At Girbau the big interest is in ensuring commercial and industrial laundries really get – and can see – the benefits when they add automation to their laundry. Striving to produce maximum efficiency, they’ve developed automated machines that allow users to save time and effort in almost all laundry processes with a focus on labour costs, time usage and increasing quality of throughput. After all, making gains in one area, for instance operational speed, means little if the linen is not looking perfect at the end of the process.
Jo Emmerson, Girbau UK’s marketing manager, highlighting potential labour savings, says: “Adding a feeder to an ironing system ensures efficiency in a crucial part of the process and, compared to hand feeding, it gives an advantage of quality and production to your business.
The automated feeder not only feeds more quickly than operators by hand, but it also automatically straightens the sheets when they are fed into the ironer, which subsequently eliminates the unnecessary responsibilities for operators in their hands-on folding process. Furthermore, automatic ironing speeds remove moisture as items travel through the ironer, eliminating dryer time and linen wear and tear.”
Emmerson recognises that laundries want to know exactly what they could save and comes up with some impressive figures: “The speed production gained with an automated feeder reduces the utility costs, and the overall daily run time and utility usage. The data in that point is clarifying: The automated feeder just need three operators to feed, and one to catch, and offers an efficiency of 321 PPOH (pounds per operator per hour) and wash 510-900 pounds per hour and fed 840 sheets per hour.”
The feeders produced by Girbau fit on most ironers in the market, which is crucial for the industry and can help businesses justify the purchase of new equipment. In the automation field Girbau has gone further, developing the all-in-one machine Compact+, (feed, iron, dry, fold and stack).
Emmerson says: “This equipment not only allows laundries with little space to have a complete flatwork ironing system, but also ensures efficient operation, saving energy and labour costs. When a machine can process above 180 pounds/ hour, 160 PPOH, can feed 150-210 sheets/hour and accumulates at up to 50 feed-per minute, it all makes sense.”
The Compact+ tends to be the choice for medium and high-production laundr ies, together with Girbau’s HS washers and Girbau’s Eco dryers to save even more energy in one single complete system.
On moving from hand folder to automatic folder, Emmerson believes there are many reasons to take that step, but that the most evident reason to move to an auto-sort folder is improved production. She explains: “It is calculated that the automated machine – using one operator – can sort, fold and stack by 85 per cent more pieces over an operator hand folding, and process different-sized pieces. At the same time, this increased productivity translates into a high reduction of the 87 per cent of labour hour.” Girbau also developed the towel folder FT Maxi, adaptable to all fabrics and able to proceed 1,200 pieces per hour. This equipment offers high quality final folding and incorporates an intelligent system, to programme and execute all the functions of the process in a simple way.