shift change. When a machine operator leaves his shift and leaves the cab, he activates the UVC unit and attaches a dosimeter card to the vehicle’s dashboard. When the next shift begins, the colleague can easily see that the disinfection has been carried out with the desired result.

Previously, cleaning agents containing so-called quaternary ammonium compounds were used in the cabs. In addition to these being hazardous to health and difficult to degrade in nature, they caused damage to the vehicles’ sensitive electronics and displays, Guzman continues.  

The disinfection process with UVC light in combination with dosimeters is a much better alternative from a sustainability point of view, compared to previously used agents and methods.

Vortex tested and evaluated several other options for disinfection control before the choice fell on Intellego’s dosimeters. The crucial thing was that the measurement results are consistently very reliable, that the color indicators of the dosimeters are easy to read and that the dosimeter card format – postcard-sized, self-adhesive cardboard with so-called photochromatic ink that changes color with UVC radiation – is practical and easy to use.

In particular, dosimeters from Intellego are used in Vortex special solutions for the mining industry, but the parent company, Sanit Chile , has also started using dosimeters together with, for example, the UVC units Sanit Movil and Sanit Box, to ensure that rooms, environments or objects have been exposed to sufficient UVC. radiation.

“We are proud that our dosimeters are now used in more and more different industries and applications,” says Claes Lindahl, CEO of Intellego Technologies. “This again shows that disinfection with UVC is a technology that is advancing in a variety of contexts and environments where disinfection and cleaning need to be ensured. Our dosimeters simply make the invisible visible.”

For the employees at BHP Billiton Group’s facility Escondida in Chile, the world’s largest producer of copper raw material and cathodes, the dosimeters from Intellego are now an important, obvious and appreciated part of a safe working environment. Thanks to the dosimeters’ ability to visualize the effect of the invisible UVC light, employees can always feel safe when they get to work and start the day’s – or night’s – shift in the work vehicle’s cab.