It’s now been a few years since Italian warewasher manufacturer Krupps made a big push to break through in the UK market. While it got the jump on a lot of the rest of the sector with regards to wifi-connected machines, first introducing them in 2015, it is not resting on its laurels and has several major developments in the pipeline.
It is in the process of launching new hardware, such as soft-closing doors on all its new warewashers, to reduce stress on the joints. Plus Krupps’ updated patented wash arms are lighter than previously, but are designed to maintain high quality. Their weight reduction is aimed at benefiting warewashers in low water pressure regions, as the arms will now be able to rotate even if the water pressure is weak, plus the wash field should be improved.
Another improvement is a new drain filter. This is designed to be easy to remove and clean, with a guarantee that the double filtration will prevent debris such as glass from entering the drainage.
Krupps has further expanded its range overall with new sizes of its compact warewashers. The latest evolutions are the ‘s’ version which is shorter than a standard undercounter machine to fit in tight spaces. There is also a slimline but taller version for more lengthy items, with both new models able to accommodate 500 x 500mm baskets.
Piggybacking on its existing iKloud software for remotely controlling, monitoring and diagnosing its warewasher range, Krupps is due to launch the ‘Pay & Wash’ rental option this year too. This enables dealers to offer the brand’s machines to operators with no initial investment. Users pay a fixed cost for each washing cycle and only stump up for the cycles performed. The authorised dealer will then manage servicing and sundries supplies such as detergent. Export MD Riccardo Scuotto detailed: “We have got options that can be introduced straightaway because the software is already there.”
And that base software was borne out of the iKloud, which is provided for free with every Krupps machine. Operators have the choice to use it or not, but when it is in operation, the warewasher’s warranty period increases from a standard 1 year to 2 years. Scuotto emphasised: “Some other manufacturers’ wifi diagnostic data is only available to their own servicing engineers, but ours is free to access to any distributor or servicing company, with a view to reduce maintenance activity and costs. They can change the unit’s parameters as they have the direct remote connection with the machine.
“Plus operators can access the functions that help them to use the machine in the best way. For example, they can switch the warewasher on remotely before they arrive in the kitchen, so that it’s already prepared and ready to operate when they get there.”
So far, more than 350 machines are connected to the iKloud wifi control. The manufacturer invested more than €1m in a database to collect and manage the information. “We are strong on wifi and technological innovation,” said Scuotto. “Every machine is able to be updated for free like a computer, either online for connected machines or via a USB stick loaded with the new firmware.”
In terms of the UK dealer market, Scuotto is appreciative that backing from well-known industry suppliers such as spares specialist, First Choice Group, has helped Krupps to become a recognised brand. “What we have to do now is consolidate and expand our position by continuing innovating our machines’ capabilities, their quality and the wifi service. The latter in particular can help remote sites where there are not many technicians in the region, so any issues can be solved remotely and no physical intervention is required,” he said.
Scuotto has fostered a collaborative approach with Krupps’ UK distributors. “At first it felt like they all saw each other as enemies,” he recalled. “But my philosophy is that we all need the energy of other people to share the market. I put my distributors in contact with one another, because if one cannot cover a particular request, then another can help. And that works so well.”
The warewashing brand has a dealer network covering the country now, including major names such as Catercare, Midshires Catering Equipment, Dishwashers Direct and Keemlaw Catering Equipment. Scuotto organised the manufacturer’s first UK dealer awards in May last year to show appreciation for their backing. He tagged this onto a training session at First Choice’s Cannock facilities, holding the ceremony the night before at a local traditional British pub.
He concluded: “This consolidated our relationship with distributors and having the training at the same time worked well. We will definitely do that again this year.”