Meiko’s New Warewashing Technology Raises Bar For Metro New York Operators

Washing dishes may not be the first thing hospitals worry about when budgeting. But energy and water consumption are two of the biggest expenses they and corporate feeders face. Meiko offers a new version of its flight type conveyor, the M-iQ to help food service operations save on both.

Advanced engineering features take these advantages even further. A standard, integrated blower dryer works with the airflow management system and improves drying results. The M-Filter system actively and continuously removes food soil from the wash water to improve soil removal from the ware, and further reduce detergent consumption by up to 50%. Total Food sat down with Meiko’s David Ciampoli, Vice President of Sales and Marketing to discuss some of the M-iQ features in detail.

How does this new machine compare in terms of features with Hobart and Champion?

M-iQ was launched in late 2011 and has shipped more than 2000 units since the launch. Different manufacturers have different features and benefits, but I can say with the utmost of confidence, our M-iQ Flight Type Conveyor is the most efficient machine in its class on the planet. Period.

At 10k dishes per hour and just 57 gallons of water, where will this bring operating costs for a large hospital or corporate feeder in Manhattan?

As you know, utilities in New York are some of the highest in the country. No matter what other machine an institution has, or is thinking of getting, M-iQ will cost them less to own. For instance, compared to a leading model of similar size, M-iQ saves over 109,000 gallons per year in water. That’s roughly enough to fill seven averaged-sized swimming pools. In comparing the same two models in regards to energy, M-iQ saves over 116,000 kWh a year – or enough to power 129 average households for a month.

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When should a consultant specify a first generation MEIKO versus competitors that may have been in the market?

Though M-iQ represents the newest generation of our flight-type conveyor family, it is certainly not the first. MEIKO brings over 80 years of efficient design, manufacturing and quality to each and every machine we make, and M-iQ is no different. 

In regards to why a consultant should specify M-iQ; the answer is simple: Consultants are in a tricky situation when it comes to making their case for a warewasher. There is, of course, the upfront cost of the machine. But, more importantly, there’s total cost of ownership. Consultants that really know their stuff, and are truly worth their salt, are specifying M-iQ in their large-volume dishroom projects. And there are many reasons why.

From LEED certifications for new green buildings, to environmentally conscious college and universities, — even to cash-strapped healthcare institutions looking to put money back in their bottom line; more and more consultants are actually crunching the numbers and doing the work. And when they do, the answer is obvious. It’s M-iQ.

I know M-iQ won awards at NAFEM and NRA. But what was it that your customers told you that lead you to believe you had something special?

The truth is the numbers. When our customers actually start running the machine, and can calculate their true savings, the results are self-evident. We’ve installed machines that were able to pay for themselves completely in as little as one year. Beyond the saved energy, water, and chemical costs, folks are spending much less on labor since the machine is so easy to operate and requires minimal manual cleanup. In regards to performance, some of our customers leave their dishes sitting for up to three days before washing them, and yet maintain a re-run rate of less than five percent. 

Talk about the special wave feature at the load end of the machine? How did your R&D team arrive at that as being a key?

This area of the machine is particularly difficult to clean, as the operator has to reach under the belt to access it. By flushing food soils periodically with the “Tsunami Wave”, the operator will less frequently need to clean it. And not to let anything go to waste, this is a great way to repurpose a portion of the waste water.

How does the active filtrations feature flush out soil in high pressure cycles?

In traditional systems, food soils and particulate are merely collected in screens, trays, traps, etc. They’re not actually being eliminated from the machine until the operator manually removes and empties them. With M-iQ’s patented active filtration technology, food particulate is actively flushed and pumped from the tanks in incremental stages throughout the day.

What can consultants and their endusers expect in terms of making cleanup easier?

M-iQ is equipped with several unique features making cleanup easier. First, all daily manual cleanup areas are intuitively marked in blue – letting operators know exactly what parts need to be accessed, cleaned and replaced quickly. M-iQ even features an automated cycle that can be pre-programmed to run at the end of every shift. This cycle ensures remaining soils are pumped through the M-iQ filter, significantly reducing the amount of the manual labor required to clean the machine.

How will this new technology reduce detergent consumption?

There are combinations of technologies working together to significantly reduce the amount of detergent and rinse aid required to operate M-iQ. 

  • M-iQ employs a high-pressure wash for both improved soil removal and reduced water consumption. Water flow has been modeled using computational fluid dynamics hitting the ware more effectively, and thus reducing the amount of detergent required.
  • The cleaner the water is, the less detergent required. Our filter technology is found in each tank and features a multiple state filtration process that can reduce detergent consumption by up to 50%. 
  • The machine features a bypass located near the power rinse that goes directly to the prewash area, where detergent is not needed. Chemical is only added to the portions of the machine that require it. For instance, though the machine uses less than 60 gallons of water an hour, only 60% of that water goes into the wash tank, which requires chemicals. We are not adding chemical to water that doesn’t require it. 

Cleaning is a huge concern with labor cost. How does this new design impact cleaning?

Since the machine is continuously cleaning itself via the filter technology, coupled with the self-cleaning feature at the end of the shift, the amount of manual labor is reduced significantly. When manual labor is required, the parts requiring daily cleaning are clearly marked in blue. This feature makes recognition fast, and straightforward, and makes the very best use of an employee’s time. Also, it would be remiss to talk about labor and not talk about turnover. Since M-iQ is insulated, and reuses a great portion of the heat it generates, the exterior of the machine is cool to the touch. The amount of energy released into the dishroom is minimal, making for a much more pleasant environment. In other words, when employees like their jobs – they tend to keep them.

The M-iQ offers a full range of energy savings features. Walk us through how the Waste Air Heat Recovery system functions and leads to savings?

Heat recovery works by reclaiming energy created during the wash to heat the incoming water. Many machines offer some form of a heat recovery system, but M-iQ’s is significantly more advanced. For starters, our Waste Air Heat Recovery (WAHR) is located over the load section of the machine. Though this may seem counterintuitive, the machine is pulling the clean air back from the unload section of the machine. This prevents contamination of the ware, improves heating efficiency, and reduces exhaust emissions. Also, M-iQ’s WAHR system works in concert with other energy-saving technologies, dynamically adjusting to changes in heating distribution. 

For instance, our modulating booster works directly with the WAHR to achieve optimum water temperature. If the machine is cold, the booster heater will operate continuously until the WAHR is able to recapture enough energy to begin heating water. Once the system has reclaimed enough energy, it allows the booster heater to maintain temperature, as opposed to cycling, saving a great deal of energy.

To learn more about the M-iQ call (800) 55-MEIKO or visit You can also visit Meiko at the International, Hotel, Motel + Restaurant Show in booth #1320 on November 9-12, 2013.