TACT Talk

Generate Labor Savings with Cleaning and Sanitizing Equipment

When the folks at a large fruit and vegetable processor decided to review their manual cleaning processes, they discovered the need to incorporate automated cleaning and sanitizing equipment to improve cleaning results, generate labor savings and enhance safety procedures.

That is when the Sani-Matic SaniCab™ came into the picture, and here’s how it helped them greatly improve their cleaning and sanitation process.

Cleaning with Confidence 

“We didn’t have a designated place for weigh scale bucket washing on the platform, so scale buckets were being placed wherever we could find room to put them,” said the food processor’s Pouch Superintendent. “This meant we weren’t 100% sure everything had been cleaned to our standards.”

“We came to Sani-Matic for their expertise in cleaning and sanitizing equipment. With the SaniCab’s custom-designed rack, you remove the weigh scales from the top of the scale system down, and place them on the rack as you go. When you are done, you can visually see that absolutely everything is in the cabinet and is being washed.”

The Pouch Supervisor added that the process was also easier. “We have the rack and cart that we take right over to our scale system. We rinse the buckets and put them on the rack. Then we push the cart to the open washer and roll the rack inside. Everything is organized. Easy in and easy out. You get a thorough cleaning, every time.”

According to Chad Dykstra, Vice President, Business Development for Sani-Matic, the SaniCab washer and accompanying rack-on-cart are specially designed to optimize component placement so the maximum soiled surface area is facing the spray patterns.

“Our rack-on-cart design matches our customers’ individual process. We 3D model each rack with our customer’s components to facilitate effective, sanitary cleaning,” said Dykstra.

He added the rack-on-cart also is easy to load and safely transport from the process equipment to the washer.

“Our system is designed where the cart’s wheels never actually go inside the washer,” he said. “This allows easy transfer into the washer and prevents foreign elements from entering the system.”

Maximizing Output and Labor with Cleaning and Sanitizing Equipment

Implementing an automated cleaning process with the SaniCab enabled the fruit and vegetable processor to better use its people and technology resources, according to the company’s, Production Supervisor.

“We can get our sanitation done quicker with Sani-Matic’s cleaning and sanitizing equipment, reducing downtime and allowing us more time to run product,” he said. “Essentially, we now get quicker turnaround when starting a new line. That means we can run later into a shift or start earlier the next day. One way or the other we are increasing uptime.”

It also means the processor can maximize its personnel time. “Instead of taking two hours to wash scale buckets, our guys are able to move on to other equipment,” the Production Supervisor noted. “This further helps us increase uptime.”

Dykstra added, “The SaniCab is designed to provide a consistent, repeatable cleaning process, while generating labor savings up to 50%. It also helps reduce any damage to components that often occur when using a manual process.”

Enhancing Safety

The previous manual cleaning process at the processor required utilizing buckets, hoses and water—15 feet off the ground. This increased a chance for dropping and damaging weigh scale buckets and potential injuries to the team. They were looking for a solution to ensure a clean and safe environment.

“We solved a potential safety hazard,” the Production Supervisor said. “With hoses, water and scale buckets that high, there is always potential to drop one.

Water Conservation

Both supervisors also commented on the company’s sustainability goals toward saving water and energy.

“We have a big corporate objective to reduce the amount of water being used,” the Pouch Supervisor added. While it is difficult to obtain exact figures on water savings, he added, “Standing on the top of the platform, spraying down scale buckets for two hours, as we did before – I’m sure we’re reducing our water usage.”

Dykstra affirmed the washer does indeed generate water savings for food processors.

“The SaniCab has a 17-gallon sump for its wash steps and reuses its final rinse water for the next cycle’s pre-rinse step,” said Dykstra. “That means a total of 51 gallons of water are used for a four-step cycle—pre-rinse, detergent wash, mid-rinse and a final rinse that is reused for the next pre-rinse cycle.” He added, “A standard wash down hose uses six gallons of water per minute. When multiplied by two hours, that can equate to 720 gallons of water when cleaning manually.”

Overall, the fruit and vegetable processor is pleased with the SaniCab performance and reliability. “We are so impressed with the thoroughness of the clean. The clean-up of the cabinet itself is convenient, too. The design of the cleaning and sanitizing equipment includes a screen and a conveyorized belt on the bottom of the washer, which makes removing large debris easy. It’s also easy to add detergent and sanitizing chemical,” stated the Production Supervisor. “To this point, everything has been very good. It’s worked well for us.”

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