High volume warewashing systems are a specialist solution for users including inflight caterers, hospitals, hotels and educational establishments.
The question for caterers has always been how to determine ‘best value’ 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 per cent savings. Now they have gone back to the users of these new machines to see if the machines delivered on the promises.
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, gives his verdict on the performance, service and economy in use.
Water consumption: A running cost comparison* prepared by Wallace for senior management demonstrated that the new M-iQ would consume just over half the volume of the previous machine, 280320 litres annually, compared to 448950.
Against a similar specification competitor’s product, which consumes 318645 litres, the M-iQ saved 38325 litres. *(based on 2184 operating hours per year)
Detergent reduction: “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 per cent; from using four 20-litre drums per week to two drums. Rinse aid consumption has also considerably reduced.”
Detergent running cost comparison: 1955 litres annually for the M-iQ compared to 3837 for the old machine and 2135 for the competitor.
Energy reduction: Wallace noticed an immediate reduction in power consumption when the new M-iQ began operating. Frimley operates a cook-fresh plated meals system and all food is prepared and cooked using a mix of gas and electric powered equipment.
“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 42 amps!”
Energy running cost comparison: 57439 k/W hours annual consumption for the M-iQ, compared to 96096 k/W for the old machine and 63336 k/W for the competitor.
Running cost per hour @ 2011 prices: M-iQ-£3.74, old machine-£6.77, competitor machine-£4.11
Other benefits: “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. 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.”
Service and maintenance: “There have been no major issues with the M-Q 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 their business. Other companies diversify and handle many other products as well as dishwashing, but Meiko specialises in dishwashing alone. Their engineers are also very knowledgeable.”
Frimley Park Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
Surrey GU16 7UJ