Why clean something? That's what the folks at Industrial Product Solutions (IPS) asked themselves. So, this Dutch company developed a new washing system. It's used for trays, floats, and crates.
"Seedling growers in the vegetable and ornamental horticulture sectors currently often still clean 'by sight'," begins Gert-Jan Mulder, Business Development Manager at IPS. "Then something looks clean, but is it really? In our experience, it's not. And growers aren't entirely sure either we found when talking to them. That's why IPS is now launching a new concept on the market. Besides washing, it also measures the contamination."
The washing system lives up to its name – Ĥigh Clean. “H is the eighth letter of the alphabet. That's reflected in the machine's cleaning process's eight steps. And the eight steps we use to build it. We call it standardized custom-building."
IPS, however, doesn't focus on coarse, organic dirt. "Of course, we want to wash the dirt off the trays properly. But it's even more important that the trays are also bacteria, mold, and virus-free. Growers can't be sure of this by washing 'by sight'. That's why our concept involves taking measurements at various stages of the washing process. We do ATP testing before and during the washing process. That's to determine the degree of contamination," says Gert-Jan.
He says this test is similar to the way luggage is checked for drug traces at airports. It rapidly checks for any growing micro-organisms. "Once these results are known, you know how to build and adjust the cleaning machine. You can then deep-clean the cultivation media."
The machine is then built using 'standardized custom work'. 'All the building blocks are already in place' for this at the Dutch facility. Another test follows. "This is to show that the machine cleans in all the nooks and crannies. If that's the case and we've done the pre-tests, we can guarantee a clean end result," continues Gert-Jan.
Naturally, it's vital that the chosen system and correct detergents are used. "For hygienic cleaning, we've partnered with Diversey. They're a major player in that field. We keep doing tests during our periodic maintenance too."
More proven that ever
IPS always considers their client's desired capacity while building these cleaning systems. "But above all, we take the Sinner's circle – the basis of cleaning – factors into account," explains Mulder. "These are time, temperature, mechanical action, and cleaning agent. These all contribute to achieving the desired end result."
Each cleaning machine is built per customer. That means if needs be, they can always add extra components. "But by measuring properly, the washing process is already much more proven than ever. It's, therefore, a true step forward for the grower concerned. Together we achieve a clean growing environment for healthy, strong crops," concludes Gert-Jan.
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