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Special Report

Automated dilution systemsmeet cleaning challenge

Hydro Systems' Alistair Blair-Davies talks about how innovation in dilution and chemical dispensing technology is a key component in improving cost efficiency, while increasing performance.

Alistair Blair-Davies: “Even a relatively modest investment in an automatic chemical dispensing system will bring users a greater return on investment.”

In today’s commercial and industrial clean- ing sector, operators are under constant pressure to improve performance and re- duce costs, while meeting increasingly stringent safety and environmental stan- dards. These conflicting demands have been the driving force behind continued in- novation from manufacturers in dispensing and dilution systems technology. Usually, labour and chemicals represent

the greatest costs in the cleaning process. Modern automated dosing and dispensing systems can help optimise both of these expenses, and positively impact overall per- formance and efficiency. Automated sys- tems are now also available to clean all types of surfaces and are suitable for vari- ous environments and applications, includ- ing spray bottles, mop buckets, sinks, drains and autoscrubbers.

Automated systems reduce operator time and improve safety

While better than traditional methods, manual dosing systems can only dispense a single chemical. This means accurate di- lution is largely dependent on the operator who must manually add water to achieve the required chemical concentration. So- phisticated automatic dilution systems in- corporate closed eductors, called venturis, which are directly connected to the water supply. Built-in selector valves allow multi- ple chemicals to be dispensed, at different flow rates if necessary, from the same unit. This means less operator time is required.

Operator safety is also enhanced, because they will rarely come into contact with the concentrate and the chance of spillage is also eliminated.

Dilution accuracy is guaranteed

Accurate dilution is a crucial factor in opti- mising cleaning efficiency. If chemical con- centration is too high, it leads to wastage. If it is too low, high standards of hygiene and cleanliness are impossible to maintain. Modern dilution control systems incorpo-

rate flow and pressure control devices to ensure consistent and accurate dilution ra- tios, and technology is continually improv- ing in this area. For example, the latest dosing innovation that Hydro Systems is about to release is the EvoDose, an evolu- tion from its AccuDose II dilution unit. It features patent pending technology that delivers dilution accuracy regardless of fluctuations in water pressure. This means accurate dilution can be achieved consis- tently, so just the right amount of chemical is always being dispensed, leading to opti- mal cleaning performance.

Greater sustainability

More and more we are seeing the industry place a greater focus on reducing the im- pact of cleaning on our environment. To re- duce packaging and freight costs, the use of more highly concentrated chemicals is increasing. Historically, dilution require- ments were around 2-50:1. Today 200- 500:1 is a much more frequently seen requirement. This has led dispensing equipment manufacturers to design and develop much more precise and efficient systems to avoid either waste of detergent from over-use and potential damage to the surface being cleaned or under-use, from having to repeat the task.

Improved ROI

Automatic chemical dispensing systems save operator time, eliminate waste and ensure a consistently high standard of hy- giene and cleanliness, regardless of the application. Along with reducing operating expenses, the relative cost of automated systems has progressively reduced in re- cent years. Now even the most advanced dispensing systems are now a viable option for even small users. Even a relatively modest investment in an automatic chemi- cal dispensing system will bring users a greater return on investment, while leading to better overall cleaning performance and improved overall efficiency. l JUNE 2014 l C&M l 27

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