Washing more for less for cultivation on water

The article below is an interview of VerticalFarmDaily.com with our director Joep Janssen.

For years, growers have used washing machines to “simply” rinse floats and get rid of dirt. However, this requires a lot of water. And it is precisely this water consumption that is emphasized by growers who cultivate on water. After all, it is a unique selling point when selling their product, with which they distinguish themselves from, for example, the outdoor cultivation of lettuce.

“That is why we are currently investing in research and development of washing machines with lower water consumption,” says Joep Janssen of Limex. “You do not want a grower who is careful with water to have the washing machine out of step in terms of water consumption.”

Rafts washer Limex Dry Hydroponics floats
This washing machine can wash various types of floats together.

Increasing service time of water

Especially in North America, Joep notices that large washing machines are being requested that also use water sparingly. And those in Europe and Asia will soon follow, he expects. That is why Limex, together with partners, has started to focus on filtration, which is already an important point of attention in the Netherlands, among others, due to legislation and regulations focused on discharging water from greenhouse crops.

With new, better filters, ranging from 600 to 50 microns, large amounts of dirt are removed from the washing water. As a result, the washing water can last longer in a washing machine and water consumption decreases.

The dirt produced by the washing process is dewatered and collected in containers or tipping bins, Joep explains. “Substrate residues and plant residues are subsequently spread on the land in many countries. Adding small amounts of specific chemistry prevents micro-organisms from multiplying in the water. ”

Combined, this means that the service life of the water in Limex washing machines has increased considerably. Smaller growers often change the water in a washing machine daily. Larger cultivation companies now use the latest techniques to use the washing water in a washing machine for up to five days before it is replaced. “Our washer at Royal Flora Holland in Aalsmeer, which processes 5,000 flower buckets per hour, runs for five days without a water change, for example.”

Washer rafts Limex (2)
The washing machine above, which can wash various types of floats together, is equipped with a self-cleaning filter.

Lots of dirt

Limex is currently building a very specific machine on its own initiative. The machine is targeted at nurseries where leafy vegetables are grown on water in Dry Hydroponics floats. In these floats there are slots into which seeds are sown in the substrate and from which plants are harvested, i.e. basically mown. Substrate, leaf debris and roots remain after the harvest.

A big challenge for Limex is to rinse well with one washing machine. “You can imagine that it produces a lot of dirt,” says Joep. Especially when it comes to 600 floats per hour. “That is why we ran a test at the grower for four months last year with a washing machine that can wash this large number of floats per hour. We have gained a lot of valuable practical experience there, because processing these amounts of dirt is much more difficult than you might initially think.”

The start was a bit difficult, but in the end it was successful. The new washing machine will finally be put into practice with the grower in the middle of this year. This is important, because Joep sees that such practical examples ultimately help to convince fellow growers that the results of tests can really be put into practice. “That is why the delivery of a washing machine that can wash different types of floats randomly and unsorted is an important step for us. With this machine it is no longer necessary to make manual adjustments to, for example, guides and the spray pattern. The machine does that itself. “

You would say that now only wash the gutters automatically. “That should also be possible in the long term,” Joep expects. “With cleaner gutters, the water at the growers also lasts longer.”

Source: VerticalFarmDaily.com
Author: Thijmen Tiersma

Also read these news

Refurbished bucket, tray and crate washers: the budget-friendly, sustainable alternative

Refurbished bucket, tray and crate washers: the budget-friendly, sustainable alternative

Using advanced technology, Limex can breathe new life into even the oldest machines to continue providing outstanding washing results. These refurbished/reusable machines are not only lower priced, they are also more sustainable.

Read more

Looking back on 2021: exponential growth, innovative developments, and new locations

Looking back on 2021: exponential growth, innovative developments, and new locations

“All this has only been possible thanks to all the hard-working colleagues, fine customers, and loyal partners. Thank you for your tireless efforts and enthusiasm!” Joep Janssen, Limex Management

Read more

The ultimate solution for thorough cleaning of DWC floating rafts and NFT channels in hydroculture systems

The ultimate solution for thorough cleaning of DWC floating rafts and NFT channels in hydroculture systems

There is surging global demand for thorough cleaning of DWC floating rafts and NFT channels in hydroculture systems. Although hydroculture […]

Read more

Browse our complete news overview here.

This is what satisfied customers say about us

Improved cultivation hygiene for ImHofBio thanks to the Limex tray washing system

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

Fully automatic washing line for Royal De Ree Holland

“What we now have is a system that washes the transport crates far better than the previous installation, and the number of operators has been reduced from three to just one.”- Joost van den Berg

Limex crate and tray washer at Jungpflanzen Gernert

“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

Intensive and sustainable crate washer for Wijnen Square Crops

“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

Meet our sustainable partner: PlantLab

“We are excited about the washing result of the Limex machine. We like to share our plans and working method with a company like Limex that is also committed to sustainability and we are looking forward to a beautiful and successful collaboration in the future!” – Mr. Hans van Scheijndel

Limex develops process for hygienic cleaning of propagation trays

“Limex is developing constantly to meet our increasingly stringent requirements. We can recommend Limex with a clear conscience.” – Oliver Schneider

5 Tray washers in 4 years at Svenska Skogsplantor

“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

Limex crate washers at Wesselman Flowers

“During cultivation, we see cycle after cycle of tulips emerging uniformly. An extra benefit is that the machine can remove the TVX virus. I can certainly recommend a Limex washer to every tulip grower.” – Joost Wesselman

Hishtil and Limex announce intensive collaboration

“The fruits of this productive collaboration between Limex and Hishtil permit both companies to offer their customers the best sanitation solution and healthy propagating material that will allow them to maximize crop quality and yields.” – Amit Dagan

Silver – our tray washer partner in Chile

“It is a pleasure for us to work with Limex, which is aware of the problems of hygiene and water scarcity that concern us in Chile and some regions.” – Martin Campos

Limex crate washer at Boer Erik

“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

Industrial tray and trolley washing machines for Ontario Plants Propagation, Canada

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

Limex Bucket Washer at Veiling Holambra Brazil

“The delivery of the bucket washer from Limex has fully met all our expectations! Limex has now a satisfied customer in Brazil!” – André van Kruijssen

Limex trolley washer helps improve hygiene at WPK Vegetable Plants

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

LCS/Royal FloraHolland Bucket Washers

“The Limex washers are an indispensable component for a successful service to LCS!” – Jan van Hoef

Sustainable box cleaner Scherpenhuizen

For distribution centre Scherpenhuizen, Limex supplied a boxwasher, type KKW6000NS for sustainable washing of boxes where the water is heated by high-quality residual heat from cooling.

Limex tray washer at Bergvik Skog Plantor

“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

Limex crate washer at Banken Champignons

“The Limex crate washer meets our hygiene requirements (microbiological cleanliness) and produces a drying result of less than four grams per crate. This allows an output of 5,600 clean crates per hour, and that maintains our delivery capacity at an optimal level. ” – Jurgen Banken