CASE STUDY: Berkshire school profits from warewashing revamp

St Mary’s School Ascot

St Mary’s School Ascot is an independent Roman Catholic boarding school for girls with 400 pupils aged between 11 and 18. The catering team works hard to provide the girls with a high standard of cuisine, with an emphasis on healthy eating.

When it was time to refurbish the kitchens, the school needed a complete warewash system capable of providing consistent results every day. “We wanted reliability,” explains school bursar Giles Brand, who gave the go-ahead for the institution to bring in three Winterhalter machines on the recommendation of its consultants.

A multi-tank rack (MTR) conveyor with input carousel and drying tunnel handles the crockery, while a utensil washer covers baking and gastronorm pans. It also has an undercounter glasswasher to manage glassware.

Catering manage, Jacquelene Carrington, says the rack conveyor has made a huge difference to the site. “Two people are able to load the machine and it takes half the time of our previous set-up. It makes the whole process a breeze, with great results every time.”

The drying module uses a special patented ‘air knife’ technology that leaves the items in perfect condition as they emerge. Combined with a longer exit path, giving extra time for the final evaporation process, the design allows crockery to be put back into use sooner.

Winterhalter was able to custom-fit the technology to match the space available to the school. “The room we use for dishwashing is quite small, but they were able to shoehorn the MTR into the available space perfectly,” says Carrington.

As St Mary’s is a boarding school, the catering department works seven days a week during term time, so there is plenty of throughput in the kitchen. The utensil washer is used for larger items such as trays and racks, along with utensils used in the preparation of meals.

A simple, single-button operation makes it easy for staff to learn to use while the reversible wash arms give optimal surface coverage, guaranteeing perfect wash results even on heavily soiled items. A quadruple filtration system ensures that the water used stays clean, while the self-cleaning system helps keep the machine in optimal condition. “The simple controls are a big plus,” says Carrington, “they help our staff to learn how to use them very quickly.”

At ‘top speed’ the utensil washer will clean up to 300 baking trays per hour, with a wash cycle of two minutes. For tougher dirt four or five minute programmes can be used and the machine can be re-programmed to the site’s own specifications for even longer, harder washing power.

The school’s UC undercounter glasswasher is designed to reduce the consumption of water, power and chemicals in warewashing. The machine has a host of energy, water and chemical-saving features. For example, its rinse arm is designed to significantly reduce water consumption while achieving the highest standards of wash results. The water pressure is adjustable via the VarioPower control system, which lets fragile items be cleaned as well as more robust items.

For Carrington, the ease of use in terms of operating and cleaning the machines has a direct impact on its ability to focus on its core objective. “It gives us more time to focus on making sure the girls eat as well as they should,” she concludes.

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