Tunnels

With the high volume of customers, car-wash demands seek for a solution without losing the quality. Ceccato Tunnel systems can offer both – higher capacity of service with constant high quality standards. Full automation of a Tunnel system allows combining a swift washing process with attentive approach to a vehicle; as a result, high volume of vehicles will not influence high quality washing standards. A vehicle is processed through a conveyer passing the stages of washing accordingly. Flexibility in specification choice allows configuring a system, matching the requirements of a business. You are able to get familiar with the standard features (such as the number of brushes, drying stage features, conveyor technical features, dimensions etc.) as well as optional features (customized colours, high-pressure feature etc.). Each of the Tunnel systems can be customized according to your requests, with attentive approach to your needs. Tunnels will be perfect for locations with high volume of vehicles, the variety of selection allows finding the perfect solution for a particular space availability. With the detailed features description you are able to assess your car-wash needs and choose the best option to meet them. The Tunnel line is presented with the models MiniMax (with its sub-models Dynamic, Smart and Edition) and Hercules, with the vehicle capacity of 30 to 90 vehicles per hour, depending on a model. You can find the examples how each system operates in reality along with all the necessary project documentation and technical features description below.

Tunnels

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HERCULES

Provides power, elegance and high throughput

The Tunnel HERCULES washing system is a reference point in the car wash world for its distinguishing characteristics. Its solid structure made to last over time, the flexibility of the software and the characteristic modularity, make it a benchmark in the landscape of tunnel washing plans and an ideal tool to ensure to the business reliability and concreteness. Low energy consumption and very low running and maintenance costs, among the lowest in the market, make it a balanced and secure income tool. Flexibility, reliability, robustness, and modularity are the basic concepts on which was built the success of HERCULES.

The biggest advantage of Hercules, which distinguishes it from competitors, is that it can serve a large number of vehicles per hour. This tunnel is suitable to wash up to 60 cars per hour (Turbo Evolution Model) or up to 90 cars per hour (Translating Model).

Hercules is characterized by:

  • Attention to energy saving and environmental protection, with the double-circuit device for water recycling;
  • Economic efficiency;
  • Vehicles washing and drying quality, positioned and towed in complete safety;
  • Modularity, enabled by the high number of configurations, for every need of space, use, and investment, and complemented by a wide range of accessories;
  • Robustness of the structures made of hot galvanized steel;
  • Self-diagnosis and self-learning software intelligence, for safer and more accurate management of all stages of the washing and drying cycle and reduction of dead times;
  • Reliability and performance, proved by a large number of machines installed in the world.

The structure and principles of operation of the tunnel

The system allows the configuration of a very wide range of different washing tunnels. Hercules Tunnels could be subdivided into the following sections: entry pre-wash; Wheel-wash; high pressure; brushes; wax; drying; and exit.

The entrance is equipped with a self-aligning platform with a roller or sliding element; entrance front with a traffic light (optional); and activation device with a touch-screen interface.

Pre-treatment part includes: fixed emollient arc or controur following (optional); rinsing arc with high pressure (optional); chassis wash (optional); Wheel wash (optional); half brushes (optional); sides wash (optional); coloured foam (optional).

Brushes Group involves: fixed horizontal brush; additional fixed horizontal brush (optional); 4 vertical brushes fixed groups (hercules standard productivity version); 4 vertical swing groups (hercules high-performance version) available in the following configurations

  • 2 couples of translating brushes;
  • 1 pair of translating brushes + 2 single translating brushes;
  • 4 single translating brushes.

Drying phase provided by the wax dispensing arc; superwax dispensing arc (optional); felt separation curtain (optional); horizontal drying with contour following blade; side drying with pair of fixed blades; extra horizontal drying with a contour following blade.

The conveyor system is embedded at floor level. Starting and stopping of the conveyor are carried out automatically. The push rollers are equipped with the protection devices to prevent the accidental placing of the foot under the roller. The conveyor frame is without wheel guides and is equipped with a new type of "covered" towing chain which improves the dragging of the vehicles with low-profile tires. A wheel correlator system and a roller positioning device are installed on the conveyor entry side to facilitate the introduction of the vehicle.

Working Skills

The dimensions of the vehicle to be washed must not exceed these characteristics:

  • Maximum vehicle width 2100 mm;
  • Maximum vehicle height 2300 mm.

The wheelbase of the vehicle to be washed must be between a minimum of 1950 mm and a maximum of 2950 mm. Importantly, the width of the vehicle tires must not exceed 350 mm.

Electrical equipment

The electrical system is made according to the current European regulations, the electrical components of the leading international brands are of high quality. The entire system is managed by programmable logic (PLC). The vehicle counters are password protected like each engine is individually protected against overloads and short circuits. The installation can operate with power supply:

  • 400 Volt + 10% and 50/60 Hz frequency.

Hydropneumatic equipment

The pneumatic circuit is equipped with a pressure switch. The water supply is split: it is designed to feed the system both with fresh and recycled water. The system is equipped with manual flow regulators on each spray arc and with automatic condensate drainage from the inlet air filter.

Winter discharge

The system is equipped with solenoid valves for winter drainage of the water circuit, against possible winter frosts. The activation takes place via a guided choice from the operator panel and temperature probe.

Self-diagnosis

The system software monitors the operation of all parts of the washing plant. In the event of a failure, the control device displays an error code indicating the cause of the failure. This function often prevents the intervention of the Technical Assistance Service or, in any case, makes the intervention more efficient as the call can give the operator more accurate information on the nature of the failure. The HERCULES line applies the "fault-tolerant" philosophy: the total shutdown of the system happens only in case of failures that concern the main parts necessary for the washing cycle and for the safety of people or things. In other cases, the failure is signaled by the diagnostic device, and the cycle continues with the self-exclusion of the failed part.

Consumption 

Following consumption data refer to a washing tunnel equipped with:

  • Pre-wash chemical arch;
  • Low side brushes;
  • Contour following high-pressure arch;
  • 5-brushes station (1st pair translating side brushes + 2nd pair translating side brushes + fixed top brush);
  • Super wax arch;
  • High capacity dryer. 

Comments on the above data:

  • the programmes are indicative;
  • the consumption tests were carried out using a vehicle with a length of 4.5 meters;
  • the power consumptions include the 1.5 KW water pump for the brushes, the 4 KW under-chassis pump and the 18.5 kW high-pressure pump.

Consequently, Hercules is an ideal tunnel washing system, which is equipped with powerful mechanisms that provide excellent quality. In addition, it is the perfect solution for high throughput since it combines high performance with a large number of cars per hour.

MiniMax

The maximum in minimum space.

With productivity of a conveyor tunnel in the space of a gantry, MiniMax is the ultra-compact solution, ideal for small spaces, with just over the 9-meter structure and 10.45-meter total length of conveyer in the minimum configuration. MiniMax has been designed for washing performances up to 30 cars per hour. The three basic configurations designed by Ceccato make it an ideal tool for maximum profitability in relation to price and operating and maintenance costs.

MINIMAX OFFERS:

  • a unique, modern, eye-catching design that will capture the attention of your customers; 
  • the versatility of installation and unsurpassed use made possible by self-supporting structure;
  • the safety of the protections and side covers;
  • full and accurate washing and drying, with qualitative results comparable to those obtained from high-end gantries, but with twice the productivity;
  • the choice of optional washing accessories for even better results;
  • the sophisticated brush control software and the patented Air Plus Drying System, combining the top of the technology with an unsurpassed simplicity.

STRUCTURE

Structures are self-supporting, fixed to the floor with expansion dowels. The steelwork is made in hot galvanized steel, with screw-in bolts and self-locking stainless steel nuts. The coating is of polyurethane powder type, deposited electrostatically and polymerized with a high-temperature oven. Minimum space required for MiniMax is 20 meters including entry and exit areas.

ELECTRICAL EQUIPMENT
The electrical system is made according to the current European regulations, the electrical components of the leading international brands are of high quality. The entire system is managed by programmable logic (PLC). The vehicle counters are password protected. The installation can operate with power supply: 400 Volt + 10% and 50/60 Hz frequency.

HYDROPNEUMATIC EQUIPMENT
The pneumatic circuit is equipped with a pressure switch. The water supply is split: it is designed to feed the plant both with fresh and recycled water. The system is equipped with manual flow regulators on each spray arc and with automatic condensate drainage from the inlet air filter.

CHEMICAL DOSAGE SYSTEM
The system is equipped as standard with adjustable pneumatic dosing pumps for the dispensing of Shampoo, Foamed Shampoo, and Wax.

WINTER DISCHARGE
The system is equipped with solenoid valves for winter drainage of the water circuit, against possible winter frosts. The activation takes place via a guided choice from the operator panel and temperature probe. 

LEARNING
It is possible to set or modify, directly on the installation, the running times of the various stages of the washing and drying cycle. The operation can be done through the Operator Panel in the activation panel of the system. The device allows communicating directly with the PLC from the washing plant. The operator can easily read or modify the data on the PLC itself.

SELF-DIAGNOSIS
The system software monitors the operation of all parts of the washing plant. In the event of a failure, the control device displays an error code indicating the cause of the failure. This function often prevents the intervention of the Technical Assistance Service or, in any case, makes the intervention more efficient as the call can give the operator more accurate information on the nature of the failure.  

The basic configuration of the system consists of six main sections:
1. Conveyor;
2. Entry with a wetting section with shampoo;
3. Wash section with inclined vertical half brushes;
4. Washing section with a horizontal brush;
5. Washing section with vertical brushes;
6. Drying section.

Step 1: At the entrance of the tunnel, there is the photocell system to detect the vehicle presence and to identify whether the vehicle is a van. When the vehicle is in position, the automatic cycle can start. The start of the cycle coincides with the departure of the towing chain and with the start of the vehicle position control system throughout its path inside the tunnel. Position control allows the startup sequence of the workgroups. A traffic light at the entrance of the tunnel regulates the vehicle’s access.

 

Step 2: Vehicle surface treatment section. Before the activation of the brushes, the surface of the vehicle is wet with shampoo dispensed by two columns of side nozzles. The same arcade integrates the foam nozzles. 

Brushes: The first group that activates when the vehicle arrives is the two half tilting brushes mounted each on a structure that can rotate at 90° towards the center of the tunnel. Brushes are initially at the center of the tunnel and gradually open to the vehicle passage to close again on the back of the vehicle. During rotation, the brushes are wet with a series of nozzles applied to the structure as shown in the picture. The water used in this phase is normally recycled water. 

The second group in the sequence is the horizontal brush equipped with vertical movement. During rotation, the brush is wet with recycled water dispensed by a horizontal arch applied to the upper crossbeam. During the brush rotation, the engine absorption is checked to detect anomalies that could be caused by collisions or clogging of the bristles with the vehicle’s edges.

The third working group consists of two independent vertical rotating brushes mounted on a longitudinally mobile motorized trolley. Each brush can move freely along the guides of the trolley’s crossbeam thanks to a motorized unit. The longitudinal run of the trolley is 2200 mm.

Functioning: At the beginning of the cycle, the brushes are positioned on the center line of the tunnel. The washing of the front of the vehicle starts with a series of alternating movements to the right and to the left (“ballet”). During this phase, the trolley moves with the vehicle and in the proximity of the limit switch, the brushes are positioned at the corners of the front of the vehicle. At this point, the brushes incline, thanks to the action of pneumatic jacks. The inclined position allows a more effective bristle action on the upper part of the vehicle since the lower part has previously been washed by the first group at the entrance. During this phase, the trolley moves longitudinally to prepare for a new run. The direction of rotation of the vertical brushes is inverted before washing the back of the vehicle. The back of the vehicle is washed in the same way as the vehicle front. At the end of the cycle, the brushes are located centrally and the carriage is in the back position awaiting the next vehicle. During rotation, the brushes are wet with nozzles mounted on the crossbar of the carriage. Engine absorption is also checked to detect anomalies that could be caused by collisions or clogging of the bristles with the vehicle’s appendages.

Step 3: Was Arch. Through this system, the vehicle is wetted with a mix of fresh water and wax that, on the vehicle surface, replace the water used during the washing cycle. In this way water drops, that by nature don’t adhere to the vehicle surface, easily glide under the action of the air flows, produced by the following drying group.

Step 4: Drying. The drying group is divided into two working sections, a vertical and a horizontal one. The horizontal section is made by two blowing blades built on a motorized device, creating a rotating swing around its ax, with variable speed. Each blade is feed by a 3kW fan. The blade’s diameter is 180 mm. The vertical section is composed of two vertical counterposed blades, integrated into the columns. These are equipped by a fan of 3kW (or 4kW for the 60 Hz version) installed on the top of the same columns.

MiniMax combines in it the productivity of a conveyor tunnel in the space of a gantry. It is an ultra-compact solution, ideal for small spaces (just over the 9-meter structure in the minimum configuration) with excellent productivity: complete, reliable and innovative. High-quality construction, balanced price-quality ratio, low operating costs, energy savings, and low environmental impact. These are just some of the other strong points of a system that plays an important role in the Ceccato product range, guaranteeing a quick return on your investment.