Energy efficiencies have to be top of the list when it comes to choosing warewashing equipment. Kathy Bowry reports on new developments that save on valuable natural resources while keeping running costs in check.
With the taxman threatening to spank operators who are profligate with water and fuel, warewashers that spray items with less water and re-use it, and that also use heat exhangers to pre-heat the water are the sensible buy. This particularly applies to large hood and rack transport machines. For smaller operations there is a new generation of machines that will also help achieve savings.
According to Stuart Flint, training and business development manager at Electrolux Professional: "Water consumption, detergent use and rinsing temperatures are all factors in the overall operating cost of a dishwasher. This is a well known truth in the industry and the reason why efficiency is such a significant purchasing factor when caterers come to choose their warewashing equipment."
He says the company's new Hood Type green&clean machine offers up to 30% savings in running costs compared with major competitors and benefits from a water pre-heating system that recovers steam to create a comfortable working environment and an automatic de-limescale function. Both features ensure lower energy consumption and a 33% decrease in running costs, claims Flint.
To sweeten the pill of investing in green technology, Meiko is offering a three-year all-inclusive no-bills guarantee for an added value warewashing package. Meiko's latest, most technically advanced GiO undercounter and hood-type dish and glasswashers, with reverse osmosis water treatment built into the machine cabinet, need no additional water softening apparatus. And with all costs included in the price, ranging from removal of the redundant machine through to installation of the new machine, everything is up front, with no hidden costs or surprises. Meiko also throws into the mix commissioning and operator training.
Tim Bender, UK sales director - warewashing at Hobart UK, is emphatic that the most effective way of managing costs, and mitigating any potential tax rises, is to switch to equipment that has been developed specifically with energy saving in mind. He explains that all Hobart machines have compact wash tanks and very low water usage, with Hobart's award-winning Premax range of machines carrying out the rinsing process by filling the washing chamber with steam, forming a microscopically thin film on each item. This removes residual detergent as it condenses on the washed ware.
"We always stress the importance of frequent servicing to ensure maximum efficiency and longevity from any machine," says Bender. "While commercial catering equipment is built to endure the demands of a busy kitchen, a simple, preventative maintenance programme, including a regular service, ensures machines last their expected lifetime. Substantial benefits of regular servicing also include increased operating efficiency and lower running costs."
Miele's fresh water system commercial dishwashers are suited to small businesses and it also markets dedicated machines for cutlery or glassware and large tank system machines for bigger kitchens and even mobile dishwashing units. The undercounter Miele G7856 works with a fresh intake of water in each cycle phase, and has an integrated water softener, a standard feature on all models. Miele's G8072 double-skinned insulated hood type dishwasher ensures a low noise level and reduced heat loss. This one uses three litres of clean hot water per rack and has a cleaning capacity of up to 1,320 plates per hour.
Winterhalter's GS500 Energy+ pass-through dishwashers use heat exchange technology to recycle the heat usually lost through waste steam and waste water. They also have a new rinse arm design that significantly reduces water consumption, according to the company. Winterhalter estimates that an Energy+ machine can save £1,250 per year in running costs. Winterhalter's UC Series of undercounter glasswashers and dishwashers is also available with Winterhalter's Energy heat exchange technology, which it reckons can save up to £300 per year in running costs.
WexiÁ¶disk's WD-6 Duplus uses a double-rinse sequence, resulting in just 1 litre of fresh water being used per cycle, considerably less than other leading manufacturers on the market, claims Simon Frost, UK country manager for the Scandinavian manufacturer. "This low water consumption together with the model's minimal use of cleaning chemicals ensures caterers can achieve low energy consumption and improved efficiency from their warewashing processes," he says.
JLA began selling warewashers in 2007 and now offers them with its Total Care package. The customer has no capital outlay for the machine and instead pays a single monthly payment for both the machine and JLA's comprehensive breakdown cover, with 24/7 assistance, all parts and labour, the guarantee of an engineer on site within eight hours should it be required and an annual preventative maintenance check.
The premium range from DC includes the PD50 and PG50 units, the largest and most powerful on offer from the company. A new wash pump for increased washing pressure and a rinse thermo-lock to ensure the best rinse temperature means the PD50 is capable of washing 18 full-size plates in two minutes.
New to the market from Katerbay is the Omniwash range of dish and glass washers including both undercounter and pass-through units. The workhorse of the range is the Omniwash EVO5000DDPS heavy-duty undercounter machine, priced at £1,899, which offers 2-, 3- and 4-minute wash cycles and comes with detergent and rinse aid pumps and a drain pump as standard.
Last year Dawson launched two new ranges. The Comenda Essential range is made up of Comenda glass, dish and passthrough washers while the Comenda Elite range has been built with high volume usage output and durability in mind. Environmentally conscious, this range delivers savings in the usage of water, power and chemicals. Dawson managing director Mike Butt says: "The Comenda Essential and Elite ranges clearly set the tone of our intentions for the future.
"We are passionate about continuous innovation and believe ecological efficiencies are the key to success and future growth. Whether it's a value for money option that ticks all the right boxes or a market leading specification with a focus on high output, we have it covered with Comenda Essential and Elite."
Nick Burridge, sales director at Classeq, says for smaller operations he would choose Classeq's simplest front loader - the DUO400. "It cleans nine plates per rack and 20 racks per hour. It's ideal for smaller businesses that want to step up to a commercial machine. It's small and affordable, takes only three minutes per cycle and is 470mm x 535mm with a height of 760mm offering excellent value and speed. The Classeq DUO750 undercounter dishwasher has a 500mm dish rack that holds 18 full-size plates and 20 racks per hour. The DUO750 also has the option of an integral water softener."
The chain founded by Antonio Carluccio operates from more than 65 UK locations, with the aim of providing great quality authentic Italian food at sensible prices, in an informal atmosphere with excellent service. Head of maintenance for Carluccio's estate is Vincenzo Rinaldi, who has opted to run exclusively with Meiko's new GiO dish and glasswashers, following extensive testing.
"One thing that let us down was the service provided by our dishwasher suppliers," says Rinaldi. "So we tried four of the leading brands; bought a few of each and ran them in our restaurants. Meiko's results were one of the best.
"We have now changed our specification to include the new GiO machines - the DV80.2 hood-type and FV40.2 GiO undercounter machine. We are a national chain but no matter where we operate and what quality the water, we have great warewashing results.
"The GiO machines require very low maintenance, apart from changing the filters on the reverse osmosis units. We have tested them in our high volume sites - Brighton, St Pancras, Reigate and Brunswick (London) - and so far our managers love them, but more importantly, the kitchen porters do too. When we do have a dishwashing issue, the likelihood is that I want it fixed yesterday! Well, Meiko can't do that, but they will do it tomorrow."
Peter Kay, director of technical support, Catering Equipment Distributors Association (CEDA)
Think carefully before buying from an internet site. Even a small undercounter dishwasher is a sizeable capital investment for a small caterer and it may be tempting to buy the cheapest you find online. Before doing this ask yourself: Will it fit? Who will install it? Will it do what I want? Who will attend to it if there is a problem?"
Consider machine capacity. Most manufacturers will quote figures for racks per hour or plates per hour; however, these are often theoretical figures based on the length of the cycle. For example, a dishwasher with a one-minute cycle will theoretically do 60 cycles per hour; however, in reality it will probably only do 45 as the theoretical figure does not take into account the time taken to load and unload the machine between cycles.
Use the correct racks for the type of ware and remember it takes just as long to wash a half-full rack as it does a full one. Correct loading and use of racks can save energy, water and chemicals.
A warewasher is part of a system, which must include facilities for loading with soiled ware and space for racks of clean ware to dry. Ideally facilities should also be incorporated for removing food waste from plates and for either storing it or processing it.
Nick Oryino, chair, Catering Equipment Suppliers Association (CESA)
Given rapidly rising energy and water prices, any buying decision should focus on overall running and lifecycle costs. A machine that's built to use fewer resources and last longer may cost more initially, but should give a better return on investment. Plus, it will be more reliable.
Manufacturers have focused their efforts on developing machines that save resources so look out for:
â- Reduced wash tank capacities, which use less water and energy
â- More efficient rinse systems
â- Heat exchangers that recycle the heat from steam and waste water
â- Features that reduce chemical consumption
â- Systems that eliminate the need for heat pumps on larger machines
â- Vent-free operation, taking out the need for direct ducting and extracter fans that use energy continuously
â- Sophisticated filtration systems
What these technologies have in common is the ability to make a big dent in running costs, saving hundreds or even thousands of pounds a year.
Classeq 0844 225 9249 www.classeq.co.uk
Dawson 01226 350450 www.dawsonmmp.co.uk
DC Products 01749 870055 www.dcproducts.co.ukElectrolux Professional 0121 220 2800 www.electrolux-professional.co.ukHobart 0844 888 7777 www.hobartuk.co.ukJLA 0808 159 1769 www.jla.comKaterbay 0845 872 500 www.katerbay.co.ukMeiko UK 01753 215120 www.meiko-uk.co.ukMiele Professional 0844 893 0750 www.miele-professional.co.ukWexiÁ¶disk 07968 558 389 www.wexiodisk.comWhitco 01832 735007 www.whitcoltd.comWinterhalter 01908 359000 www.winterhalter.co.uk