Great conveyor systems can be designed to fit perfectly into any laundry or dry cleaning operation, maximising the use of space as well as increasing productivity. Janice Raycroft lines up the specialist suppliers.
The Standard, London’s new hotel, is definitely the talk of the town, and well beyond the capital. With its distinctive ‘futuristic-retro’ styling (yes, it sounds weird, but this is where the ultimate in 21st century boutique hotel ambience meets 1970s brutalist design and quirky interiors) the laid-back version of a five-star experience is bringing in the world’s trendiest people.
Located in the heart of London’s King’s Cross, and formerly a Camden Council office block, the 266-room hotel this year became The Standard brand’s first hotel to open outside of America. You can see why the site appealed to the US’s hippest of hip hotel groups, sitting within a distinctive portfolio including renowned properties on iconic Sunset Strip, Hollywood, in East Village, New York and at Miami Beach.
Whether its guests, diners and cocktail aficionados have arrived from across the planet via Heathrow or simply hopped a few Tube stops, they will want to absorb as much of The Standard atmosphere as possible. What they won’t see, of course, is the behind the scenes magic that makes all this tick, including the little extras which, for those in our industry might be as much a sight to view as guestrooms, look as though Austin Powers and his crowd would feel at home.
For instance, while Standard aficionados might be wowed by the Sound studio or executive chef Adam Rawson’s menu, we might also want a peep at the hotel’s new best-in-class, state-of-the-art uniform conveyor system, designed, developed and installed by leading garment handling manufacturer, Metalprogetti UK. As The Standard’s operators got into the final detail of what they would need to open this year, Jason Alexander from Metalprogetti UK met with the hotel’s director of engineering, to gain a deeper understanding of their requirements.
He recommended a U-shape conveyor with 310 x 49.5mm slots, explaining: “The automated conveyor option is a perfect fit for The Standard. They wanted a system that was easy to operate, could manage a large number of garments and was compact in size, so it didn’t take up too much space in their laundry department.
“This bespoke design has, in fact, maximised their laundry area, which has allowed them to add additional storage units for bed linen. They even have enough room to install workstations to offer an in-house tailoring service, which is fantastic.” Utilising the latest technology, hotel staff operate the conveyor using a simple computerised screen. A uniform is selected from the options on-screen and the conveyor rotates until the selected garment reaches the collection point. Staff members are then able to retrieve their uniform.
Options for these types of conveyors are almost limitless, ranging from fully-automated delivery systems using staff ID cards, to simple storage conveyors. All have been proven to increase productivity and help a hotel’s bottom line.
Metalprogetti UK are also used to finding solutions in tricky spaces. They came up with a bespoke conveyor for InterContinental London Park Lane, that could handle around 3,000 items in the uniform room, whilst also creating more space for garment sorting. Metalprogetti redesigned the motor control system of their conveyor to achieve this.
A particular requirement was to reduce the amount of time staff spent looking for their uniforms, so Metalprogetti introduced a delivery point on the conveying system to make it easier.
The manufacturers, suppliers and fitters of conveyor systems are constantly faced with customers requiring bespoke answers, whether it’s a luxury hotel, small drycleaning shop with space issues or a large commercial laundry looking to speed up production with a system criss-crossing the premises. Indeed, they seem to relish solving the trickiest problems.