Buyers in the on premise laundry market are, above all, looking for value but how they judge that value may be changing.

By definition, the OPL operation is an adjunct to a business whose main concerns lies elsewhere such as a hotel or care home. The main business is, in effect its own laundry’s customer and, as such, its concerns are those of any customer – to obtain a service that is efficient, provided with minimal disruption and cost effectively. These who work in the laundry may have other responsibilities to fit into a tight schedule, therefore operating the equipment and getting good results has to be made as easy as possible.

At the buying end of the business, those in charge may not have the same depth of experience as those whose job is dedicated to the laundry industry. They need to work in partnership with the supplier to find solutions that suit.

In the past, particularly in smaller businesses on tight budgets, buyers may have judged value on price ticket.

But that is changing. At Armstrong Commercial Laundry Systems, the view is that buyers are broadening their skills and their knowledge.

They are aware that costs must be judged on those a machine will incur during its lifetime.

This means that maintenance requirements must be low, and that utility costs come into the total bill. These trends are particularly noticeable in the hospitality sector says the company, and reinforce the strengths of the Huebsch brand it supplies.

Suppliers who serve the market also need to be aware of changing trends within the various OPL sectors. Pressures on time mean more hotels and guest houses now use duvets, so larger machines are needed.

Many hotels now have some kind of health club, spa or gym and this will make heavy demands on towels and robes, to the extent that the laundry needs to be on site to meet the volumes and turnround required.

In the dryer sector in particular, notes Miele Professional product manager Malcolm Martin, the emphasis on costs is particularly noticeable. Drying is the most cost intensive part of any laundry, and so features that cut down on energy are needed, as are automated functions that cut down on labour.

As an example, Martin quotes sensor drying which adjusts the length of the cycle as residual moisture reduces. Machines do not waste energy drying linen that has reached the correct level of dryness and staff do not need to keep checking whether a load is dry.

The range of fabrics, once fairly limited, has also increased, so the program choice has to increase also says Martin. Reliance on preset programs is decreasing, and supervisors and operators need to make fine adjustments – time, temperature and moisture levels all need to be capable of being controlled individually.

Equipment safety must be a prime concern for any buyer, and with dryers the risk of fire has been a particular concern. This has led to added features to prevent overheating, and the development of fire suppression systems such as JLA’s SAFE system.

It is points such as those mentioned above that OPL buyers need to take into consideration when making their choice. But they also need to look at the service and advice given by the supplier, for value lies not only in the machine, but in the ability to find solutions.

warwick dryers
LAUNCH: The Premier Range from Warwick Dryers

Current range: An established favourite for the on premises laundry market for its simplicity in design and user-friendly controls, the Warwick Dryer is the only commercial tumble dryer manufactured in the UK and is still going strong after nearly 40 years of production. It has evolved into a reliable and robust electro-mechanical dryer that dries laundry quickly and economically.
Recent additions: The Warwick dryer has been extended with the introduction of the Premier Range of dryers.
These are available with a 316 grade stainless steel font panel in a brush polish finish for a clean contemporary look and, as with all stainless steel, it is highly rust resilient.
The Premier Range has a steel black powder-coated door and the cabinet is made from high-grade steel in a black painted finish. The dryer is available with a standard galvanised drum or with a stainless steel drum as an optional extra.
The complete ranges of dryers are available with 20lb, 30lb, 50lb and 75lb capacities, with heat input options of electricity, gas (natural and LPG) and steam.
Reverse action is an option on all sizes except 20lb.
Customer support: Warwick Dryers recently produced a batch of dryers to meet the colour requirements of one launderette operator. It also supplied another operator with a prototype machine to test, which has certain exclusive design features.
The company is able to offer special build machines with a lead-time of as little as two weeks.


Current range: The T range of Electrolux tumble dryers include the high capacity dryers T31200 (48kg-66.7kg) and T3900 (36kg-50kg); the medium capacity T3290 (11.6kg-16.1kg), T3530 (21.2kg-29.4kg), T3650 (26kg-36.1kg), T4250 (10kg-13.9kg) and T4350 (14kg-19.4kg); and the small capacity T2130 (5.5kg), T3190 (7.5kg), T4130 (5.2kg-7.2kg), and T4190 (7.6kg-10.6kg).
Developments: By combining the W455H washer-extractor and the T4130 tumble dryer on top of each other (shown here), operators can benefit from a complete professional laundry in less than 0.5m2.
Total control of the drying process is made easier with advance microprocessor controls that are simple to programme. The Selecta Control is available with three different panels to suit requirements of selfservice laundries, professional OPLs and commercial laundries.

Miele Professional
CONTROL AND COSTS: The Miele Profi M dryers allow fine tuning of machine parameters, while improved build quality reduces the running and maintenance costs over the machine’s lifetime

Recent additions: The company has an on-going research and development program to reduce the running costs of its machines. The latest addition is the Profi M range of dryers – four models with 10kg, 13kg, 15kg and 20kg capacities.
Special features: The Profi M control has been designed to allow operators to change the machine parameters to produce drying programs that are precisely tuned to different textiles.
Temperature, drying time and drum reverse pattern can all be adjusted.
Miele has also developed a series of program packages that can be added – for example, bedding programs that include choices to suit different pillow and duvet fillings. These special programs can be loaded on to the control either via an optical connection or from a memory card, using an optional card reader.
The machines feature a digital control which can adjust the residual moisture from 0-40% in 1% steps.
Machine build quality has also been improved, to reduce lifetime costs. The drum rollers now give better protection against fluff. The main bearing is torsion-proof and incorporates long-life lubrication.

Armstrong Commercial Laundry Systems
SAVING SPACE: The Amazon laundry centre at the Wilton home includes a 20lb Huebsch dryer

Brands: Huebsch and Speed Queen (coin)
Current range: The Heubsch 9kg dryer will partner any small washer and is also available in a double-stack version. Huebsch Loadstar dryers cover a full range of capacities from 1kg to 77kg (25lb to 170lb). Axial airflow and sealed cylinder rims make for maximum energy efficiency. Designed for businesses where space is limited, Heubsch Twinstar offers two 30lb dryers in the footprint of one.
Huebsch dryers can be stacked above another dryer or small washer to form an Amazon Laundry Centre.
Applications: The Grove Hotel at Rickmansworth runs its laundry for 14-15 hours/day, seven days a week. A typical daily volume is up to 1,000 towels, including 300-400 spa bath towels, 100-200 bathrobes and several hundred other items including chef’s trousers and tea towels. Equipment includes two Huebsch 75lb (34kg) partnering 55kg and 33kg washer-extractors from Primus. Three operators man the laundry.
The Wilton rest home in Fleet comprises a 20-room house and six two-bedroom bungalows. Its laundry has limited space in which to handle bed linen, residents’ personal linen and other work. The home installed an Armstrong Amazon laundry centre with a 20lb (9kg) Huebsch dryer stacked above a Schulthess 6.5kg washer.

SAFETY AT WORK: JLA’s Dick Cardis watches a demonstration of the Sensor Activated Fire Extingushing system

Current range: JLA’s manual and coin-op dryersrange from 20lb to 170lb, with most of them featuring the SAFE (Sensor Activated Fire Extinguishing system).
Development: The SAFE system monitors temperature in the dryer drum and activates a water vapour device if there is any change.
The vapour douses flames in a few seconds and the drum then rotates to ensure that the vapour completely soaks all linen in the drum and ensures the fire is completely extinguished. The vapour device switches on again if the fire restarts.
As it detects temperature changes immediately, the system often cuts in before the blaze starts, but in any case there is no flooding, eliminating the risk of water damage.

SAFETY: JHC dryers have features to cut the risk of overheating

Current range: JHC has a range of six own branded dryers for the OPL market with capacities from 25lb – 75lb, all available in natural gas, LPG and electric versions, with a steam option available to order.
Special features: All dryers have a sensor that detects drum rotation and this is intended to reduce overheating in the case of a belt or other mechanical part failing.
The “safety tumble” also reduces the risk of overheating and cuts creasing.
The axial airflow is said to cut gas costs by up to 50% compared with those for machines with a traditional airflow.