It’s an architectural showpiece, and 25 Churchill Place will be one of the most energy efficient office buildings in London’s Canary Wharf. The towering glass enclosure features elevators capable of storing and reusing their energy elsewhere in the building, and it was designed by architects at Kohn Pederson Fox Associates.
It’s big, and it’s got a whole lot of windows, and those windows need regular cleaning to keep the tenant’s views of the London cityscape pristine. Spectrum Window Cleaning is helping out. They claim to be the first commercial window cleaners to invest in their own 3D printer for the purpose of creating new tools for the cleaning process.
Spectrum managing director Lucian Ivan says the investment was a necessary progression.
“The crew here love a challenge, and after the recent success on the final cleaning of 25 Churchill Place at Canary Wharf, we’ve been attracting consistently bigger, bolder and more demanding proposals,” Ivan said.
So why a 3D printer? Ivan says it comes down to keeping up with changes in the high-flying industry.
“The team are constantly devising solutions to increasingly difficult access issues; the problem it seems is that the current cleaning industry is often quite literally unequipped to deal with the flow of ideas,” Ivan says. “Making our own bespoke cleaning equipment has been the only way to achieve the standards we want.”
Spectrum says that as a result of the initiative, several of the company’s London clients are seeing results which once required the use of scaffolding or ‘cherry pickers’ to access. Ivan said existing commercial cleaning equipment just won’t cope with the angles and glass design features which were included in many new building sites in the capital.
That’s where Spectrum brought their own bespoke tools to bear, and the tools were engineered from conception to completion in-house. The tools have been so effective, in fact, that Spectrum says they’ll soon market their own line of 3D printed commercial cleaning equipment.
“Some of our designs were so effective we were fielding inquiries from the off,” Ivan adds. “The need is out there, so production seems a natural step. We are looking at a completely new method for cleaning windows. It’s uncharted territory, but the power 3D printing gives us is the possibility to achieve it.”
Although the company says they’re currently in discussion with manufacturers for the “reach pole system” they’ve developed, the details of the product design is still “top secret.”
These “reach and wash systems” can access windows up to 92 feet high, and Spectrum says they have approved contractor status for the process. The method requires 100% purified water which undergoes a filtration process known as reverse osmosis. Purified water is pumped through carbon fiber, telescopic poles.
Companies are re-thinking the way they do business to keep up with changing markets, and part of that process often involves using 3D printing to prototype and build new tools. Do you know of any businesses that have been impacted by the use of 3D printing? Let us know in the Cleaning Windows With 3D Printed Tools forum thread on 3DPB.com.
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