Tag Archives: commercial dishwashing considerations

Dishwashing machines – Purchasing

Purchasing Considerations:

False Economy 1:

It is easy to state ‘I want to save operating costs, just select the lowest KW and water consumption machine.’ However an incorrectly sized machine won’t do the job properly and cost you more time and money than what you saved by the lower cost smaller capacity machine in no time at all.

The machine has to be sized correctly for your operation; it must be able to cope with the anticipated work load, volume of dishes, level of soil/waste matter on the dishes before entering the system etc.

A low KW machine may not have enough power to ‘recover’ quickly enough to meet the workload and you are left constantly waiting for the machine to ‘heat up*’.

*Many customers are blissfully unaware that commercial dish/pot/ware washers are designed NOT to operate until the correct water temperatures are reached in the machine, both wash and rinse. Part of what makes a ‘commercial’ machine ‘fit for purpose’ is the high temperature rinse cycle, and unless the water temperature is at that correct level (normally min 75c) it often won’t start let alone complete a cycle.

 

False Economy 2:

The other unknown cost and consideration when selecting a machine is ‘technology cost’, (TC) what is TC cost? It’s when you get a really fancy machine lots of computer and digital controllers, lots of complex operation systems that when all working together operate the machine perfectly at the ultimate economic energy saving level, but it’s not IF but WHEN it breaks down…….disaster! They are complex pieces of machinery, and we live in a country that is normally at the farthest distance from where they were manufactured, (the high technical machines are normally made in Europe). The ‘local factory trained technician’ often doesn’t exist (despite what the manufacturers Sales Rep will tell you) and then you have a situation where local subcontractor trades are left to do their very best to understand and learn the machinery as they go. The high tech machines are not easy to diagnose (even with self diagnostic computers/digital on board) and everyone is flying by the seat of their pants to sort out the issues…it normally equals hours and hours or worse days of down time.

It doesn’t matter what sort of machine it is how great it is when it works, how energy efficient it may be, if its broken down it’s useless to all, and now you are washing dishes by hand, calling in extra labour and it’s costing you big dollars, even if it is in warranty period and you’re not paying to fix it, it’s still costing you.

 

False Economy 3:

Cheap Cheap! If the price is heaps cheaper than the other offers and you are wondering if it sounds to good to be true, then it probably is!

Most people wouldn’t buy themselves a new family car if it was half the price of all the other cars, they would be sceptical of why it was so cheap, how well built and reliable it was, how good the backup service, support and warranty was, especially if it was an ‘unknown’ brand within the industry/market.

It is no different with commercial equipment, there is a reason why it costs what it does, and most of the time it comes down to the points raised above.

If the Dish/Ware washer you are considering doesn’t have local offices in each state of Australia, technicians in at least each capital city and designated preferred technicians in regional areas then I would not suggest purchasing the machine.

Some may argue, what if it’s just a small little café/kitchen, surely just a cheap and nasty? I’d argue against for just the same reasons as a larger establishment needs to consider. In fact the pain at small kitchen/café end can actually be far worse as its normally owner operator, who feels it not an employee on wages/salary. Financial implications (like paying extra labour to wash manually) are felt in their own back pocket…or the poor owner is the one staying back late to wash dishes and wasting their own precious time chasing the service tech up! smaller machine yes, bigger pain for sure!

Decision Time:

Armed with all this information, what should you be looking for in your selection of brand and model machine?

  • Capacity, look at what rates the manufacture suggests the machine can perform to, consider your maximum peak loads then add 25% onto that figure and make sure that the machine meets these numbers. Plates per hour/racks per hour etc.
  • Energy, what power do you, or can you supply to the machine? Generally all power full machines will require 3 phase supply, lighter duty 15 -30Amps
  • Brand, is it a larger reputable brand? A quick ‘google’ search will highlight the main popular brands. Check that they have offices in each city.
  • Service, if in doubt contact the State office of the brand you are considering and ask to speak the ‘service’ department, have a chat with them, ask them about their service and support systems. You won’t get this conversation from cheap unknown internet brands.
  • Operating systems, how simple is the machine you considering, just remember it WILL breakdown at some point!
  • Systems, don’t forget if you don’t have sufficient soiled set down sorting space, pre rinsing, clean product space, space for sorting/storing then the best machine in the world won’t be much help!

 

Now that you have made it this far, click on and open the below link and watch this video to find your perfect dishwasher employee!

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