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MEIKO Reference - Meiko at the Vienna General Hospital (AKH Wien) – the biggest yet.

An ingenious configuration, the technical precision of which resembles a railway marshalling yard rather than a washing-up kitchen. Because of the need for an extremely high through-put, the heart of the dish-washing installation is formed by a fully automatic dish-washing appliance plus further six broad belt conveyor machines for trays, porcelain, cutlery, plate racks, cooling and heating blocks, cooking utensils, a basket conveyor machine only for glasses and a stationary trolley washing appliance; all this is divided into three networked washing-up kitchens for black dishes, staff utensils and patients’ utensils. All the equipment was integrated into a complex automatic internal container transport system consisting of about 170 different stations within the building; this system moves soiled dishes at three second intervals to the correct collection areas for cleaning.   

This complex process takes place over a sub-divided area of 8000 m² on two floors and a mezzanine floor. The conveyors cover a total distance of about 250 metres and the drive belts (in many different diameters) measure well over a kilometre from end to end even though the design attempted to minimise the distances involved. The Meiko vertical conveyors therefore have a special part to play in the system.

The daily load includes dishes for up to 2400 patients and over 10,000 other people (including about 4000 people who have lunch in the hospital) – a load which equates to 11,000 place-settings, each consisting of as many as 14 different items and which arises not only in patients’ meals but also the meals of administrative staff, doctors, nurses, research workers and students.

In order to comply with Austrian hygiene requirements for hospitals, the appliances had to be modified in Offenburg so that cutlery and crockery was disinfected for 30 seconds at 85 degrees centigrade after washing. Up to the present time Austria is the only country in Europe to place this requirement on thermal disinfection.

Meiko was the only bidder who could credibly meet the hospital’s stringent requirements.  Herbert Kregl, General Manager of Meiko Austria is therefore justified in saying “the implementation of the Austrian hygiene guide-lines as well as the requirements of the HACCP in total by the Vienna General Hospital acts as a model for the whole of Europe and is a uniquely prestigious project for Meiko.”

Meiko had been working on the Vienna General Hospital project for 10 years before this mega-order worth about € 4.6 million was finally placed last year after a further 18 months intensive design phase which was closely supported by Meiko Austria. The final word belonged to Professor Reinhard Krepler, the hospital director who is a hygienist by profession and who is considered in Vienna to be an “institution” in the field of hygiene. “Listening to what all my experts – from the head of the building’s technical services to the kitchen superintendent - suggested, Meiko seemed to be the best. Meiko’s sophisticated technology excludes human error to a very large degree, with the result that, in line with the HACCP, I can provide maximum security for all persons eating in the hospital”.

“As a simple observer of the events in our washing-up kitchen, what impresses me most is the way the trays are cleared partly by magnetism and are then rotated so that they leave the machine arranged the right way up” he stated in an interview.