Millions of BKX trays full of young plants are transported to growers every year. Good hygiene of the trays is very important when propagating young plants. For over twenty years, Beekenkamp has ensured these rigorous hygiene protocols are met by washing trays with the first machine developed specifically for this process. Beginning in week 24, Beekenkamp has switched this cleaning process to a new and improved machine, ensuring we are providing the best young plants to our customers. Beekenkamp continues to be fully focused on the future growth of BKX packaging by providing a wide range of tray sizes (480, 264 and 128 high) and now with our improved cleaning process.
Where the old washing machine was aimed at washing the polystyrene packaging, the new washing machine consists of several modules that are focused on BKX packaging. The stacking and unstacking of the trays is fully automatic and the cards on the tray are removed mechanically. The new washing machine has a knocking mechanism where the trays are tilted and shaken, ensuring that any organic residue is removed prior to cleaning.
After any residue is removed, trays are guided through the washing module. By using high water pressure, high temperatures and a longer cycle, the BKX packaging comes out sanitized and free of bacteria and viruses. The washing modules can operate independently of each other, allowing us to wash both the polystyrene and BKX packaging at the same time. Watch the video for a unique look at the washing machine!
Old versus new washing machine
With the growing demand for reusable BKX packaging, the quantity of trays to be washed is increasing. At the beginning of the washing cycle, the tray’s RFID tags are scanned so we always know how many trays are being sanitized. The new machine also allows us to increase our cleaning efficiency by processing between 1000 to 1200 trays every hour.
Marc Driessen, Director Beekenkamp Plants Ornamentals, tells enthusiastically: “And again a great innovation at our production location! With this new washing machine we clean our reusable BKX trays more efficiently and hygienically. The first time we stood by the machine, it looked like a futuristic sports car with the doors that open upwards. Very impressive and ready for the future. A good step for our company towards a more sustainable way of working at Beekenkamp Plants.”
With the arrival of the new washing machine, a new chapter BKX packaging has begun!