Intensive and sustainable crate washer for Wijnen Square Crops

On 16 August, we delivered a crate washing machine for crop crates, including a blowing machine, to Wijnen Square Crops in Grubbenvorst in the Netherlands. Wijnen Square Crops is a vegetable grower that uses modern technology in a sustainable way. As a member of the Harvest House growers’ association, they contribute to the efficient supply of high-quality sweet peppers and cucumbers.

Cleaning issue

Wijnen had been hiring Limex crate washers periodically since 2011, to help them with their seasonal cleaning issues. In 2016, they decided to invest in a small washer as a permanent replacement. 

When virus levels started to increase on a global scale, Wijnen wanted to properly defend themselves . At the time, Limex had just launched a study into removal methods for persistent viruses such as the tomato virus (ToBRFV) and a cucumber virus (CGMMV). These cleaning methods proved extremely effective. As a result, Wijnen decided to opt for a more intensive cleaning process.

Special crate washer 

Wijnen received a brand new crate washer with a blowing machine. Thoroughly blowing crates dry is very important because moisture can cause stem rot in sweet peppers. The challenge in configuring this washing process is that sweet peppers and cucumbers are transported in folding crates. Hinges and click systems are more difficult to reach during washing and blow-drying.

In order to ensure thorough treatment and optimal cleaning results for the folding crates, special adjustments were made to the crate washer for Wijnen. Despite the challenge that the folding crates presented in the configuration of the machine, the cleaning and drying results were highly effective. 

Heat exchanger

Sustainability is an important issue at Wijnen Square Crops. Fortunately, Limex can also play its part. For example, water is circulated and filtered within the machine, and the crate washer uses heat exchangers for the main washing cycle and the final rinse. In other words, the water in this crate washer is heated by residual heat from the business. 

The result is a sturdy crate washer with a capacity of 600 crates per hour, and effective and sustainable washing and drying results.

Koen Saris from Wijnen Square Crops on his experience with the crate washer

“Virus and disease levels in our crops are increasing. We are doing everything we can to keep viruses and diseases out of our business and to prevent internal spreading in the event of an infection. 

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. 

Since the machine is equipped with a double blower, the crates can be used or stored immediately. Previously, we always had to leave them to dry out somewhere first, with all the associated risks and extra handling. Fortunately, this is no longer necessary.”

Grubbenvorst, the Netherlands / September 2021 / Koen Saris, Operational Director at Wijnen Square Crops

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