This article was first published in the Autumn/Winter 2019 issue of International Cruise & Ferry Review. All information was correct at the time of printing, but may since have changed.
Most cruise ships and passenger ferries still use traditional vacuum cleaners. But Halton Marine believes there’s a more cost-effective and more hygienic option: a central vacuum cleaning [CVC] system that sucks dirt through tubing installed inside the walls of a ship to a single collection container. So why aren’t CVC systems used more widely?
“We believe it is because of lack of information,” says Salla Ahlberg, marketing manager at Halton Marine. “People do not know this kind of system exists, and even the people who already know about CVC do not necessarily know that the systems can be scaled for professional use on ships.”
Traditional vacuum cleaners are used several times a day, circulating dirty air through filters that allow small particles to return to the same space. A CVC system filters and removes the vacuumed particles from the vessel. “This helps to create a healthier environment and contributes to better indoor air quality, which is particularly helpful for people suffering from allergies and asthma,” says Ahlberg.
There are typically several hundred vacuum cleaners onboard a passenger ship, which requires a lot of storage space. However, the Halton ProClean CVC system only needs one central collection unit in a remote space. The free space this creates could be used for extra cabins, which would mean more revenue for the cruise line.
Halton also estimates that if a major cruise ship needs up to 500 traditional vacuum cleaners a year, they will collectively create around 50 cubic metres of waste that will need to be disposed of when they reach the end of their lifecycle. However, CVC’s central unit is designed to last the ship’s entire lifetime, so there would be zero yearly waste. “The CVC ProClean is a green choice – it enables less waste, as well as savings in energy consumption,” says Ahlberg.
Two of Halton’s customers have independently conducted operational tests on both conventional vacuum cleaners and Halton’s CVC system. A Finnish hotel timed how long it took to vacuum all its rooms with a conventional vacuum. The former averaged 2.2 rooms per hour, while Halton’s system averaged 3.3. The second customer also reported similar figures, showing that the average cleaning efficiency of the chambermaids had improved by almost 55%.
Despite a CVC system initially being more expensive as a single purchase, Halton calculated that over the course of a year, it achieves the best value in terms of finances and functionality. When comparing the two systems, Halton focused on costs associated with the lifetime of the products, dust bags and filters; costs for maintenance work and time spent servicing the products; and time spent vacuuming. Calculations also considered the fact that if cruise lines accounted for a CVC system in the initial shipbuilding design phases, they would be able to add more cabin spaces and drive more revenue.
“CVC offers a real return on investment,” said Ahlberg. “We have made an example calculation with a cruise ship with 1,750 cabins – the savings in one year could be over €600,000 (US$663,267).”
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