Meiko conducts green testing

High volume warewashing systems are a specialist solution for users including in-flight caterers, hospitals, hotels and educational establishments. The question for distributors and consultants has always been how to determine ‘best value’ for their clients amidst a lack of comparative data.

Meiko UK began selling its new M-iQ rack and flight transport dishwashers in 2010, with claims of 30% savings. Now the manufacturer has gone back to the users of these new machines to see if the appliances delivered on the promises.

“We pride ourselves on offering real value, not just selling on price,” said Bill Downie, MD of Meiko UK. “And value must be driven by a commitment to quality, not only of our products and services, but also the quality of communication. Manufacturers’ claims are one thing. If you want real information about how good these machines are…then you need to speak to the users. Meiko users have confirmed the claims we originally made for these machines.”

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Frimley Park Hospital NHS Foundation Trust was the first site in the UK to install an M-iQ early in 2011.

Four years later, Kevan Wallace, assistant hotel services manager, catering, gave his verdict on the performance, service and economy in use. He prepared a water consumption running cost comparison to present to his senior management team.

Based on 2,184 hours of operation per year, his results demonstrated that the M-iQ would consume just over half the volume of the previous machine, 280,320 litres annually, compared to 448,950. Against a similar specification competitor’s product, which consumes 318,645 litres, the M-iQ saved 38,325 litres.

On the subject of detergent reduction, Wallace commented: “Because the M-iQ works so efficiently, we were able to lower the dosage compared to the old machine. Our consumption has reduced by almost 50% – from using four 20-litre drums per week to two drums. Rinse aid consumption has also considerably reduced.”

In numbers, this worked out as 1,955 litres annually for the M-iQ compared to 3,837 for the old machine and 2,135 for the competitor. [[page-break]]

Furthermore, Wallace noticed an immediate reduction in power consumption when the new M-iQ began operating. Frimley manages a cook-fresh plated meals system and all food is prepared and cooked using a mix of gas and electric-powered equipment.

He explained: “The old dishwashing machine consumed so much power that we used to find the kitchen was starved of power at peak times. We were using all the power we had available. The new M-iQ operates so much more efficiently and it has reduced the demand for power so much that I was able to install a new oven rated at 42A!”

Wallace recorded the energy consumption as 57,439kWh annually for the M-iQ, compared to 96,096kWh for the old machine and 63,336kWh for the competitor. This means that the running costs per hour at 2011 prices came out at £3.74 for the M-iQ, £6.77 for the old machine and £4.11 for the competitor machine.

Other benefits noticed by Wallace were: “Good washing results, which is exactly what you want. No ventilation canopy is required because the M-iQ helps keeps the moisture level in the room down; there is very little steam in the air.” He added: “Visitors that come here to look at our system have commented on the fact there is no curtain on the front of the machine. I explain this is not needed because the machine draws the heat back inside to pre-heat incoming cold water.

“The control system helps us with recording temperatures and the self-diagnostic display tells us what is wrong with the machine, for example, if a door has not been closed properly.

“A reverse osmosis water treatment system was also installed on the M-iQ after installation and this helps provide sparkling results on stainless steel ware especially. We use a smaller Meiko machine, also with RO, for glassware. We use Meiko machines throughout the hospital. It’s also so quiet compared to the old machine.”

Wallace is happy with the service and maintenance provided as well: “There have been no major issues with the M-iQ machine. We have a five-star service contract with Meiko, so our machines are well looked after.

“One other thing I would like to say is that Meiko is a specialist; that is its business. Other companies diversify and handle many other products as well as dishwashing, but Meiko specialises in dishwashing alone. Its engineers are also very knowledgeable.”

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