The TSA’s Midsummer Conference fulfilled all expectations with exceptionally detailed papers well received. The event, held at the Donnington Thistle Hotel, attracted 52 delegates from 21 operating companies and 12 supplier firms.

Enthusing at the reaction to the papers, Victor Ward, the conference chairman, commented: “The Midsummer Conference is intended to cover more technical subject areas than the TSA’s Commercial Services Sector Conference in November, which is more commercially-inclined, and has proved its value this year to middle-management, many of whom have requested more in-depth presentations.

“The two syndicate groups were notably well-received and the debates following each presentation could have continued for many hours. The paper on energy management in particular explained in precise detail to delegates the great potential this area has for reducing operating costs, as well as ensuring that we all do our bit for the environment. This is a sphere of discussion we in the industry must not let blow ‘hot and cold’. There are many cost savings we can introduce into this area, which will greatly improve the efficiency of our laundries.” The paper, “Energy Management In Laundries”, introduced by Mike Gettings, principal consultant of the Energy Technology Support Unit, was both constructive and supportive to the industry, highlighting the responsibility of laundries to the environment, to their employees and to themselves, to fully implement energy saving measures.

The paper gave a complete analysis of current energy fuels used by laundries and, in particular, ways in which energy can be optimised throughout the washing and drying processes.

A study was then presented on the efficiency levels of various energy sources, such as electricity and compressed air and their pertinent use in differing applications—washing (tunnel washers and washer-extractors) and drying (tumblers, ironers and tunnel finishers).

The paper continued by looking at the ways in which laundries can maximise energy efficiency. Firstly, by offering suggestions for improving the approach of management and staff towards energy saving. Next, by advising on the best methods for monitoring energy usage, hence keeping a check on consumption and avoiding excess charges.

Furthermore, the paper assessed ways in which machines should be properly utilised. For example, sorting, classification and accurate weighing of garments—essential to high quality and cost-effective laundering. Additional emphasis was placed on scheduling for tunnel washer processing, i.e. the importance of long production runs of the same process type as opposed to chopping and changing every few loads.

   The other syndicate paper, entitled “Contracting-Out Distribution”, was delivered by Paul Brooks, managing director of the CERT Group of Companies, and also raised much discussion amongst delegates.

By offering insights into the role played by the privately owned CERT Group, founded in 1986, in providing bonded warehousing and distribution services, delegates gained a thorough understanding of the potential for cost savings and efficiency.

It became clear during the course of the paper, which in precise detail analysed every step of the supply chain and the role played by each element from the logistician to the distribution manager, that an effective partnership between a company, such as the CERT Group, offering total supply chain management and services, and the textile service rental industry could prove mutually positive and beneficial.

The high quality of the papers and the significance of the issues addressed has evidently served once again to underline the importance of the TSA Midsummer Conference.