In 1946 when G.A. Braun was established, little did the founders know that three-quarters of a century later the company would be a leading equipment manufacturer. Today J.B Werner, son and grandson of the founders, is spearheading the successful American business his forefathers created. Withstanding the test of time can be credited to Braun’s equipment transformation and design that make laundry and textile facilities more productive and profitable. The company, which initially sold Prosperity equipment, began manufacturing its own line of laundry equipment in the 1950s. Then the innovations began – and they haven’t stopped.
During the 1950s, Braun incorporated electro-mechanical controls and automatic chemical injection to their washer/extractors. In the next decade, Braun manufactured suspension-mounted machines, a top/side loading machine designed to take advantage of gravity during load and unload, and a Pass-Thru Medicare machine allowing healthcare laundries to separate clean and dirty areas.
Through an acquisition, the company introduced high-speed textile finishing equipment to their lineup in the ‘70s and the incorporation of microprocessor controls into their equipment. Highlights for Braun in the ‘80s were the development of WASHNET NT, the first computer-controlled laundry program, the introduction of a fully automated Batch Tunnel System and the acquisition of Norman Dryer Company which added dryers to its manufacturing portfolio. That led to the debut of the PT (pass-thru) Series Dryer line during the ‘90s.
Braun’s dedication to product innovation continued into the 21st century and is still evident in its introduction of new equipment such as the SafeLoad® Shuttle System- a ride on shuttle designed to protect operators from potential wash aisle injuries, and safety features enhancing existing equipment operations such as its dual-panel control box on all Braun equipment which separates high and low voltage components to meet arc flash protection requirements.
“We continue to spend a great deal of time, energy and money on our product development and design capabilities which has greatly enhanced quality and improved product performance in our washing, drying, material handling and finishing equipment,” says Werner. That will be evident to the industry during Clean 2022 in Atlanta through Braun’s newest offerings.
“One product we’re debuting is a dryer with the capacity range of 125 – 200 lb. that can easily process three loads per hour (up to 175 lb. loads) versus only one load as others in the same capacity range,” says Werner. “Other products include an array of new finishing equipment as well as energy and resource-saving washer/extractor and tunnel systems enhancements.” Braun’s product development along with equipment production all takes place in its New York headquarters. Braun cemented its commitment to making products in America when its current 255,000 square-foot factory was built in Syracuse.
“We could have built it anywhere in the United States, we could have also built it in China,” says Werner. “It is our feeling that in order to provide quality service and quality products, day in and day out the place to do that is here in America.”
Braun customers enjoy many benefits from their equipment being ‘Made in America’. In addition to accessing local and factory-trained Braun service technicians, Braun supports free 24/7 telephone technical support and next-day replacement parts availability.
“As a U.S based manufacturer, all Braun parts are domestically sourced and supplied with an on-time delivery average of 98.6%. That’s crucial for operating laundry facilities,” says Werner. “Now and in the future, our customers can feel confident that they can rely on first-rate equipment manufactured here in the United States by people who can meet their high quality and service expectations.”
Braun’s dedication to manufacturing quality equipment was demonstrated in 2005, through its ISO Certification. ISO, the International Organization for Standardization, is the world’s largest developer of quality standards. The quality standards help make the development and manufacturing of products more efficient and safer while maintaining consistency in all business aspects.
“It was easy to establish continual improvement processes and practices because our workforce completely bought into the program and the culture associated with the ISO quality system,” says Werner. “It has driven every aspect of operations to new levels.”