When creativity defeats the Covid challenges

LHLSI, London Hospital Linen Service Inc, based in Canada, is a private, not-for-profit cooperative laundry that has “always a step ahead” strongly anchored in its DNA.

It was the first laundry in Canada to provide sterile linen packs to its clients, which was quite an innovative feature in 1995. A quarter of a century later, Covid presents the laundry with new challenges. Sourcing single-use materials was suddenly impossible, and the need for reusable hospital linen skyrocketed. A solution was needed, and fast. That’s when Jensen came into the play.

Strong and immediate demand for PPE gowns

Until March 2020, LHLSI processed a 20,000 PPE gowns per week. The demand virtually exploded at the outburst of Covid, with significant investments in gowns, over time, an average 174,000 PPE gowns were delivered each week. To manage this enormous volume, the laundry decided to put an end to the folding process and deliver the gowns in bulk carts of 500 or in bags of 10 pieces each. The new set-up was designed in close co-operation with laundry experts Jensen’s regional office in Panama City. Two overhead conveyors automatically dispense the linen from the slings into a chute, and from there to the operator. Two operators perform a quick visual inspection before the gowns are bagged. No more walking around with carts, no more physically processing the gowns manually, no more folding: “The new set-up increased the laundry’s output by an amazing 600 – 800 per cent” confirms chief operating officer Brendan O’Neill and adds: “I don’t know what we would have done without this equipment during the crisis to cope with the enormous demand for reusable PPE gowns.” Right now, the laundry employs two operators at each of the two conveyors. But they are ready for an even more intense future, as each conveyor has enough space for four operators, and figures could go as high as 250,000 gowns being processed on a weekly basis.

A quick visual inspection before the gown starts its journey to the hospital

About LHLSI – and 49 years of partnership with Jensen

Ontario is Canada’s largest province and home to London Hospital Linen Service Inc., a laundry that was built in 1972 as a central servicing laundry for the healthcare facilities in London. It quickly grew and its team of close to 200 employees is now serving 45 healthcare customers in the entire South Western Ontario region, processing 250 tonnes per week: From a 65,000 sq ft in 1972 to 105,000 sq ft in 2020. Over the course of these 49 years, three additions and several renovations were made.

Expansions for a healthy future

The entire laundry operates Jensen equipment from the front to the back, Since 2005, LHLSI added a new fully automated soiled sorting system; a complete new Futurail infrastructure for the finishing side including automated pickers on all ironer lines. It has a significant impact on the capabilities of the laundry, notably the automated gown distribution system described earlier. O’Neill is a big fan of Jensen. He said: “When I think of Jensen, I think of quality in all aspects – in manufacturing, in preparing layouts, in people and in finished products. It took a lot of creativity and partnership to take us where we are today. Both Carlos Fernandes, vice president of key accounts/sales director Canada, and our contacts at Jensen USA always stand up and support the issue. When we call, it’s more than an exchange among experts. It’s a discussion between friends.”

The Futurail handling and sorting system automates the loading of the tunnel washers

LHLSI, London Hospital Linen Service Inc, based in Canada, is a private, not-for-profit cooperative laundry that has “always a step ahead” strongly anchored in its DNA.

It was the first laundry in Canada to provide sterile linen packs to its clients, which was quite an innovative feature in 1995. A quarter of a century later, Covid presents the laundry with new challenges. Sourcing single-use materials was suddenly impossible, and the need for reusable hospital linen skyrocketed. A solution was needed, and fast. That’s when Jensen came into the play.

Strong and immediate demand for PPE gowns

Until March 2020, LHLSI processed a 20,000 PPE gowns per week. The demand virtually exploded at the outburst of Covid, with significant investments in gowns, over time, an average 174,000 PPE gowns were delivered each week. To manage this enormous volume, the laundry decided to put an end to the folding process and deliver the gowns in bulk carts of 500 or in bags of 10 pieces each. The new set-up was designed in close co-operation with laundry experts Jensen’s regional office in Panama City. Two overhead conveyors automatically dispense the linen from the slings into a chute, and from there to the operator. Two operators perform a quick visual inspection before the gowns are bagged. No more walking around with carts, no more physically processing the gowns manually, no more folding: “The new set-up increased the laundry’s output by an amazing 600 – 800 per cent” confirms chief operating officer Brendan O’Neill and adds: “I don’t know what we would have done without this equipment during the crisis to cope with the enormous demand for reusable PPE gowns.” Right now, the laundry employs two operators at each of the two conveyors. But they are ready for an even more intense future, as each conveyor has enough space for four operators, and figures could go as high as 250,000 gowns being processed on a weekly basis.

A quick visual inspection before the gown starts its journey to the hospital

About LHLSI – and 49 years of partnership with Jensen

Ontario is Canada’s largest province and home to London Hospital Linen Service Inc., a laundry that was built in 1972 as a central servicing laundry for the healthcare facilities in London. It quickly grew and its team of close to 200 employees is now serving 45 healthcare customers in the entire South Western Ontario region, processing 250 tonnes per week: From a 65,000 sq ft in 1972 to 105,000 sq ft in 2020. Over the course of these 49 years, three additions and several renovations were made.

Expansions for a healthy future

The entire laundry operates Jensen equipment from the front to the back, Since 2005, LHLSI added a new fully automated soiled sorting system; a complete new Futurail infrastructure for the finishing side including automated pickers on all ironer lines. It has a significant impact on the capabilities of the laundry, notably the automated gown distribution system described earlier. O’Neill is a big fan of Jensen. He said: “When I think of Jensen, I think of quality in all aspects – in manufacturing, in preparing layouts, in people and in finished products. It took a lot of creativity and partnership to take us where we are today. Both Carlos Fernandes, vice president of key accounts/sales director Canada, and our contacts at Jensen USA always stand up and support the issue. When we call, it’s more than an exchange among experts. It’s a discussion between friends.”

The Futurail handling and sorting system automates the loading of the tunnel washers

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