This article was first published in the Autumn/Winter 2016 issue of International Cruise & Ferry Review. All information was correct at the time of printing, but may since have changed
Hygiene is a huge issue on cruise ships, and there is limited space onboard to meet the required standards. This is particularly prominent when it comes to the wash-up area in cruise ship kitchens.
Cruise operators need to make the best use of every last millimetre in the galley and wash-up area, and for a warewashing technology specialist like Meiko, that means getting the perfect fit between design and functionality.
“We’re fully familiar with the challenges onboard cruise liners, and that enables us to choose the right machines from our product range and tailor them to the technical requirements in each case,” says Dominique Raverdy, senior sales manager in the marine key account segment at Meiko. “We obviously also make sure that they meet the highest standards of availability, hygiene, ergonomics and economical operation.”
Raverdy notes that the cruise industry has been making a major effort to optimise its infection control processes, commenting: “Cruise lines are clearly aware of their responsibilities regarding hygiene and are constantly striving to find the best solutions.”
In recent times, the cruise industry has made a major effort to deal with recurring cases of noroviruses and other gastrointestinal illnesses.
“Cruise lines are now doing an outstanding job in this area,” Raverdy says. “Even so, it’s probably impossible to totally eliminate these outbreaks simply because the infections are constantly being reintroduced by people who have spent time onshore.”
Each ship is like a microcosm of the wider community, so Meiko focuses on preventing every possible risk in this arena.
“All our machines work in accordance with the strict provisions laid down by the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and/or with the criteria of the Vessel Sanitation Program run by US inspectors,” Raverdy says.
Meiko’s CC Touch electronic control system provides an intuitive means of controlling all the dishwashing processes. This is particularly helpful when a crew consists of staff that speak multiple languages. In addition, Meiko’s CC Insight expansion module makes it easy to store and display all system-relevant data, functions and operating processes. The software add-on also lets crew perform analysis, diagnostics and parameter modifications from a central, onboard control system.
Meiko is just as committed to the ‘green ship concept’ as it is to hygiene and infection control.
“We’ve made big R&D investments over the past few years which have steadily decreased the amounts of energy, chemicals and water our machines use – and that obviously translates into lower running costs for our customers,” says Dietmar Zapf, head of global business key accounts at Meiko. “Our machines now use fewer resources than at any other point in our company’s almost 90 year history.”
According to Zapf, this is particularly evident in Meiko’s M-iQ technology, which the company uses in its latest generation of commercial machines. “Our M-iQ range of dishwashers has added a whole new dimension to the issue of sustainability and set new global standards,” he says.
Meiko’s customers have the reassurance of knowing that a M-iQ machine will only use the amount of energy that is absolutely necessary to do its job, instead of simply wasting resources.
“Water is a valuable commodity on a ship because of the effort involved in bringing it onboard and preparing it for use, so the M-iQ machines’ sparing use of that resource is exactly what our customers are looking for,” Zapf says.
As a warewashing specialist, Meiko focuses on managing the entire process of getting dirty plates clean. The company’s product developers are also well versed in food waste disposal.
Food waste is tipped straight into the WasteStar system, where it is conveyed by vacuum from the different areas of the ship to a grinder in the garbage room. The system can handle bone scraps and raw organic waste from the food preparation process, crushing up everything into a homogeneous, dewatered biomass. Meiko’s solution boasts a small footprint and a compact design.
“Our self-contained system offers a state-of-the-art solution for food waste management, reducing energy and resource consumption, unpleasant odours and noise emissions to a minimum,” says Raverdy.
In the unlikely worst-case scenario of a malfunction, Meiko can remedy problems through the well organised, worldwide service network it has built up over the years from its base in Offenburg, Germany. Meiko works with customers in almost 90 different countries and provides outstanding service through more than 4,500 service engineers worldwide. This gives marine companies the reassurance of knowing that a highly qualified service technician is just a phone call away from any port in the world.
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