Having greater control

5 February 2020

More and more customers look for washer-extractors that give them greater flexibility. Tony Vince reports on developments

For businesses looking to develop an on-premise laundry operation, their requirements can be as varied as the laundry sector. The care sector, for example, has seen a surge of care home managers looking to install an OPL in order to implement a proper laundry cycle management process and gain complete control over the prevention of infection and spreading diseases, while saving money in the process.

For the hospitality industry, OPL solutions can vary dramatically depending on the size of the premises. Speed is a key factor as many establishments are faced with the daily challenge of not only meeting the demands of processing the linen in each room, but the need to clean staff uniforms, towels and other items such as table cloths and napkins.

Grantly Hall, a luxury hotel and wellness retreat in Ripon, Yorkshire, opened its doors in July 2019 following a three-year, multimillion-pound renovation. The hotel offers 47 rooms and suites ranging from deluxe rooms to a selection of beautifully appointed and spacious suites.

Impressed by the superior cleaning performance and operational savings provided by the Hydrofinity ultra-low water washing system, the hotel team decided to install four washing machines. Grantley Hall launders nearly everything on-site, from spa towels and robes to chef whites, and the hotel team needed new equipment for a full laundry. After a laundry analysis and site-survey, the business purchased three 36kg washing machines, a 20kg washing machine, together with four dryers and an ironer.

The laundry is located in the basement, so the equipment needed to be lowered through the floor before it was fitted. The items were carefully manoeuvred into place, before being connected and commissioned.

“We were very impressed with how well Hydrofinity managed the complex installation of our new laundry equipment. The installation team were very professional throughout and we were very pleased,” says Anne Harrison, head of guest experience at Grantley Hall. “The wash quality has been superb. We managed to recover some chef aprons that would’ve been thrown away if it weren’t for the Hydrofinity machine.”

Ergonomic design

Electrolux Professional has placed the operator at the heart of its latest innovation in commercial washing machines: the Line 6000 series. Darren Lockley, head of region – UK & Ireland at Electrolux Professional, said: “The professional textile care industry – both in house and on the high street – is thriving. However, its undertaking can take a toll on the workforce given the intrinsically manual nature of loading and unloading machines. To help promote an easier, healthier and safer way of working, our new Line 6000 range of commercial washers has been created with the firm focus of ‘human centred design’. The Line 6000 range has been awarded the prestigious 4-start rating for ergonomics by Ergocert.”

Key innovations that minimise tension and strain include a new mounting position for the dosing dispenser – which can be manually or automatically configured – to improve access and visibility, as well as an easy-to-open door and optimised drum height. All of these factors combine to deliver an evidence-based and third partyratified reduction in the development of work-related musculoskeletal disorders.

The Line 6000 series is available in six different drum volumes, ranging from 65l up to 300l, with a dry weight capacity of 7-33kg depending on the model. For laundries with a limited footprint, the WH6-6 washer can be stacked in series with the TD6-7 Line 6000 dryer to allow operators to wash and dry 60kg per day from just a 0.4m2 footprint.

As well as implementing ergonomic design best-practice, the Line 6000 washers also feature the new Clarus Vibe control, which improves user experience and streamlines programming. The 7” full HD colour interface provides a clear layout for users, without the need for scrolling; while dedicated programs can be customised by garment or cycle.

Real-time wash cycle information can be quickly accessed at the touch of a button, while Clarus Vibe also allows for easy automatic dosing (via the Intelligent Dosing program) by only releasing the correct amount of detergent based on the garment type and volume.

Veterinary services

Perhaps the biggest requirement from end-users across all sectors for their OPL equipment is hygienic cleanliness, as no customer wants to find a supposedly clean item soiled or stained. Take for example the animal care sector. Here veterinary practises appreciate just how important a role laundry has to play in maintaining professional standards at the practice and, crucially, in helping to prevent the spread of infection too.

Independent market research from the professional division of Miele Professional has revealed the top five factors that have any impact on a vet’s reputation. Of the top five factors shown to most likely have an impact on a vet practice’s reputation, 64% of vets agreed that practice hygiene has become increasingly important with cleanliness of staff uniforms and waiting rooms among the first things that customers notice.

“Vet practices are increasingly coming under the same online scrutiny as hotels and restaurants and are being judged on everything from customer service through to staff appearance and waiting times,” says Sam Bailey, sales & marketing director for the Professional division of Miele.

“As our research results show, vets are already concerned about their reputations and it’s not just customer service and care outcomes that matter to pet owners, they also have high expectations when it comes to the practice environment too and are looking at cleanliness, hygiene and staff appearance.

“Through our network of approved Partners we are working with more and more vet practices throughout the UK to ensure their on premise laundries not only meet WRAS regulations but also support their standards on hygiene, infection control and cleanliness.

The second largest emergency and critical care unit in the country, The Ralph, based in Marlow, Buckinghamshire – named after a cat rescued by founder, CEO and clinical director Shailen Jasani – is a multidisciplinary veterinary hospital offering a wide range of services including dentistry, emergency and critical care, orthopaedics, physiotherapy and soft tissue surgery. The Ralph’s laundry handles bedding, blankets and other items each day, so choosing a reliable brand for its new laundry facility was crucial.

“Our laundry’s washing machines are in use all day, every day. We have a constant flow of items that need washing and disinfecting properly,” says Iqbal Dhanji, The Ralph’s co-founder and finance director. “This is only possible if we have machines that can wash to high temperatures and provide the quality of clean we need as a hospital. There was only one choice for me, and that was commercial machines from Miele.”

Local Miele Approved partner, First Choice Marshalls worked with The Ralph to design the laundry room. First Choice Marshalls recommended two Miele Benchmark washing machines and a Miele Profitronic electric tumble dryer. The Miele Benchmark Performance range washes at high temperatures, which is essential to help kill off any pathogens that may have transferred on to pet bedding, towels or other laundry items. These models also have capacity for large loads and offer short cycle times which help the patient care assistants get through The Ralph’s laundry more quickly and effectively.

The washing machine’s drum and optimised drum rhythms are designed to help saturate the laundry quickly, so programme times are short and water consumption levels are kept low.

The Benchmark models installed at The Ralph are also compliant with the Water Regulations Advisory Scheme (WRAS) Catagory 5 recommendations and provide water backflow protection.

Iqbal said: “We are delighted with the Choice Marshalls did an excellent job advising on the right appliances for our needs.”

Wetcleaning processes

Girbau, a world leader in total professional laundry solutions, is teaming up with Ideal, an independent family-run British company that formulates professional laundry and biodegradable wetclean detergents, to launch a new turnkey wetcleaning system for OPLs and professional textile care operations.

Named Clean Surf, this innovative, modern and relevant solution comes with everything you need to carefully clean clothes in water, including Girbau’s state-of-the-art machinery and Ideal’s biodegradable detergents and stain removal expertise.

This new system sprang from the combination of Girbau’s 60 years of experience as the world leader in manufacturing laundry machinery and Ideal’s know-how in eco-responsible detergent manufacture.

Clean Surf has many ways of adapting to the needs of professional textile care businesses. It comes with complete wetcleaning training for people just getting started on their adventure into responsible textile care, and experienced cleaners interested in washing with water and biodegradable detergents without the use of toxic solvents like perchloroethylene. Girbau has developed the HS series line of washing machines, characterised by their versatility, efficiency and profitability.

This line comes equipped with the Inteli Control system, which has a range of customizable programmes to adjust the cycles according to needs, along with the possibility of managing the entire process. For the drying phase, Girbau provides its advanced D series dryers, which also have a smart control panel to easily programme the cycles in a personalised fashion.

Ideal has designed a set of biodegradable detergents to ensure textiles look visibly clean and smell super fresh, using a blend of non-toxic eco-responsible surfactants for brilliant soil removal at ambient temperatures. The Clean Surf wetclean range consists of three products; Ahoy Spot, Ahoy Wash and Ahoy Finish along with a final rinse sanitiser; Ahoy Clean and specialist leather and suede cleaning products; Howdy Fast & Howdy Salve.

Opting for wetcleaning

Samuels of Shropshire approached Renzacci UK, the UK supplier of drycleaning, wetcleaning, laundry and finishing equipment when the business owner decided to replace its 20-year old dry cleaning machine.

The existing system was expensive to operate and maintain, so shop owner, Sam Bodkin, was keen to replace it with a system that was reliable and offers the same high-level cleaning quality, whilst future-proofing the business for the next 20 years.

Andrew Lambert, business development director at Renzacci UK, proposed wetcleaning as an alternative to the traditional drycleaning technology they were used to. After attending a wetcleaning demonstration at Renzacci UK’s Londonbased showroom and testing facility, Sam was convinced by the system’s ability to clean the most delicate of garments, its quicker processing time and the capacity to do both drycleaning and laundry in the same machine. He proceeded to order the Electrolux Lagoon Advanced Care Evolution Set two weeks later.

One year on since converting from drycleaning to wetcleaning, Samuels of Shropshire has reduced running costs, increased its laundry capacity and now delivers a highly competitive service to locals in the area, offering environmentally-friendly cleaning.

“Our new wetcleaning system is absolutely fantastic and has been a complete game-changer. I’m able to process far more loads per day compared to my old dry cleaning machine. Because of this, we’ve now increased our laundry capacity too, which has gone through the roof!”

“I was shocked just how cost-effective it is. It uses far less electricity than my old drycleaning machine, so my energy bills are lower. It uses less water too, so I’ve saved money there as well. All in all, my running costs are lower and I’ve got the capacity to process more loads in a day, so it’s a fantastic revenue generator. There’s also much less paperwork involved, which for me is an added bonus. No solvent permits or toxic waste management required.”

“We’ve now completely moved away from traditional solvent-based drycleaning processes, which is the best commercial decision I’ve ever made.” 

VETERINARY SERVICES: Local Miele Approved partner, First Choice Marshalls installed two Miele Benchmark washing machines and a Miele Profitronic electric tumble dryer at The Ralph veterinary hospital
GREATER CONTROL: The HS series line of washing machines from Girbau comes equipped with the Inteli Control system, which has a range of customizable programmes to adjust the cycles according to needs
SUCCESSFUL SWITCH: Sam Bodkin, owner of Samuels of Shropshire is pleased he moved away from traditional drycleaning to an Electrolux Lagoon Advanced Care wetcleaning system

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