© Photo | KD Busch

Letting off steam

The new range of commer­cial dish­washers from Meiko relies on energy-effi­cient and user-friendly solu­tions – with the help of ebm-papst

The dish­washer cycle has finished and the dishes are clean. All that remains is to open the door and get a load of hot steam right in your face. Virtu­ally everyone has had this unpleasant kitchen expe­ri­ence at home. But the dish­washer here is used only once or twice a week. In canteens, restau­rants, cruise ships and hospi­tals, enor­mous amounts of dishes are washed every day. The used dishes usually have to be made absolutely clean and free of bacteria within a few minutes, before being sent back out to visi­tors, passen­gers or patients. The staff oper­ating the dish­washers have to put up with the unwanted steam bath many times a day. Further­more, the damp, hot air has a nega­tive influ­ence on the climate inside the kitchen.


Bruno Gaus, Head of Devel­op­ment at MEIKO and Ralf Braun, Area Manager for Offen­burg, ebm-papst

The company MEIKO Maschi­nenbau GmbH & Co. KG are experts in commer­cial dish­washing tech­nology and have devel­oped a solu­tion to the problem with the AirCon­cept for their M-iClean series. “The energy that takes the form of waste heat in the dish­washing process is regained at the end of the cycle and then fed back into the process”, explains Bruno Gaus, Head of Devel­op­ment at MEIKO. A fan installed in the inte­rior of the machine conveys the hot air through the heat exchanger so that it can be used again in the heating process. It acts like a “turbo” that intel­li­gently conveys the air. The flat impeller throws the air stream against the ceiling of the rinse chamber. From there, the air moves down­wards along the side walls, where the steam condenses against the cooler surface. This natural convec­tion, in other words the process of the cool air sinking down­wards, would take far too long without the fan. After all, a drying cycle can only last just over a couple of minutes.

Energy effi­ciency is extremely impor­tant in our dish­washers.

Bruno Gaus, MEIKO

MEIKO brought in ebm-papst to help with the tech­nical config­u­ra­tion of the fan. “Energy effi­ciency is extremely impor­tant in our dish­washers,” empha­sises Gaus. “For that reason, the indi­vidual compo­nents also need to be espe­cially effi­cient. The EC motor from Land­shut fulfils this require­ment.” At the same time, the motor is also needed to be as compact as possible. For ebm-papst, this project repre­sented a very special chal­lenge. “Due to the reduced space in the dish­washers, we needed a more compact, energy-saving fan that would also perma­nently with­stand the powerful cleaning deter­gents used”, explains Ralf Braun, who as ebm-papst’s Area Manager for Offen­burg works closely together with the company in south-west Germany.

Over the course of the 18-month joint devel­op­ment, the team decided on the BG36 stan­dard motor, but with customised 24 V elec­tronics. On top of that, the motor was fitted with partic­u­larly robust seals and mate­rials ready for use in the dish­washers and drives a specially designed impeller. The motor is designed for high speeds of up to 5,000 rpm, whilst also being extremely quiet and smooth-running.

We deliver a compact, energy-saving fan that can also with­stand aggres­sive deter­gents.

Ralf Braun, ebm-papst

Just as effi­cient as the motor was the coop­er­a­tion itself. “MEIKO came to us with some very partic­ular require­ments and quickly devel­oped an inge­nious design which bore in mind the options that we had high­lighted”, beams Stefan Ober­maier from ebm-papst Land­shut, who managed the project. Bruno Gaus, who has been devel­oping dish­washers for the company from the Black Forest for 20 years, is also very happy with the result: “Devel­op­ment is all about a certain give and take. The coop­er­a­tion worked extremely well.” The new M-iClean range has been on the market since October 2013. With an illu­mi­nated status display on the door handle and a glass display with much more infor­ma­tion for the user, the appli­ance is certainly a head turner. Now users can admire this feature without getting all steamed up.

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