Cleaning chemicals - the smartest dosing

5th of August 2015
Cleaning chemicals - the smartest dosing

Intelligent dosing is changing the face of the chemical dispensing market. But some companies argue that simpler solutions can also be highly effective. Ann Laffeaty finds out about the latest products on the market designed to make chemical dosing more efficient than ever.

In today’s high-tech world, an increasing number of companies are seeking to upgrade their products and systems using smart solutions. In the chemical dosing arena recent innovations have included systems that incorporate data tracking or that allow monitoring to be carried out remotely. However some companies are also coming up with simple, manual refinements to their existing products. The end result is the same: smarter dosing.

New from Ecolab is the Apex dishwashing system designed for use with pre-soak, detergent and rinse-aid additives. These come in the form of solid blocks that are sprayed with water by the dispensing equipment in order to dissolve the desired amount of product.

“We believe this to be unlike anything else on the market because most other systems come in the form of simple liquid pumps,” said Ecolab’s dishwashing programme leader Andrew Leugers.
The Apex system also offers data tracking features which Leugers claims can help reduce the need for rewashing along with total cost of the operation.

“The system monitors how many racks the machine washes, and incorporates critical settings such as wash and rinse temperature and how often the wash tank of the machine is changed,” he said. “These feed additional alarms to warn users when a critical setting is outside a specified range, indicating a risk to either cleaning or hygiene performance.

“The dosing system can also pinpoint where and when any issues occur – for example when the wash temperature is too low an alarm is activated and this alerts the user to potential diminished cleaning performance.

“The great thing is the dispensing equipment not only provides real time alerts, it also logs all the data which is then summarised into a report for users.”

Apex dispensing equipment incorporates a controller with a high-res LCD screen. “This shows the user what to do via a series of language-free instructional videos,” said Leugers. “Not only can these be accessed at any time, they are also programmed to display whenever a user hits the ‘help’ button in the alarm mode.”

According to Leugers a dispensing system is essential in any fast-paced professional kitchen environment where it would be impractical to hand-dose a dishwasher. “The Apex system can tell when procedures are not being followed and will provide the user with the information they need to minimise costs and ensure consistent results,” he said.

Managing director of Sanserv Mark Bradley, meanwhile, has come up with a supremely simple product that he believes will revolutionise the chemical dosing market. The patent-pending Aperture has the appearance of a basic plastic cap for sealing chemicals containers. But unlike other caps it cannot be removed once it has been screwed into place.

“The Aperture cap closure provides a simple, universal solution to the dispensing of liquids that need to be extracted from containers in controlled quantities,” said Bradley. “It is ground-breaking: no-one has ever come up with a cap that you can’t take off.”

According to Bradley the product will solve the problem of staff sidelining chemical dosing systems in favour of ‘glug glug’ methods. “Every dispensing system has the potential for abuse,” he said. “Companies install them but after a few weeks, cleaners don’t bother using them and go back to free-pouring the product into a bucket.

“Dilution systems are supposed to save companies money but they never do because there is no control over the operators’ actions. This new cap forces cleaners to use the dilution system because there is no other way of getting the liquid out of the container.”

Once the Aperture irremovable cap is in place, the liquid can only be accessed via a tube inserted into the cap’s aperture. A purpose-designed valve ensures the liquid will not come out of the container when no tube has been inserted, even when the container is squeezed or inverted.

“The valve also ensures that the container will not shrink nor collapse when it is half empty as other containers tend to do,” said Bradley.

Fits most containers

He says another advantage of the system is that it will fit most chemical containers and can accommodate a universal tube. “Most dispensing systems do not accept a universal tube and this makes them expensive to use,” he said. “The Aperture cap provides a clear and simple portion control solution unlike many other systems that tend to create complexity and confusion.”

Dr Schnell Chemie uses a more sophisticated dosing and mixing unit for use with housekeeping and object cleaning chemicals according to marketing executive Franz Felbermeir. The company’s patented iSystem features chip recognition that allows it to dose detergent using previously-set parameters.

“This means that as soon as the efficient dosage has been defined, cleaning takes place exactly as planned every time,” said Felbermeir.  “The employee carries out the entire cleaning process independently and this provides security for all the parties involved while ensuring optimum cleaning results.”

The company also offers dosing systems for kitchen and textile hygiene in which all data can be recorded. “Data transmission is also possible via Bluetooth to a laptop or a mobile phone app,” he said. “Corresponding data loggers are made available so that data can easily be exported as an Excel file. These data loggers operate independently of the system and record many aspects relevant to cleaning quality. Functions such as remote control and cross-linking of several data loggers have been planned for the future.”

Intelligent features

He adds that the company’s R&D department is currently working on other intelligent features for its dosing equipment. “One of our most interesting products coming up is a ‘thinking’ dosing system which will be mainly used in hotels and restaurants,” he said.

According to Felbermeir the main attributes of a dosing system is that it should be safe, sustainable and cost-effective. “However there is quite some scope in digitisation and in most cases we are still at the beginning of development,” he said. “This also applies to manual dispensing systems which in future will be digitalised, intelligent and interconnected.”

Like Dr Schnell Chemie, Kärcher uses intelligent presets in order to minimise operator error. “Our Kärcher Intelligent Key system means that dosing settings are predefined,” said environmental matters public relations officer Linda Schrödter. “This means there is no need for users to define the dose themselves if they prefer not to, and the misuse and over-consumption of detergent is avoided.”

Kärcher’s DOSE system also provides a smart method of optimising results while reducing detergent use, she says. “Our Demand Oriented Supply of Detergent system enables cleaning operatives to react quickly and flexibly to different degrees of floor soiling,” said Schrödter. “At the touch of a button they can add detergent to the washing water to make a solution between 0.5 per cent and three per cent.

“A higher or lower concentration can simply be selected on the machine display while cleaning. Dosing is automatic and DOSE reduces both the consumption of cleaning agents and the cost of cleaning. And if required, the floor can even be rinsed with water alone.”

Diversey Care gives customers the option to enable smart features on its QuattroSelect system according to global marketing director Irina Klemps. “These features allow customers to connect to the system remotely and monitor consumption, product selection and water use while also managing empty product alarms,” she said. “This information brings a whole new level of understanding to our customers which in turn empowers them to manage their operations more effectively.”

Other ‘smart’ features of Diversey Care dilution systems include training videos provided by scanning a QR-Code. According to Klemps there is always a need to innovate and find better
solutions. “We will be launching three chemical dosing platforms for small sites this year, and customers can expect further innovations in the coming years to improve their overall operational
efficiency and environmental profile as well as the safety and well-being of their staff,” she said.


Ecover sees no need to make its dosing solution any smarter according to marketing coordinator Lies Marijnissen. The company uses a single system comprising a dosing cap that is screwed on to bottles of highly concentrated Multi Daily, Multi Forte and San Daily Ecover products.

“When you squeeze the bottle, the chamber is filled with cleaning product and this falls back automatically until only 10 ml remains,” she said. “This means you always have the correct amount of product since you only need 10ml for a five-litre bucket of water.

“It is a non-technical system that is easy to use and to understand. Our philosophy is to keep it simple.”

Brightwell has also come up with a simple solution in the form of its patented built-in dilution ring for the company’s Ecomix system. “This facilitates accurate dilution and enables technicians to easily change the dilution ratio without the use of any tool,” said marketing executive Lesley McKenna. “The dilution ring eliminates the common practice of using dilution pins which can be awkward. The pins can also easily be lost.”

Next generation

However, she feels that smart solutions will become increasingly important with the next generation of dosing systems. “Advancements in efficient end-user chemicals, manufacturing materials, production techniques, electronic technologies and increased communication through the ‘internet of things’ will mean that chemical dispensing will keep pushing the boundaries and make our lives that little bit better,” she said.

“The rise of smartphones and related technologies means that monitoring, control and operation of chemical dosing systems are very likely to be achieved through the everyday electronic gadgets we carry around with us.  This will mean that real-time status-monitoring, data capture, maintenance logs, usage reports and statistical data analysis are likely to feature as important attributes within our future product ranges.”

Diversey’s Irina Klemps concurs with this prophesy, adding that smart dispensers connected to the web that provide customers with real-time data could be the next big thing in chemical dosing. And Dr Schnell Chemie’s Franz Felbermeir says the interlinking of devices will become increasingly important in the future along with dosage monitoring.

“A new challenge will also be precise and process-oriented dosage, especially with respect to intelligent dishwashing machines that incorporate energy-saving measures,” said Felbermeir. “There will also be an expansion of technology in the healthcare sector to offer manual dispensers with digital personalised monitoring.”

Ecolab’s Andrew Leugers agrees that dispensing will become increasingly smarter. “The systems available today are very advanced compared with just five or 10 years ago,” he said. “Technology is becoming faster, better, less expensive and easier to work with.

“But there is always room for improvement so we can expect to see an increased use of electronics and potentially wireless features in the dispensing equipment of the future.”


Related Articles

Our Partners

  • ISSA Interclean
  • EFCI
  • EU-nited