November 22 2021  |  Catering

Guest column: The Environmental Hero

By Tomas Jämtander, Marketing Director, Flight Catering Solutions, Diskomat

This is a special feature from PAX International's December IFSA EXPO Long Beach 2021 digital edition, page 22.

Fifteen years ago when Suvarnabhumi Airport started its operations, Bangkok Air Catering (BAC) opened its doors to provide exquisite cuisine and services to Bangkok Airways and the international airline community.

Since 2006, BAC has grown and established itself as the undisputed airline catering market leader in Thailand, with flight catering units in Don Mueang, Samui, Phuket and Chiang Mai aside from its main base at Suvarnabhumi. Adapting a strategy of expansion, BAC has evolved into the BAC Group. Today it is known as a leading food provider in Thailand through its four business units; hospital catering, fine dining restaurants, retail and supplier to VIP lounges, and the HORECA sector.

During BAC’s inception, Sweden-based companies Diskomat and Wexiödisk, already then with a strong presence in neighboring Southeast Asia countries, were nominated to design and equip the caterer’s dishwashing facilities. The first delivery included a variety of flight-type washers, pot and pan washers and one cart washer – which eventually came to be known as ‘the Environmental Hero.’ It was the start of a long and mutually beneficial business partnership based on trust and confidence, which has progressed through BAC’s expansion over the years.

Hero through and through
It is dubbed the Environmental Hero for its similar qualities to the heroes in fairytales and storybooks; it is quiet but efficient, flexible and high-performing, reliable and attested.

BAC decided to use Wexiödisk’s WD-18 cart washer – the Environmental Hero – due to its unique spin-dry technology, with the smallest floor space requirement and with the lowest energy consumption of all cart washers in the industry.

After 15 years of almost around the clock hard work and having washed nearly nine million airline carts for BAC, our Hero remains strong, fulfilling its duties. Compared to other cart washers in the market, our Hero offers unparalleled energy saving performance and measures up on all critical criteria and comparative studies of environmental key performance indicators.

The Environmental Hero in action

Take for example the spin-dry technology. This unique method does not require energy consuming heating elements and large fans to dry the carts. The benefit is that there is no ambient heat omission – which oftentimes leads to a higher requirement for air conditioning in the facility, increasing the electricity bill.

And speaking of electricity consumption, our Hero is best in class measuring consumed energy per washed cart. It uses only 1.4 kilowatt hours (kWh) for the complete washing cycle. Our Hero washes up to 90 full size airline carts per hour on a floor area of merely 4.5 square meters. It is true heroism in an airline catering dishwashing room!

As if this is not enough, our Hero uses the equivalent amount of water used in a five-minute shower to rinse 30 carts. With a rinse volume of merely two-liters of fresh water per cart, it goes without saying that the chemical consumption is significantly lower than most comparable chamber cart washers and tunnel washers.

Like a true hero, our Hero doesn’t make much noise. It emits a sound level of a modest 65 decibels. For context, people speaking in whisper emit 30 decibels; a normal conversation, 60 decibels. This is in stark contrast to traditional, old fashioned cart washers with the dull rumbling sound emission from the fan blowers, familiar to all. It uses spin-dry centrifugal technique and does not have noisy fans to get the carts or trolleys dry. And yet, with a better drying result in a shorter time.

The Hero is flexible too. Large sized kitchen trolleys, storage bins, or other bulk items will be clean and dry in a matter of 120 seconds – like magic.

Reliable and quiet, this is a well trusted machine from our customers. Its measured performance ratings are consistently 95 percent and above. For service, the local technician can, in most cases, maintain our Hero with a selection of consumable spare parts on hand.

For years to come
Since the late 1990s, the Environmental Hero has been successfully installed at flight-catering units in Australia, Southeast Asia, China, Europe and Africa. In northern Europe and Scandinavia, our Hero is a household brand in many hospitals where the most rigorous hygiene standards, just like in airline catering, are uncompromised.

Diskomat, with its in-depth experience in dishwashing room design, logistics and waste handling exclusively offers Wexiödisk’s wide range of robust, reliable, economic, and ergonomic dishwashers and automatic cutlery sorters to the global flight catering industry.

Meanwhile, at Wexiödisk’s R&D department in the deep forests of Småland, Sweden, the tireless work continues. There is full focus on challenging our Hero’s environmental performance to even greater heights, true to the company’s vision: “Offering the market’s most innovative, effective, and resource-efficient dishwashing processes.”

And at Bangkok Air Catering, with its mission of “Protecting the environment by adhering to best practice in energy conservation, waste treatment and air emissions,” the team are gearing up for Thailand’s post-COVID opening, with new opportunities and many more million carts to wash with minimum energy consumption.

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