Alistair Blair-Davies, Hydro System’s Global Director of Brand & Marketing Communications explains how an informed choice of chemical dispenser can deliver environmental benefits without any compromise on efficiency, safety and cleaning quality. In fact, you can’t have one without the other…
Any form of chemical dispensing is by its very nature a potentially hazardous procedure. Delivering a chemical, or multiple chemicals, to enable a successful laundry cycle is no exception.
Chemical safety and, by default, environmental safety are inextricably linked to variables such as the mechanical controls that govern usage; appropriate procedures being in place in operation, as well as employees being provided with – and trained in – the correct use of personal protective equipment. Risk also extends to matters of the correct electrical installation and the fire safety of the facility where the chemical is in use.
In the same sense, a chemical dispenser has to be part of a similar virtuous circle that encompasses good health and safety, pertinent technology and rigorous procedure to be effective – and thereby operate at maximum efficiency. However, if you want to reap the full range of environmental and eco-friendly benefits available from the significant advancements in dispensing technology, it is crucial that the right dispenser is chosen to begin with.
Making a crucial choice
Utilising sustainable cleaning methods and technology, like chemical dispensing systems, is one of the best ways to simplify cleaning efforts, keep a busy environment sanitary and improve your profitability.
Dispensing systems can have varying uses and features. Some dispense one or two chemicals, while others are capable of dispensing multiple chemicals. Initially, if you keep the size of your facility, installation space and range of cleaning needs in mind it will help to narrow down which dispenser is the correct fit for your cleaning requirements.
Select a system that is easy to manage and, as well as keeping workers safe and productive throughout the cycle, they are more likely to be aware of any problems arising which might have an environmental impact. It is also crucial that, as well as fulfilling your immediate needs, your choice is flexible enough to allow for future requirements. For optimal cleaning results, choose a system that ensures accurate dilution regardless of water pressure.
Diluting your objectives
With the right dispenser, cleaning chemicals are consistently diluted to the manufacturer’s specifications, which enables the concentrates to work at their full potential. If your choice is not up to the job it can result in too rich mixtures which can leave unpleasant, sticky and even slippery residues on surfaces. Too much chemical can even damage surfaces, which can both impact on the image of your facility as well as give you a costly repair bill.
Conversely, when weak mixtures are produced, surfaces may still have germs remaining. Accurate chemical dosing is one of the easiest ways to create cleaner, visually-satisfying environments that improve the quality of life of all who come into contact with them.
Enhancing your sustainability
By dispensing the right amount of chemical each and every time, you can eliminate the overuse or underuse that often occurs when employees are directly involved. This reduces waste, as accurately diluting the proper amount of chemical can reduce cleaning costs significantly. A chemical dispensing system also helps save resources – like water and energy – by reducing rewash rates.
Correct dispensing combats the risk of potentially hazardous chemicals being dumped indiscriminately in sewers; or anywhere they might have a negative effect on water supplies – and consequently your reputation. To prevent chemical back flow into the water supply and avoid contamination, choose a dispensing system that meets the requirements of ASSE1055 for Chemical Dispensing Systems.
Look for green products and services to appeal to customers. Chemical dispensing systems can help laundries further their commitment to the environment. A closed dispensing system can achieve a considerable saving on waste packaging and storage costs in comparison to ready-to-use (RTU) products; where packaging would otherwise end up in landfills. Additionally, greenhouse gasses are also reduced because less fuel is needed to ship chemicals in concentrate form than with heavy RTU products.
Keeping it clean for longer
Hydro pumps and chemical dispensing systems are not disposable and have been developed for a long and sustainable operating life. High-quality pumps not only keep systems in working order for longer but also provide accurate dosing and consistency over the life of the installation. They also do not require the maintenance of traditional peristaltic pumps.
Hydro dispensing systems feature durable components and seals that can withstand attack and degradation by chemical concentrates. These contribute in keeping systems functioning properly and safely throughout a long service life, and without the need for regular maintenance.
Safer working environments
Along with accuracy, safety is a top priority when working with chemical products. There is an immediate environmental gain if a dispenser is used. When ensuring the correct chemical dilution is out of human hands it limits the serious consequences of spillage and fume exposure, or the potential for dangerous slip-and-fall accidents.
With any spillage, there is also the possibility of a corrosive effect on machinery, or perhaps the contamination of a key customer’s laundry. A correctly installed and operated dispensing unit avoids detrimental costs. It also negates the downtime associated with cleaning up and diluting another process batch. By automatically mixing concentrates with water, workers also don’t risk injury carrying heavy RTU containers.
Let’s talk smarter dispensing systems
Smart dispensing systems have been using embedded electronics for advanced controls for some time now, but the latest Hydro systems are now using sophisticated software to provide a range of additional benefits. Intelligent dispensers have on-board electronics to log and report critical data such as load weight and temperature, chemical usage or load counts.
By “talking” both to chemical suppliers and end customers, internet-enabled dispensing systems will provide better data and validation of correct, precisely controlled and efficient dosing. An intelligent unit, such as the latest venturi-based system, will also be developed and deployed for a wider range of dosing applications to meet higher customer expectations.
The more advanced the system is, the better. Remote device management gives employees and managers 24/7 off site insight into chemical dispensing. This allows troubleshooting to be conducted proactively to avoid waste and contain issues before they impact on the environment. System software and mobile connectivity that provide laundry and chemical personnel with a view into critical laundry key performance indicators produce more efficient operations and reduced downtime.
Maintaining a dispensing system is the last, but certainly not the least, critical aspect that ensures you continue to deliver on the environmental and eco benefits. Depending on the condition of the water on-site, the filter in a dispensing system will require regular cleaning so that particles in the water line don’t reach the water valve and disrupt dilution.
You can’t have one without the other
Finding an effective balance between quality, efficiency, cost and environmental impact is a priority. A positive outcome goes hand-in-hand with the right choice of chemical dispenser and technological advances.
Clearly exhibiting your eco credentials and your desire to be environmentally responsible is a key selling point. It enhances your company image. It benefits your workforce; your customers; the wider community – and, most importantly, your bottom line.
This article was first published in the Tomorrow’s Cleaning Magazine – https://content.yudu.com/web/1jybr/0A1vxp9/TCJuly2017/html/index.html?page=28