The importance of good maintenance

Thorough and precise maintenance of a washer ensures that the machine will continue to perform optimally and last a long time. Someone who knows all about that is Paul. After a shift in the company, Irish-born Paul McCann was given the opportunity to grow within Limex: he was promoted from mechanic to service engineer to assembly and service manager. He regularly travels the world to train people on location in repairing and maintaining Limex washers.

Paul Mc Cann, manager assemblage en service
Paul giving instructions

Unfortunately, last year the coronavirus threw a spanner in the works in this area, because travel was no longer possible. Our company’s innovative capacity provided a suitable technological solution: the lockdown was used to make training videos that enabled the people on site to install the machines themselves. This worked well for various companies in places like Canada, the USA, Israel, Scandinavia, Germany, etc. Partly because of this, Paul is the right person to explain why the maintaining a washer correctly can ensure that it will serve your company for years, and sometimes even decades.

How do you maintain a Limex washer?

Few parts in a Limex machine can really break down. This is due to the solid and robust materials they are made of such as sheet metal and guides made exclusively of stainless steel, of course. However, there are certain things you should keep in mind if you want to get the most out of the life of the washer. Here are five practical tips from Paul:

1. Daily cleaning of washers

90% of maintaining a machine consists of proper cleaning of the washer. The more intensively a machine is used, the greater the dirt load. This also means that it needs to be cleaned more intensively. The water in the machine is reused but does need to be changed after some time. Several projects are now underway in which the water remains in use for a week where interim cleaning is always possible, of course. That is why our machines are designed to make cleaning easy. This involves features such as sloping floors and ever-larger access hatches.

2. Check the water quality

The quality of the water plays an important role. If there is a lot of lime in the water, this can damage the sensitive heating element and other things. If the heating element is affected by limescale, it can no longer release heat. Poor water quality can cause the element to break down after just a few weeks. A shiny clean element will last for years. Rainwater is excellent for use in the washer, with its low pH and low carbonate content. If your water is too hard and high in carbonate, we recommend adding a water softener to the water supply. Periodic cleaning with acid cleaner is also effective. Acid dissolves lime residue.

Affected heating element
Clean heating element

3. Check the chain tension regularly

After some time, any drive system will lose tension, stretch and become longer. Regular tensioning of the chains/belts in your machine is essential. Simply check the tension during each cleaning session and include the check in the cleaning protocol. This will prevent later consequences.

4. Good balance for the best results

The efficient use of resources is a key factor in achieving the best cleaning results. Objects can be cleaned optimally by ensuring a balance between temperature, time, cleaning agent and mechanical action. This principle is also known as ‘Sinner’s Circle’. These four variables are attuned to each other. When the machine is maintained properly, these 4 variables remain as they were designed by the Limex engineers, just like when the machine was new.

5. Pay attention to the type and amount of cleaning agent

Using the wrong cleaning agent can lead to undesirable consequences. For example, if the concentration of chlorine is too high, this can cause stainless steel to rust, and this effect is actually amplified by acidic or salty water. The concentration of soap is also very important; if it is too high this can lead to dangerous situations and too low a concentration does not clean adequately. In this case, it is best to ask the soap supplier for appropriate advice. Always follow the safety instructions from the chemical supplier.

Affected sieve
Clean sieve

There are always things that need to be checked daily, such as nozzles, but the intensity and frequency of maintenance often depend on the number of hours the machine is running. Logically, if your machine runs longer it means that more dirt goes through it, so more cleaning is needed. Would you like more tips, information, advice or are you curious about how Limex can support your business operations? Please contact us!

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This is what satisfied customers say about us

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Michiel van Bennekom: “Limex does what they say and says what they do. And in the end, also a fine product that we can do well with.”

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“Our collaboration with Limex has worked very well. A supplier that we will continue to work with and can recommend as a good partner.“ – Niclas Noord

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Peter van Geest, TD Coordinator at RedStar: “The crates are virtually dry when removed from the machine and completely dry by the time they are stacked, which is already a massive improvement. We’re delighted with the solutions that Limex have provided.”

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Steinar Jensen: “We strive for optimal hygiene, without chemical products. Everything works exactly as Limex said it would work.”

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“The trays are thoroughly cleaned and disinfected with foam from Menno Florades. The washing result could be seen very quickly from the better root quality.” – Achim Gernert

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Rik agrees. “Working in partnership unites these diverse markets. By leveraging the expertise of Limex, we can boost the hygiene performance of our lines, and Limex now has access to control technology and automation.”

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“I’m really proud that we get such large, intensive trolley and tray washers.” – Pieter van Dijk

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“With this washer, we can be sure that the crates that come out of the machine are clean and free from viruses and other diseases; we can use them in our processes without risk.” – Koen Saris

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“It’s nice that the communication lines are short,” says Mr. Leo Berghs Trienekens. “You can just walk into the factory.” He was able to extensively view and test the float washing machines. “That increases confidence before purchasing. And as long as you keep the machine clean, there is actually no maintenance required. We appreciate Limex’s professional and personal approach”.

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Company director Jürgen Firmenich: “If all suppliers would perform like Limex, my troubles would be as good as gone: communication is good, and if an issue does arise, it’s resolved quickly.”

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“This investment improves our capacity to keep any potential threats at bay,” says Erik van der Arend, general manager at WPK Vegetable Plants.

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After examining many different machines, we finally settled on purchasing our new machine from Limex. We received competent and thorough advice before buying. Limex also adapted the new machine to our needs. In addition, our first few experiences have shown that the after-sales service and advice from Limex is also fantastic. – Hansjürg Imhof

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“I have seen Limex machines at other fruit growers, even one that has been in use for 25 years and is still running. When I invest, I think it is important to invest in high-quality and well-functioning products that I will be able to use for years to come.” – Boer Erik

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“To have a tray washer that works this great has really boosted our production at the nursery. The growing trays gets clean and we can use them over and over again in our production without any problems. I can highly recommend any forest plant producer to use a Limex Washer in their production line.” – Ronny Anngren

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