As a grower, what do you do when you devise and develop an innovative solution for an everyday problem in the greenhouse? Then you could keep it to yourself, but you could also share it with your peers. Geert De Breuck decided to do the latter with the crate plunger that he initially developed for himself to disinfect crates. Together with Viktor Goes Green, a company that is active in the greening of horticulture, Geert is now launching the machine on the market.
In the prevention of virus transmission of the ToBRF virus, clean and disinfected crates is an important focus point. Crates that pass between companies run a high risk of being a carrier of the virus. With a crate plunger, reusable crates can repeatedly be submerged in water with disinfectant, so that they can be made virus-free.
"At Viktor Goes Green, developing these types of machines is certainly not our core business," says Geert. “But this idea came our way and since the machine that I made for myself is functioning well, I’d like to share it with my peers. I believe that many of them would benefit from such a solution and, to my knowledge, there is no commercial plunger machine on the market."
The installation makes it possible to fully submerge and tilt 20 pallets with europool tomato crates per hour, whereby the entire crate is fully submerged so that without doubt all surfaces are treated. The crates can then drip slightly on the conveyor belt, after which the crates, still wet, are put on the pallet to continue drying there. Geert advises that this be done in a shady area, so that the moisture and disinfectant can continue to do its work. "The contact and active time is therefore long, and that is important with the ToBRF virus."
The installation, which according to Geert is easy to use (only two people are needed to keep the machine running) and uses a minimum but sufficient amount of water and disinfectant, is ready to be produced on a larger scale. “The need for this type of installation is high, and if orders are received now we can put them into production immediately. We can deliver a few weeks after receiving the order."
The cost of the hot-dip galvanized installation is 6,500 euros (excluding VAT and transport costs).