Adjusting to the new normal

12 June 2020



Tony Vince looks at how manufacturers of energy-efficient tumble dryers are responding to the sudden market upheaval caused by Covid-19


The Covid-19 pandemic crisis has seen sweeping changes across all sectors. Businesses as diverse as gyms, hairdressers and restaurants have been closed since March, larger laundries where the customer portfolio is mainly comprised of hotels and restaurants have been forced to temporarily close, and meanwhile Covid-19 has caused tragic loss of life in care homes and healthcare settings.

Before the pandemic struck, businesses such as care homes and hotels regarded the introduction of an on-premise laundry (OPL) as an effective alternative to the cost of outsourcing laundry.

Now with perhaps the peak of the pandemic passed, is an OPL operation still viable?

Equipment manufacturers are stepping forward with new initiatives to support key sectors as thoughts turn to life after lockdown.

Safety and hygiene

Customer surveys carried out by travel organisations in May clearly indicate that safety and hygiene will be of paramount importance for holidaymakers after the lockdown. Major travel industry organisations say that hotel groups will look to integrated health and safety management systems, to ensure that hotels meet guests’ high expectations and offer the best possible protection against infections.

Where a hotel operates an on-premises laundry, then management should ensure its wash program is adequately equipped with temperature validation to process infected linen, according to the guidelines issued by the Textile Services Association.

In the care sector, care home managers are already implementing a proper laundry cycle management process. The expertise of Miele Professional can help managers adhere to infection control procedures as well as provide compliant laundry equipment.

An infection control plan is a series of policies and procedures that every care home should have in place to ensure hygienic standards, prevent the spread of infection and keep residents, staff and visitors safe in the care environment, says Miele. The plan acts as the ‘rulebook’ for managers, staff and even visitors to follow.

Dealing with waste and potentially infectious substances as a carer is often inevitable, but it’s vital to make sure that any soiled items are effectively decontaminated, says Miele. “Ensure that your laundry facility consists of commercial machines that are capable of handling larger loads and consistently washing to a safe standard,” the company advises. Once the washing cycle has finished, take care to prevent cross-contamination by ensuring clean washing does not come into contact with dirty items.

Miele has increased the load capacity of the its latest XL class from the Octoplus series of washers and dryers to 9kg from 8kg previously, without any increase in price.

With a footprint of just over 0.5 m2, the machines bridge the gap between the smallest Professional laundry machines from Miele (Little Giants) and the Benchmark series which starts with a load capacity of 11kg. Octoplus washing machines and dryers have proved their worth in all cases where the focus is on the fast, reliable and economic care of medium- size laundry volumes, for instance in hotels and restaurants. Miele’s PerfectDry electronic sensor-controlled drying guarantees that laundry comes out neither overdried nor with damp patches. Depending on the model version, the user can select from more than 40 drying cycles.

SmartBiz is the name of a new model series from Miele, available from January. Wherever up to three programmes are run a day – for example in small businesses, guesthouses, child-care centres, or schools – machines catering for a 7 kg load represent a robust and long- lasting alternative at attractive prices.

Both the washing machine and the dryer are tested to last 15,000 operating hours or 10,000 programme cycles.

The heat-pump dryer operates the standard Cottons programme with electricity consumption of 1.02 kWh. This equates to savings of up to 75% compared with many commercial condenser dryers in the same size category, says Miele. The dryer offers additional options such as a programme to loosen damp woollen loads or one to take the creases out of textiles.

Video conferencing success

Following from the success of its videoconferencing training sessions launched in April, Electrolux Professional ran more during May featuring the Electrolux Line 6000 dryers. Mick Christian, regional training manager, provided an overview of the Line 6000 range including the features and the heat pump energy savings.

In addition, Electrolux Professional UK & Ireland introduced a new pricing initiative in conjunction with its Authorised Partner Network to support the National Health Service and other key sectors during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The company is now offering discounted prices on a range of laundry and cleaning solutions to customers in the healthcare, social care, and food and beverage production sectors. The new prices are available across the company’s core product range, including commercial washing machines, tumble dryers and professional dishwashing equipment.

“In these challenging times we want to ensure vital industries, which may be making significant short-term operational changes to adapt to the current situation, can continue to operate,” says Darren Lockley, head of region – UK & Ireland at Electrolux Professional. “Our core laundry and cleaning equipment is designed to provide safe and reliable solutions for safety-critical applications, and offer extra capacity to help key sectors cope with increased demand. In conjunction with our partners, we can now further support customers working throughout the NHS and other essential services by offering our core equipment at a discounted price.”

Electrolux says the new Line 6000 tumble dryers are streets ahead of other dryers in terms of energy savings and speed, thereby potentially adding substantially to the operator’s bottom line in lowered running costs and increased productivity. According to Electrolux, the Line 6000 dryers provide the shortest drying time on the market, with the smaller machine taking just 44 minutes to dry 6kg of garments – the larger being even more efficient.

Electrolux Line 6000 dryers have earned the prestigious 4-star rating in compliance with international standards from the ergonomic certifying institute, ErgoCert. Ergonomics and ease of use are extremely important to Electrolux which is aware that laundry staff often have to perform repetitive movements which can be physically stressful and subsequently reduce productivity so making thongs easier for workers was very much part of the design remit.

Energy savings

Girbau’s ED series of dryers provide total control over individual elements of the programme including speed, drum rotation and heating to ensure maximum efficiency. The dryers offer huge energy savings and are ideally suited to wetcleaning as well.

Girbau UK remains fully committed to supporting its community of professionals, clients, suppliers and distributors, focusing its efforts on providing the very best services during the crisis.

In response to customer demand in the OPL and commercial laundry sectors, Girbau has added two new large capacity models to its successful range of OPL (ED) dryers. They are the ED900, with a drum of 900 litres and a capacity of 45kg and the ED1250, with a drum of 1,250 litres and a capacity of 62.5kg.

Like all machines in the ED range, the ED900 and ED1250 are available with gas, electric and steam heating options. The latter dryers join the ED260, ED340, ED460 and ED660, with capacities ranging from 13kg to 33kg.

The new features exclusively available on the ED900 and ED1250 dryers include the modulation of gas heating as standard. Different burners can be activated separately for increased efficiency and better energy management for all types of laundry. The steam-heated ED900 and ED1250 models feature a steel heat exchanger to facilitate the use of high-pressure steam and are supplied with a cooling trap for optimal efficiency and better linen finishing.

A second inverter on the fan motor of these latest models provides improved modulation of the airflow allowing users to adjust the dryers for different types of exhaust installations. This feature also makes it possible to adjust the cycle of the program to obtain better results according to the load.

The ED series dryers have intuitive, powerful and easy-to-use control options making them suitable for all end users. PRO multiphase programming is available for professional and advanced users and allows temperature, rotation speed and heat intensity of each drying phase to be tailored to exact requirements of load. Switching to EASY mode provides simple and easy-to-use controls for basic users.

The Onnera Group represents several companies including the laundry brands Domus and Danube International.

Domus of Spain says that its DTP Eco- Energy series of dryers can minimise drying time and make energy savings of up to 40%. There are eight models – 11, 18, 23, 28, 36, 45, 60 and 80, available in electric, gas or steam heated versions, with the 45 to 80kg also available in thermal oil.

The Domus Eco-Energy dryer has a stainless steel drum and features a frequency inverter as standard. All models offer reverse turning of the drum to encourage the movement of the clothes inside the drum.

Domus developed its Air Re-cycle recirculation system to reintroduce expelled hot air into the machine directly through the back of the drum. The mixed axial-radial airflow provided by the Domus Double Flow system increases drying efficiency by improving the airflow inside the drum.

Danube is a French manufacturer of industrial laundry equipment, including washer-extractors, tumble dryers and flatwork ironers. Danube says that its latest 8kg and 10kg dryers have features that make them stand out from the rest of professional models in the market. The DPR 8 and DPR 10 dryers have two available controls – the Easy Touch 2 (ET2) control microprocessor, or the EM electronic control with time and temperature settings.

Danube’s DD-Silver dryers are the ideal range for those customers who are looking for high performance, high quality tumble dryers. This range is available from 11 to 80kg.

Alliance Laundry Systems has made a significant investment in new management systems with dashboards to record and display drying cycles and key data such as the drying time, temperature and load. This level of control is now being demanded by the best-performing laundry operators/owners, and is why Alliance has developed bespoke software such as UniLinc and TotalVue for its Unimac OPL brand.

The Alliance heat pump dryers show how dryer technology is evolving. The latest Primus dryers, for example, require considerably less power to operate effectively (less than 4 kW, compared to 15 – 25kW for conventional dryers of the same capacity).

They also consume 60% less energy, says the company. The heat pump drying cycle is reasonably short. Depending on the model, it varies from 36minutes for the 9kg dryer to 58minutes for the 16kg dryer.


THE MEDISTREAM CLEANROOM DRYER

Lapauw entered the dryer market when one of its cleanroom customers asked the company to make a dryer that complemented its established Mediwave washer.

The Medistream cleanroom dryer has a drum volume of 1,410 litres, and complements the 60kg - 100kg barrier washers that are generally used in cleanrooms.

Like Lapauw’s Mediwave barrier washer, the Medistream dryer has a GRP (Glass Reinforced Polymer) cover. The monolithic shape and smooth surface, with no sharp angles, crevices or joints leaves no opportunity for dirt or soil to build up and it is easy to clean. On top of that, the coating contains Titanium Dioxide (TiO2) nanoparticles that have antibacterial properties.

The Medistream has a fully enclosed drum to assure complete insulation. Instead of the conventional drive wheels under the drums, the cantilevered drum design prevents creation and emission of additional dust and lint.

The Medistream has a HEPA-filter, but it is mounted behind the heating element, instead of in front of it. Together with the general particle filter, that is mounted in front of the heating element, the HEPA filter forms a double layer, assuring maximal filtering efficiency. A permanent connection for particle counter in the exhaust gives operators the opportunity to continuously measure the particle count of the contents.

Lapauw took over Transferon, which means that the company now offers a vast range of heavy duty dryers : from 60 kg up to 200 kg capacity, steam and gas heated. The dryers can be integrated into a tunnel washer-installation but the beauty is that they can also be used as a stand-alone solution, which allows us to offer an industrial dryer to laundries that need a stand-alone solution for their heavy duty work.

CLEAN COVER: Like on the Mediwave barrier washer, Lapauw’s Medistream cleanroom dryer features the GRP (Glass Reinforced Polymer) cover
INCREASED CAPACITY: Miele has increased the load capacity of the new washing machines and dryers from its Octoplus range to 9kg
SHORT CYCLE: SmartBiz is a new model series from Miele with washing machines and dryers with a 7kg load capacity – built for up to three cycles a day, for instance in guesthouses or restaurants
ENERGY SAVINGS: The Electrolux Professional Line 6000 dryer features an advanced technology that consistently provides laundry services with up to 60% savings on energy
EXTENDING THE RANGE: Girbau has added two new models to its well-known range of OPL (ED) dryers, the ED900 and the ED1250 (shown)


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