Reducing energy costs is always important for foodservice operations. But what good is a lower bill if your dishes still aren’t clean?
That’s the conundrum Hobart faced, so, after talking to customers, product development went to work and the FT1000 was born.
“We visited numerous sites to talk with end users across the country, especially those who purchase flight-types for their operations, such as healthcare, higher education, lodging and corrections,” says Megan Dyer, Product Line Manager at Hobart. “We know that a focus on energy, chemical and labor-saving technology is critical. That's what drove us to develop a lot of the new features that you'll see on our updated FT1000, including automatic soil removal, auto clean, auto delime and ventless technology. But it's also critical that the FT1000 improves cleaning performance. Let’s face it. You can reduce energy costs all you want, but at the end of the day, the dish needs to be clean.”
Dyer points out that the company does a number of tests in its lab to ensure that that happens with its dishwashers.
“Whether it’s a gross soil test or other NSF tests that we complete, we stake our reputation on guaranteeing that our dish machines are maintaining superior performance,” she says.
One of the hottest new features of the FT1000 is automatic soil removal, a capability that eliminates the need to pre-rinse ware prior to loading it onto the conveyor. “It's a dedicated section that uses specialized soil removal wash arms and a pumped system to remove soil from the ware before it reaches the prewash tank. That reduces both the number of tank refills required per day and chemical consumption by up to 25%.”
Auto clean and auto delime (getting rid of the limescale that can accumulate on dishwashers from hard minerals) reduce the operator labor that's required by up to 30 minutes per day, according to the company. “These features provide automated programs that effectively clean and maintain the dish machine, including the booster heater,” says Dyer. “This machine is the first flight-type that automatically delimes the booster. It’s all about taking care of those critical components and making it easier and safer for the operator.”
Finally, ventless technology allows increased flexibility because it does not require a direct-to-vent connection. “It also provides large energy savings for our customers of up to 22% annually versus our previous machine,” Dyer notes. “The FT1000 is a very robust machine designed for harsh kitchen conditions. And the features we’ve added provide the energy, chemical and labor savings that address the challenges that our dish room operators are facing today.”
In addition, Hobart machines have dual rinse, which provides another opportunity to rinse the dish, while offering improved cleaning and rinse performance and reducing water consumption. “Because it is easy for a customer to lose or damage their wash arm end caps, we now feature capless wash arms, eliminating the caps altogether and providing a much easier experience for our customers in terms of cleaning and maintenance.
“We also have a new blower dryer, and we've reduced the energy consumption on that to only 7.5 kW and have improved the air flow,” she says.
The new blower dryers have venting along the sides to direct the air flow out from the side and up, for better overall coverage, reducing the energy needed for drying, and the humidity as well. “So we have overall better results,” says Dyer.
The company has significantly reduced water consumption on this machine. “At 58 gallons of rinse water per hour, we've cut the water in half compared to our previous machine and we also have the lowest total cost of ownership of a flight-type in the industry,” she adds. “By reducing water consumption, energy, chemicals and labor, we’re providing a product that can work for all our customers, no matter what their needs.”
Dyer says there's a lot of opportunity for replacement dish machines. “The savings in operating costs are so substantial that facilities with older flight machines could actually see a payback within the first several years of replacement. And we have flexibility with our product offering, with all these new features, to make it attractive for customers to do that.”
In today's market, where customer needs are ever-changing — energy, food and labor costs always on the rise — it’s important for the company to provide a product that can help foodservice operations do more with less, says Dyer. “The six most critical elements of warewashing are cleaning performance, utilities, labor management, chemical optimization, soil management and life cycle management – those are the pillars of dishwashing operation. We meet all those requirements with the FT1000.”
The product will be on display at NRA, and launched this summer.