The Brady Bunch31 October 2017
Brady Linen Services processes the lion’s share of hospitality laundry for the many 2,000+ bed hotels in Las Vegas where it has no fewer than five laundries. Kathy Bowry reports
Pre-Clean Show, an invitation from Milnor to take a look at Brady’s hospitality laundry in Mayflower Avenue, North Las Vegas was not to be missed. Las Vegas is unique in hospitality terms – even in the US – with a sizeable amount of 2,000-bed hotels that turn over thousands of sets of bed linen, towels and uniforms every day. Most of this falls to Brady’s to process in its five Las Vegas laundries.
In 2014 Brady Linen Services merged with AC Linen Supply in a move that formed a ‘One-of-a-Kind’ national hospitality laundry company. The companies are the two leading hospitality laundry service providers on the West and East coasts respectively. The merger followed ACL’s acquisition of Royal Hospitality – the largest hospitality laundry operator in Boston, Massachusetts.
At the facility in Mayflower Avenue four Milnor continuous batch washers and dryers cope with the onslaught, running 20 hours a day, 365 days a year processing 400,000 pounds (200 tons) of linen per day. It seems every inch of space in the plant, which accounts for 14,000 sq m, is taken up with linen and workwear sporting famous hotel names such as the Hard Rock, Manadaly Bay, Hooters, Delano and Bellagio. Forty per cent of it is linen rental. Each day, an average of 825,000 pounds (412.5 US tons) of linen are processed at Brady’s five Las Vegas facilities in more than 350,000 square feet of processing space enabling the company to capitalise on some operational economies of scale.
Historically the hotels used to deal with their own linen but the push came to outsource to free up space to build and market more rooms, drawing more punters into the casinos. Brady’s, with a relationship built on supplying the Las Vegas hospitality market with janitorial supplies dating back to 1947, and with large-scale laundry design and construction experience since 1985, the company saw an opportunity to expand into laundry operation and grabbed it. Brady Linen Services was formed in 2000 and positioned to address the demand for higher quality and service in the evolving Las Vegas market.
When it came to fitting out the large sites they needed, according to general manager Guillermo Farias, Milnor was the first choice because the Brady’s guys, when dealing with the previous in-house hotel laundries, had been impressed with the Milnor equipment and valued the reliability.
Now, 17 years on, there are 13 continuous batch PulseFlow washers across the five laundries – with Milnor dryers, conveyors and presses working alongside Chicago ironers.
Brady Linen has invested millions of dollars in the purchase and installation of resource-efficient equipment without sacrificing the quality of the finished product. The company claims it uses just .5 gallons of water per pound of linen, where other laundries typically use 2.5 gallons per pound of linen. It’s a sound policy in an area like Las Vegas, with desert to all sides.
Making a mark with PPE
MarKen PPE specialises in the cleaning and care of emergency first responders’ workwear and has carved its own special niche in this market. Kathy Bowry met operations manager Joey Beeman for a tour of the facility
Another day and another trip out, this time to the other end of Mayflower Avenue, which brought me to MarKen PPE Restoration, a laundry that has carved a niche in restoration of uniforms and kit from fire departments and other emergency services first responders
Joey Beeman, operations manager, explains how energy savings and ecologically sound benefits lured the company to invest in the Xeros machines it now uses to great effect, moving away from the traditional washer/extractors the company had relied on since it started in 2010.
“When I saw what the Xeros technology could do, I fell in love with it. The pluses go far beyond the obvious eco benefits. We were promised 80,50,50% savings (water, electricity, chemicals) which is what we are getting. The action of the washer is also good for clothing too. The polymer beads are gentle on reflective trim. No problem, no damage. In fact, in most cases 60% of our clients said the garments looked brighter and virtually back to their original state. The process copes exceptionally well with soot and we use the chemicals supplied by Xeros as part of the solution.”
Xeros washer-extractors use polymer beads and a mild wash solution to clean textiles. But don’t the polymer beads take a bit of handling? Don’t they bounce around all over the floor and get into the fabric’s crevices? Apparently not to any great extent. When the garments come out of the machine – almost touch dry – and into the collection bin staff are careful to shake them over it so any stray beads fall into the bin and can be re-used. But isn’t this time consuming to have to be so careful? “Not at all. The results more than make up for this minor nuisance,” says Beeman.
Tested to US Standard NFPA 1851 compliancy Xeros model SMV90 extractors was the first laundry product to be submitted for that test and achieve certification. “No other washer/extractor technology in industry has done this,” says Beeman. He adds that in terms of maintenance he doesn’t have to worry about replacing beads as Xeros engineers come and do that free of charge for the lifetime of the machine. “Right now, we are replacing the beads about every six months. Xeros does not really have a set number of washes before replacing. Rather they have designed the beads to change colour which indicates when they need to be replaced,” he says. “In use, when the wash is over they just fall back down through the perforated drum into their ‘store’ ready to be used in the next wash.”
At the moment the laundry deals with 150 fire departments nationwide and also processes USAAF and US Navy uniforms worldwide. “Switching to Xeros has played a big part in picking up those contracts. When Xeros came on board, before chasing up more accounts we waited for testing and validation of the Xeros process and now a year on we are looking at targeting law enforcement, oil refineries, road departments and so on.
If not from local departments or military bases, the uniforms are flown in and then delivered by a parcel delivery operator, processed by Marken and returned. “Security is tight as you can imagine for the military. A parcel of uniforms went missing and were eventually found at the parcel hub but we had the FBI here,” says Beeman.
With all this talk of growth, has MarKen the capacity to cope with it? “Yes,” says Beeman, “we currently have two of the Xeros SMV90 (55 lbs/25 kg) extractors. The other wash system we have as a backup is the Esporta ES-3300 wash system (150 lbs/68 kg). But we have never had to use the Esporta again.”
As we go to press with this issue of LCNi (Sept), Joey Beeman informs us that Xeros has bought the business. “Xeros Technology actually closed on the purchase of MarKen PPE Restoration and has placed us in their newly created Xeros High Performance Work Ware, Inc. Division. It is good news for us. It will help us to grow into new markets that take a larger company to get into.”