Douglas Graham knows more about high volume warewashing than most. He’s just celebrated 20 years of selling Winterhalter’s MT (multi tank) conveyor systems and, as such, the Glaswegian is one of the best known faces in the catering equipment industry. These big flight and rack conveyor models can wash thousands of items per hour, and over the years he’s helped specify up to 700 machines – adding up to around 2,100,000 millimetres of conveyor belting! That’s about the length of 23 football pitches…
So what’s been the biggest change in the 20 years? “Modern machines are much more efficient, not only in terms of their wash results but also in terms of massive reductions in power, water and chemical consumption,” says Douglas. “There have been big strides in technology in all sorts of areas, from the use of heat exchangers to the development of smart wash arms that clean better using less water.”
One thing that hasn’t changed is the big challenge: “Persuading customers to invest in the correct specifications to meet their needs – these are expensive machines and understandably people want to reduce their expenditure. What’s vital is to make sure the system will be able to cope – if not, there will be problems down the line.”
Over the years Douglas has sold systems to a huge range of customers. One of his first sales back in 1999 was to a Marriott Hotel in London. Since then he’s seen MTs installed in football stadia, universities, hospitals, tableware hire companies (all the dishes and glasses for the royal weddings have been processed through a Winterhalter MT), the Wimbledon All England Tennis and Croquet Club, the largest shopping centre in Europe, motorway service areas, oil platforms and the Royal Albert Hall. And it’s not just for foodservice: Douglas reckons that perhaps the oddest application was an MT that was used to wash contact lenses in a mass production plant.
What about the future? “The next step for the MTs will be connectivity. We already offer it on our smaller machines, and it’s making a significant difference in terms of operational efficiencies. Winterhalter is right at the forefront of the technology, so I expect to see MTs with Connected Wash soon.”
Douglas Graham is Business Development Manager and MT Project Specialist for Winterhalter UK.
MT machines feature a modular design and a wide range of options, so they can be configured for the individual site’s requirements. For example, a larger multi tank system could comprise a loading zone, a pre-wash zone, main wash zone, rinse zone, air knife drying zone, a fresh air drying zone and an unloading zone.
Winterhalter celebrated Douglas’s anniversary with a surprise presentation, featuring a 20 year certificate and a gift voucher. “I was taken aback, but I’m still so pleased to be part of the best warewash team in the UK,” he says. “Onwards to the next ten years!”