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Building Efficient Wash Processes in Commercial Laundries (Part 2)

By Al Adcock, Vice President Sales & Marketing,  B&C Technologies


Last week we explored the four aspects of efficient washing.  This week we’ll getting into detail on how wash  programs, drying efficiency and operators / maintenance personnel affect efficient wash processes.

Typically, a wash program has a wash bath followed by 3 rinse baths, with the final rinse containing the sour or softener. If the goods are especially soiled, a prewash bath is added, and for other highly stained goods, longer baths with higher temperatures and higher concentrations of detergents and bleaches are used.

Another factor that greatly impacts washing efficiency is fill and drain times. If the site of the laundry has poor water volume and pressure or undersized water supply lines, the fill times will be long. This can add up rapidly and increase the time for a wash load to complete significantly. The same logic applies to drain sizing. If the machine is tied directly into an undersized or slow flowing drain, it can add many minutes to the drain step each time a drain is required adding significant time. In the extreme case where the fill and drain is slow, cycle times can easily double which destroys the efficiency and throughput of the laundry.

Drying efficiency is also an important factor to consider. Extensive exhaust runs or undersized gas or steam supply systems can greatly increase the amount of time required to dry the goods. This is compounded on machines without humidity sensing systems, as overdrying of the goods is common. Humidity sensing allows the dryer control to measure the amount of moisture remaining in the goods and stop the drying process when a target moisture level is reached. This eliminates wasted time and wasted fuel, increasing the productivity of a laundry as well as decreasing the direct cost of fuel, a significant part of the cost of each load.

Efficiency of a deep chest ironer is directly affected by the fit of the padded roll into the chest, and the proper alignment of the roll as it fits into the chest. If the padding is undersized, only a small area of contact is created between the roll and the chest where the padding meets the chest. Likewise, if the padding is oversized, the roll cannot sit completely down into the chest, creating contact at the front and back of the chest. Maximum efficiency is realized when the padding is perfectly sized for the chest, allowing full contact while the goods travel through the machine.

Finally, trained operators and maintenance personnel are essential to the efficient operation of the laundry. Without proper maintenance, the machinery cannot be expected to operate at peak efficiency. Likewise, without trained operators, efficiency will suffer directly.

With these simple guidelines, the efficiency of a commercial laundry can be both measured and improved. After all, how can you know if your improvements are working if you aren’t measuring and comparing your before and after figures?

To Read Part 1 go here.


About the Author:

Al Adcock is VP of Sales and Marketing at B&C Technologies.   He is an industry veteran with over 29 years of experience, working for different manufacturers in many different capacities before helping launch B&C Technologies in 2000. Adcock has played an instrumental role in the design of several machines on the market before moving to sales in 2013.

Based in Panama City Beach, FL, B&C Technologies is a family-owned customer-focused company that builds the highest quality laundry equipment at the most competitive prices. All B&C equipment relies on engineering-driven designs to produce machines that consistently perform and constantly produce.