While a passenger on the Clapham Omnibus most likely thinks of laundries as either industrial premises or the high street launderette, the reality is that they also encompass on premise laundries (opls) where organisations have their own private facility.
From theatres and football clubs to luxury liners and care homes, the possibilities are endless. But of course, those thinking of upgrading their opl or making an initial investment need the right advice, the right machines and good ongoing support. Adam Bernstein trawls the market to see what’s on offer.
MAG Laundry Equipment
Kieron Kendell, sales director at MAG Laundry Equipment, a supplier of commercial laundry machines, says his company has “decades of experience in upgrading and setting up on premise laundries (opls).” He points to their installations within commercial laundries, hotels, care homes, sports clubs, schools, universities and holidays parks.
For organisations in this situation, Kendell says that when compared to outsourcing, an opl could save a significant amount of time and money: “But as well as being cost-efficient the key benefits of processing your laundry in-house include a higher quality finish and quicker turnaround times.
With an opl you can take full control of your laundry operation to remove the risk of late deliveries, missing items and dirty / damaged laundry being returned.” In terms of machines offered by the firm, capacities range from nine kilo to 133kg, and to drive the point home Kendell says that “MAG Laundry Equipment can supply and install the right machine for the job.
No job is too big or small and flexible payment options are available to suit each customer including purchase outright or pay monthly options such as lease and rental.” He continues by noting that his high spin washing machines are a popular option for on premise laundries – “their high spin range of machines are able to extract at over 1000rpm which significantly decreases tumble drying times when compared with low spin washing machines.”
Recently the company has installed new commercial washing machines and tumble dryers at West Ham United Football Club. “This new opl,” says Kendell, “allows the Hammers to process their sports kits in house with high quality, reliable, energy efficient laundry machines.” MAG Laundry Equipment offers on-going support through a network of engineers across the UK which is backed-up with live telephone support 24/7 365 days a year.
Mick Christian , regional training and demonstration manager for laundry at Electrolux Professional, says that it is very important to tailor opl equipment to the sector and size of the premises. He gives the example of the care sector where contamination risk can be linked to outsourcing laundry to outside suppliers.
He says that “failing to install equipment which can guarantee that full thermal disinfection takes place can leave sites open to recurrent infection outbreaks.”
To help fight infection Christian points to Temp°Check, a process validation tool which allows operators to confirm that thermal disinfection has taken place. “This is the perfect tool to enable businesses to comply with a strict and growing set of laundry criteria – particularly prevalent in the care sector.” He says Temp°Check also provides productivity reports. Speed is another significant determining factor when buying equipment. “Particularly when it comes to staff uniforms,” says Christian, “wetcleaning is a great way to ensure garments that would have previously been considered ‘dryclean only’ can be cleaned quickly – and without any wear.”
He says that Electrolux Professional’s Lagoon Advanced Care wetcleaning system can clean and dry garments in as little as 55 minutes. Electrolux offers an Efficient Dosing System which connects directly to a washing machine’s detergent pump and regulates the amount needed to wash each load.
For larger facilities, Christian looks to the Electrolux Professional Line 5000 which “offers a range of intelligent features and specialist extras such as the Automatic Saving System (which weighs loads to determine the exact amount of water needed); the Speed Soak (shortens wash cycle times); and Residual Moisture Control (which prevents over-drying). For smaller installations, there is the Electrolux Professional myPRO washer and dryer series. This range, says Christian, “can deliver best-in-class results for those sites that don’t have the budget to invest in a commercial laundry facility.” Units also offer features such as Automatic Moisture Control Technology which prevents linen from over-drying to shorten cycle times.
Christian quotes the example of Sandford Station Retirement Village in the Mendip Hills which consists of 102 independent living properties. Julie Miles, housekeeping team leader at Sandford Station explains that “as part of the package for residents living here, we offer a laundry service.
We do approximately 60-70 loads per week ranging from small items of clothing, to bed linen, quilts and curtains.” Sandford installedthe Electrolux Line 6000 dryer in its opl because it was felt that the Line 6000 dryer could cope with a high turnover service.
The dryer can process 16kg of laundry in just 42 minutes irrespective of the fabric being dried. Miles says that “the Line 6000 tumble dryer saves us time and is much more efficient and maintains a better heat.
We’ve noticed approximately a 25 per cent reduction in cycle times using the dryer with all different types of fabrics.” Christian tells that the Line 6000 dryer has the Compass Pro control “which offers a large interactive digital display to select the desired settings and programmes.” He explains that the control also features ‘quick select’ buttons for fast access to frequently used programmes for normal/low temperature cycles and delicate materials.
It’s claimed that the Line 6000 dryer “can offer energy savings of up to 60 per cent compared to traditional tumble dryers.” A heat pump eliminates the need for exhaust, ventilation and water-cooling systems which lends the dryer well to basement installations.
For Nicholas Higgs, partner and sales and service manager at Dane Realstar, it’s no secret that the initial investment needed to acquire commercial laundry equipment is greater than the outgoings needed for domestic machines but nevertheless, it’s an investment worth making.