No one simply walks into a greenhouse anymore. Washing your hands first has become a habit. That is often done by putting your hands in a hygiene sluice and then disinfecting them.
Scrubzone Europe has, however, introduced a new machine to the market. It eliminates the need to rub your hands while washing them. The fully automatic machine brushes your hands with disinfected soap and water in seven seconds. It then takes ten seconds to dry them. Depending on how it is used, these times can be customized.
For three days, festivalgoers in the Netherlands recently loved trying out the handwashing machine.
Introduction in Europe
"This machine has only been on the market for a very short time. Nonetheless, growers have already discovered it," says Hassan ‘Sanny’ Asbai of Scrubzone Europe.
How do they manage to execute the entire washing and drying process precisely in 17 seconds? Hassan explains. It started in South Africa. There, the machines use a rotating brush and water. People have to soap their hands first. And then dry them with a paper or cloth towel. Such a system, with brushes for washing hands, was not yet on the market in Europe.
Three years ago, the company started developing a fully automated handwashing machine. That was in collaboration with Scrubzone's South African parent company. Scrubzone Europe has now developed a machine that not only washes but also dries people's hands. And it is highly programmable when it comes to washing times, amount of water and soap, and drying times.
Computer-controlled washing cycle
Scrubzone Europe uses a computer-controlled washing and drying cycle. The machine doses the same amount of water and soap every time. As soon someone puts their hands into the machine's two openings, it starts automatically. "The brush then does its job, washing your hands clean. Then the machine dries them."
You might think, 'Hey, I've seen that before.' Then you have probably visited a fast-food chain in South Africa at some point. They have been using the 1.0 version of the fully automatic hand washing machine for a while.
In the Netherlands, the machine only came onto the market at the beginning of this month. "We placed version 2.0 at various festivals over the past few weeks. People were eager to use it and were pleasantly surprised," says Hassan.
It is vital that the machine remains clean between washes. "Using disinfected soap means the brush is self-cleaning. And because it rotates so fast during washing. There's also a stand-by cycle, where the brush rotates slowly. Then a UV-C light disinfects the machine and especially the brush. This light is hidden from view."
This machine's washing cycle takes seven seconds. That is more than six times faster than what is needed for an average hand wash. Scrubzone Europe calculated that that takes 50 seconds. So, it saves time. And the manufacturer promises, users can save 75% on water and 80% on soap.
“The machine uses 350ml of water per washing cycle. Washing your hands under the tap uses, on average, 3.5 liters," Hassan continues. "Also, the 2ml of soap required is five times less than regular washing. That uses an average of 10ml."
Existing horticultural hygiene applications often work with access gates. This scrubbing machine, however, uses an RFID registration system. "This is widely used in places like bakeries and the food industry. There, employees have to wash their hands several times a day."
"To check whether they've done so, they wear a chipped band or tag. Each wash is registered. That information is only available to authorized persons, guaranteeing privacy. Even without a tag, when registration isn't needed, you can wash your hands quickly and easily," Asbai says.
He sees opportunities in plenty of sectors. He has already made contact with farmers. "We're counting on a broad application. That can be in greenhouses and the food processing industry. And also in the public sector. Washing hands has only become more important in the last 18 months. That's because of COVID-19," Hassan adds.
But, the Scrubzone-machine does not only wash hands. It will automatically disinfect the space in which it is placed. That is because the air circulated through the machines moves past the UV-C light. And so, it is cleared of bacteria. "British research shows that UV-C light can clean the air in a 60m3 room within 24 hours. That's an added advantage of our machine."
Scrubzone Europe produces these machines in the Netherlands. It is equipped with a brush, hot air blower, UV-C light, and WiFi. "You can then update the machine remotely. We keep further developing the machine to meet all customer requirements," Hassan concludes.
For more information:
Scrubzone Europe B.V.
38L Antonie van Leeuwenhoekweg
2408 AN, Alphen aan den Rijn, NL
Tel: +31 (0) 172 750 611