Trustwater: Advanced cleaning that has lost none of its shine
Trustwater has gone from strength to strength supplying the healthcare and brewing industries
Food and beverage companies around the world have long faced problems in relation to the cleaning and disinfection of process lines.
These problems centre on time, safety and cost.
Each time a plant switches from one product to another the lines need to be cleaned to remove any trace of the previous product, and the cleansing process needs to be particularly thorough if the that product was especially odorous.
This could result in down-times of up to five or six hours for plants, and with some having several changeovers per week the cost implications are obvious.
And that’s before the safety concerns associated with using traditional caustic chemicals in the cleansing and disinfection process.
2013 Innovation Award winner Trustwater spent 10 years addressing this problem and has developed an advanced patented electrochemical activation technology to generate rapid acting, broad spectrum detergent and biocidal solutions.
The Trustwater technology produces a detergent in the form of a hydroxide solution known as Aversol which replaces traditional caustic chemicals and an anolyte called Ecasol which is a hypochlorous solution which is more than 100 times more effective than chlorine as a disinfectant.
“Hypochlorous is a chlorine-related species that is non-toxic to humans”, explains Trustwater owner and founder Edmond O’Reilly. “It is found naturally in the human body and that’s what makes it so safe to use.”
The company has gone from strength to strength since winning the innovation award last year and has developed new markets in the healthcare sector.
“There are a wide range of applications for our cleaning and disinfection technology,” says O’Reilly.
“In the healthcare sector there are two main areas which are legionella control and dental unit water line disinfection. In hospitals where you have a lot of immuno-compromised people water quality is critical. The same goes for the dental sector. We have recently installed our technology in three dental hospitals in Saudi Arabia – that overall contract was worth one million in total.”
The beverage industry remains the company’s primary market, however, and there are hopeful signs of renewed growth there.
“Spending in the global beverage industry was in a trough in line with economic conditions but we are now seeing it beginning to rise again. There are a large number of projects in the pipeline and we expect our business to grow in line with that.”
These are not only new plants but existing plants which require upgrading, and the global consolidation of the beverage industry is proving to be of benefit to Trustwater.
“This means that once we establish a relationship with one major company it opens up a lot of potential business for us around the world. Also, a lot of plants are now producing multiple products. Some plants might produce 50 different products each requiring cleaning and disinfection of the lines for every changeover.
“Our technology is very suited to those rapid changeovers – it can do in 20 minutes what traditional processes take between an hour and 90 minutes to do.”
This uplift in beverage industry spending has been reflected in the company’s growth over the past year.
“We are very well established in that market. Our technology has stood the test of time there and has been proven to be very effective in controlling and eliminating legionella and pseudomona. We can dose the water at very low concentrations to keep microbe numbers at safe levels.”
While expanding into new markets may be alluring O’Reilly is cautious. “We will remain primarily focused on the markets we are already in. They are large enough for us and we don’t want to spread ourselves too thin. We are, of course, looking at expanding into new areas but we will probably do this through joint ventures. We already have the heads of agreement signed with one partner who will be looking at the use of our technology in the treatment of respiratory diseases.”
Now employing 30 staff at its Clonmel base and having doubled turnover over the past 12 months, O’Reilly sees Trustwater’s future as lying in continuous innovation.
“Our target is to double turnover again this year, and we will achieve this through growth in our established markets and continued innovation. We have to continue to innovate to stay ahead of the curve. For example, in the middle of last year we launched a new device which allows for the doubling of the production of the detergent solution. There will be relevant to situations where more intensive cleaning is required. This is where our future lies.”