Foam units

Hygiene is vitally important for growers. Seed trays, harvest crates and CC trolleys must be disinfected to ensure safe propagating material. Menno Florades is a widely used, effective disinfection agent for horticultural applications. Foaming significantly boosts the effectiveness of the disinfectant.

Limex has developed unique foam units to create a foam of Menno Florades. These units form an extension of your existing machine and optimise the washing process.

Foaming increases the contact time of the disinfectant

Applying disinfectant as a foam considerably increases the contact time between the disinfectant and the product surface. Liquid disinfectant drains away rapidly, causing the surface to dry quickly. Foam remains on the surface longer than a liquid. This extends the contact time with the product, resulting in significantly more effective disinfection. Being able to apply a lower concentration of disinfectant is one of the results. This reduces the burden on the environmental and the costs!  

Menno Florades

Menno Florades is a widely used by plant growers, propagators and seed breeders as a disinfectant. The product is certified as a crop protection product and has N number authorisation as a biocidal product. This demonstrates its compliance with relevant legislation and regulations.

Remark:  Menno Florades is known for its high-quality disinfecting properties with minimal environmental impact. In countries including Germany, Menno Florades is even permitted in organic cultivation. The Limex foam unit optimises the already effective working of the disinfectant.

Menno Chemie Vertrieb GmbH, the manufacturer of Menno Florades, has performed extensive laboratory research into the effectiveness and contact time when the product is used to combat bacteria, fungi and viruses. Both Menno Chemie Vertrieb GmbH and Royal Brinkman are happy to explain in more detail. 

Clean first, then disinfect

Disinfectants are extremely effective when applied to the surface of products such as crates, seed trays and carts. However, any soiling left behind on these surfaces significantly reduces the performance of a disinfectant. 

Microorganisms can easily hide under this organic soiling. For this reason, applying a disinfectant to soiled products is ineffective. We strongly advise cleaning the products first, before applying the disinfectant. This same applies to foam disinfection. Clean first, then disinfect.

The development of Precision Foaming

The first Limex foam unit was installed at a seed breeder in the south of the Netherlands back in 2017. The foam was applied in excessive quantities and the surplus foam ran off the trays. This excess foam was collected and re-used by a circulation system and re-applied to the products. However, as the day progressed, various external influences decreased the effectiveness of the circulating foam. The design of the unit was radically revised which resulted in the current generation of foam units. We call the working of these foam units, which offer greater functionality, “precision foaming”. 

The latest Limex foam units apply a very precise layer of foam to the surface of the products. The thickness of this foam layer can be adapted to suit the specific needs of the user. If no products pass through the unit for a short while, the foaming action is deactivated. It can be instantly and automatically reactivated later. 

Numerous foam units in action. Growing interest

Around 25 foam units are currently being used with success in the Netherlands and Germany. The units are also attracting interest from other countries such as Italy, Mexico, Scandinavia and the United States.  

Foam treat trays and crates with Menno Florades disinfectant 

This video shows a crate washer followed by a foam unit. Foam is applied to crates and small trays. The capacity in this video is just a few 100 crates per hour, but higher capacities are possible too. The same machine can also be used for seed trays and plant trays.

Disinfecting big boxes with Menno Florades as a foam

This video shows a washing machine for large pallet crates followed by a foam unit. The new foam technology enables a highly accurate foam layer to be applied to the entire surface of the crate. This installation has a capacity of 50 to 100 crates per hour. These machines are currently being built into a fully automated crate processing line. We will be happy to share a video of the installation once it is up and running with our network. We expect operation to start in Q4 of 2024.

Optimal disinfection of CC trolleys with Menno Florades foam

Even plant trolleys, such as CC trolleys, can be treated with the Limex foam units at a capacity of up to 100 trolleys per hour. The video below shows the CC trolley being washed first then treated with foam. A CC trolley can hold up to 30 shelves. Our foam unit can tackle these compactly stacked trolleys with ease. 

Foam using other products (such as Steril from L.G. Italia S.R.L.)

There are various disinfectants available on the market, many of which can also be applied as a foam. Limex has extensively trialled Steril  in collaboration with L.G. Italia. By adjusting certain parameters, Steril can also be used in the foam units. 

Limex is constantly looking for other products that can be used as foam. There are many possibilities. Feel free to contact our sales team to discuss the options. 

Other ways to increase the effectiveness of disinfection 

We are happy to share additional tips to boost the effectiveness of disinfection. 

  • Extend the contact time by placing the foam-treated products in a sheltered, draught-free area. This is logical as foam dries up faster when exposed to sunshine and wind than indoors. 
  • Extend the contact time by wrapping film around the stacks of products. This ensures the products stay moist for longer.
  • Place treated products in a clean, closed storage area. Prevent pests (such as birds, mice, and rats) from re-soiling clean products.

Acid affects concrete

Various disinfectants, including Menno Florades, are acidic. Acid affects concrete. Ensure the floor around the foam unit and the floor of the storage area for products are protected against the effects of acid. For example, apply a coating to the floor, or use acid-resistant concrete. 

Benefits of “Precision Foaming” with a Limex foam unit

  • More effective disinfection due to extended contact time
  • Foam ensures disinfectant remains on the surface for longer
  • Precise dosing of the disinfectant
  • Reduced disinfectant use also reduces environmental burden and costs
  • Continuous layer thickness on various surfaces, even CC trolleys
  • Can be combined with Limex washing machines in one line
  • Unique Precision Foaming technology
  • Start-stop function for moments when no products are supplied
  • Possibility to foam other disinfectants as well
  • Developed in practice and not on paper
  • Robust construction for years of functionality

Request more information

Use the contact form below to share your specific details with us. We will make an appointment with you to analyse and discuss your situation. You can expect Limex to provide a suitable solution.

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