Holchem have been working with Cranswick on a number of their sites for over 20 years. The relationship has very much been one of a successful working partnership rather than traditional customer / supplier.

Gourmet Bacon as part of their continuous improvement programme requested that Holchem review their automated traywashing operation at their Sherburn site.


As part of the site support plan Holchem carried out a review of the traywash operation; looking at both cleaning performance and cost of clean. The cost of clean model showed the cost breakdown between detergent, water, heating, effluent and labour.

Cranswick Sherburn then considered potential additional savings if a new tray wash machine was purchased.  Working with IMW (traywash manufacturer) an estimate of running costs was established for a new IWM T1000 machine. The theoretical saving was over £100,000 and based on this a proposal was put forward to the Cranswick board for approval. With approval granted the new machine was installed, commissioned, chemical dosing installed, the clean optimised, validated, and trained out to the team.


The major benefits of the new machine were lower detergent strength for effective cleaning, less frequent detergent and rinse tank changes, improved water recycling, drier trays leaving the machine and significantly improved output allowing single shift operation. The dryer trays also had an additional benefit of leaving the floor dryer than previously.

The theoretical cost of clean model and the actual measured costs were in very tight agreement and showed that the new traywash operation was on-course to save approximately £140,000 in its first year of operation. The cost savings broke down as approximately £30,000 on detergent, £14,000 on water (including heating) and £100,000 on labour.

Feedback from the project

“The installation and success of the new automated tray wash system at the Cranswick site in Sherburn is testament to our understanding of client’s needs and commitment to work together to help our customer achieve environmental targets and a reduction in the energy and detergents used." Jonathan Bowles of Holchem


“Several recommendations made from Holchem in the initial report would have seen annual savings of around £43k by modifying the machine and changing chemical. Upon further studies we identified that further savings and improvements could be made by replacing the machine with a newer model from IWM which could process more trays, meaning we wouldn’t need to run a nightshift. The machine was installed in 2015 resulting in annual savings of around £150k.

The old tray wash machine made the floor in the area very wet which made the room a hotspot for slip accidents (2x per year). The new machine was fitted with a drying tunnel which has reduced water pooling on the floor. We have not had an accident in the room since installation.” Martin Gilchrist of Cranswick