Trays and trolleys are often moved from one production location to another. These product carriers not only transport the products, but sometimes also include unwanted guests: bacteria and viruses. To prevent cross-contamination, the product carriers must be cleaned and disinfected regularly. Unifortes, supplier of industrial washing machines is noticing an increasing demand for washing machines and especially the trays and trolley washers.
Robbie Kelder, Cherique Kranendonk and Roy Kranendonk during IPM Essen.
“The crates and trays are washed at many growers’, but that does not always apply to the carts. Some growers might spray them clean just once a year, others do wash after each use. The latter category is becoming increasingly larger," says Roy Kranendonk. “Viruses and bacteria are primarily transmitted by product carriers. The disadvantage of the carts is that they often go from one greenhouse to the other. If you do not disinfect them properly, there is a greater chance of infection."
Tomato virus and cannabis production
In the warehouse of the company in Strijen, a new machine has been prepared for the trip to a Canadian producer of medicinal cannabis. Roy: “We supply many machines for that industry, mainly in Canada and Denmark. The increasing attention on hygiene, however, does not only apply to the cannabis industry, but also is an issue in the entire horticultural sector. Consider the outbreak of the ToBRFV virus in tomato cultivation. A simple way to combat this virus has not yet been found. Disinfection is essential to prevent further spread."
Unifortes is part of Viscon and has been focusing for seven years on industrial washing machines. These carts and trolley washers have been part of the assortment for some years. The machine has a modular structure and can be expanded on capacity or application. Roy explains: “This machine is placed in a pit at the customer, so that the carts are washed from floor level. If the customer does not have or does not want to make a pit, this can also be solved with a ramp at the entrance and exit. A conveyor chain pulls the cart into the machine, after which the cleaning cycle begins. The organic material is removed with heated water. This is followed by a final rinse with fresh water, to which a disinfectant may have been added. After the carts leave the machine in a clean condition, the water that has been used for rinsing is returned to the tank for reuse in the cleaning process."
The machine can be expanded with several washing zones or a separate disinfection module. “An active heating system ensures that the water already has a disinfecting effect, but water only is not sufficient to disinfect. That is why more and more customers are opting for adding of a disinfectant. The modular concept also ensures that cleaning is easy and that the machine can be used at any location in any situation."