Versatile electric pipe-cutter makes UK debut

The first all-electric battery-operated lateral pipe-cutter to enter the UK market has secured sole distribution with pipeline equipment specialist Ant Hire Solutions.

Hächler, the German manufacturing company that invented the Climbolino cutter, is working in collaboration with Ant Hire to ensure its availability for hire and sale from March 2023.

Compared with traditional cutting machines, the Climbolino reduces energy consumption by 90%, making it suitable for companies looking to reduce energy use on routine operations in line with water companies’ net-zero carbon ambitions.

Top-down view of Climbolino unit including display, hose, cutters, and tools

Climbolino can be used to remove a range of obstructions in sewerage and wastewater pipes, including iron, steel, tree roots, and build-up of non-biodegradable substances. The cutter can also be used to open lateral connections after pipe lining and for general rehabilitation work.

Each purchased unit comes with a detachable LED display, a full range of tools, four different cutting heads, and 30m hose. Should the hose or cutting head become damaged, they can be replaced on-site by the operator which reduces downtime. This makes it a productive pipe-cutter in the UK market.

Time-saving design

Climbolino is designed to be ergonomic and compact, ensuring it is not cumbersome to use. This saves operatives time and minimises interruptions to workflow.

Climbolino unit with hose and cutting head attachments

The Climbolino does not require a compressor to power the cutting motor, making it is easier to transport, handle, and set-up, optimising the use of space. It is well suited to locations with limited access and noise restrictions, for example, in residential or urban areas.

Adrian Thompson, Ant Hire Solutions’ managing director, said, “Listening to feedback from customers, maximising efficiency on-site and minimising downtime are of importance.”

The Climbolino, with its optional pipe guides, is suitable for pipelines ranging from DN60-DN300; 60-300mm in diameter, which boosts the range of pipe sizes that can be serviced using a single cutter.

Robotic functions

The entire unit is powered by interchangeable 56-volt DeWalt batteries, which can be replaced to enable continuous power supply and operation. When in operation, the robotic cutting heads are controlled with a one-handed joystick mechanism for manoeuvrability. Paired with the fully flexible hose, it can navigate pipe bends up to 90°.

Climbolino 12in detachable LED display

To achieve a full picture of the pipework obstruction, a camera lens is used to transmit an image onto a clear and detachable 12in or 300mm LED display for full visibility.

Rolf Peters, managing director of Hächler, said, “The flexibility and power of the cutter, hose, and camera combination make it special as a milling robot.”

As part of the collaboration, the hire and sale of the Climbolino will be fully supported by Ant Hire Solutions’ service and repair centre with demonstrations and training available to customers in the UK.