Fully automatic washing line for Royal De Ree Holland

Limex and Hans van der Poel BV embarked on an intensive form of collaboration with the aim of realising a very special integrated installation for Royal De Ree Holland; a fully automatic washing line that features a robotic arm. This unique project resulted in perfectly clean transport crates, a smooth and pleasant process from the initial contact right up to delivery of the machine, and plans for a new project in the future.

In mid-2020, Royal De Ree Holland started looking for a custom-made solution to clean three different reusable products. Combing the individual strengths of two partners provided the solution they needed! In just a short time, Hans van der Poel BV and Limex successfully developed, delivered, and installed a fully automatic washing line. The result? The machine was put into operation in mid-February 2021.

Method and results achieved

We were contacted by Joost van den Berg on behalf of Royal De Ree Holland in September 2020. Joost, who as a project manager was tasked at the time with process improvements, was looking for a partner who could to take the washing processes at Royal De Ree Holland to the next level. It is absolutely vital that the crates used to transport flower bulbs are cleaned meticulously and carefully to safeguard the quality of the product. Following a tender process involving several parties, Limex ultimately emerged as the most suitable partner by proposing a process that best met the expectations of Royal De Ree Holland. The decisive factor was a visit to Wesselman Flowers to see the crate washer installed there and the various options in action.

A major component of the process was the intensive collaboration with Hans van der Poel BV, the company responsible for integrating the robotic arm into the line. This robotic arm ensures that the products (mainly transport crates) are automatically fed into the washing line, and then nested and stacked after the washing process is complete.

Features of our washer:

  • Capable of washing 600 crates per hour;
  • Thanks to the adjustable side guides, three different products can be cleaned; transport crates, bulb crates, and nestable crates;
  • Cold washer, with a high-pressure unit and blow off to remove water.


The washer (including the robotic arm) was delivered on 15 February, and after the operators had been fully instructed, was put into operation. The addition of the high-pressure unit completely removes any sap left behind by the bulbs.

After the machine was delivered, a few start-up issues were quickly resolved. For instance, installing a housing around the fans helped reduce the noise levels produced by the machine. The adjustment of the air knives that blow water off the washed product was optimised to ensure even drier products exit the washer.

The partnership with Hans van der Poel BV did not end with a suitable cleaning solution for Royal De Ree Holland. Another new project is in the pipeline, where we will collaborate again with Hans van der Poel BV to come up with an appropriate solution for flower buckets.

Quote Hans van der Poel BV Mechanisatie en Machinebouw.

Limex is a great company to work with. Our engineering departments pooled their strengths and ensured a frictionless process. The contact and communication were excellent, and we’re looking forward to realising the next project together.”- Hans van der Poel

How did Royal De Ree Holland experience the collaboration with Limex?

“Our experience of working with Limex can be described as professional and pleasant. The challenges and an effective way of washing the transport crates were carefully thought over in advance. Installing and connecting the washer was completed quickly, so the machine could be immediately put into operation without any problems. Consultations and liaison between Limex and van der Poel BV were also smooth. 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

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