An Oliver Douglas crate washing installation is now operational at the latest in the growing number of purpose-designed home distribution centres being opened by one the UK’s leading supermarket organisations. The facility, at a new site in Middlesex, features an Oliver Douglas Trayline 2 continuous wash and rinse system, which is helping to ensure delivery trays and crates are cleaned to the highest level.

The stand-alone Trayline unit is operated as and when needed, with crates stored for cleaning and periodically run in batches through the washing process – helping to control operating costs and optimise the supply of clean crates. The need to ensure that the crates are regularly checked and cleaned on return from delivery is now fulfilled by the Trayline installation.

The machine is designed to be operated by one person who places crates base down one at a time for movement along the roof of the machine, before they are inverted and taken up by the conveyor that automatically feeds them in a controlled manner through the wash chamber. Washed and rinsed crates are then delivered back to the same operator.

With a length of little more than 3 metres, a width of less than a metre and a height of approximately 1.5 metres, the Oliver Douglas Trayline 2 installation requires only a small footprint and was easily located in a dedicated area of the premises. Capable of handling up to 200 units per hour, it has been configured to accommodate the specific crate dimensions and design – 20% lighter than many others – importantly, without damaging the embedded barcode.

“As with all our wash systems, the Trayline series is manufactured from heavy gauge stainless steel and features a re-circulated wash facility. This contributes both to its economic operation and ensures a high quality fresh water rinse is maintained,” comments Paul Careless, Sales Manager at Oliver Douglas, who have gained a leading reputation for washing and cleaning systems in both the food and non-food sectors over more than 50 years.

“It was important that the facility was installed separately from the picking and processing line, and was versatile enough to allow to operate it as and when required,” he continues. “It is now producing high quality results for this growing part of the Tesco organisation and we are delighted to have been involved with such a successful and major company in the field,” Paul Careless concludes.

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