Elis has called on Fulton to provide the steam power at its new Southampton facility and to back up with planned after-care solutions long term.

Having moved from a facility that was too small and would have been uneconomical to upgrade, the overriding requirements for Elis’ new, state-of-the-art Southampton-based facility were to increase and future-proof throughput by increasing capacity as and when required. Protecting its investment was also paramount, so manufacturer-backed aftercare solutions were also key to the long-term plan.

The existing facility used a combination of indirect steam from a horizontal steam boiler and steam-heated ironers and dryers during the laundry process. But with the new multi-service flat linen plant – which services the southern region hospitality and healthcare industry – came a new approach for Elis and, because the company processes laundry for the healthcare sector among others, they instead opted for a heat transfer system that would pre-heat water for the washing machines to a minimum of 72 degrees centigrade by directly injecting steam into the water supply.

A number of steam raising methods and manufacturers were considered in the original tender, but, with a requirement for an energy-efficient boiler with a small footprint, Elis subsequently placed an order for a skid-mounted, 2 x VSRT-60 gas-fired steam boiler solution from heat transfer specialist Fulton, which was packaged with ancillary items including automatic blowdown, water treatment and a TDS energy recovery system.

Elis’ senior engineer Slawomir Barczewski said: “The old facility was capable of processing 60,000 to 70,000 items a day but, with Fulton’s skid-mounted VSRT vertical steam boiler solution and the new line in place, we are currently processing approximately 90,000 items with the ability to double throughput as required.”

The skid-mounted solution features two 600kW (960kg/h) VSRT-60 steam boilers, which boast ultra-low NOx emissions of less than 20ppm, achieve up to 10:1 turndown capabilities and industry-leading performance of 86% gross thermal efficiency and 99.75% steam quality at 8 bar. It features a multi-award-design design that is durable, long-lasting, enhances heat transfer rates and improves steam quality. Additionally, for applications where contaminated air can reduce boiler uptime – such as laundry and drycleaning facilities – the VSRT’s cyclonic air filter effectively separates debris and damaging particles from the combustion air and, because it won’t clog over time, eliminates the need for replacement filters.

To protect its investment and ensure the steam boiler installation continues to operate efficiently, Elis also opted for a number of solutions from Fulton’s aftercare portfolio, including a service contract, water treatment package and boiler operator training, a requirement of Elis’ insurance provider.

Fulton aftercare and business development manager Jeff Byrne said: “Considerable investment has gone into this new super-laundry and Elis is keen to ensure that their return-on-investment is improved as much as possible, hence supporting the installation with manufacturer-backed service contracts and training.”

The service contract for Elis consists of two service visits per boiler per year, with one visit coinciding with the annual insurance inspection. As well as providing discounts on any spares and the regular chemicals orders, the contract also ensures 24h phone-based technical assistance from a dedicated boiler/service engineer and a 48h call-out response where required. The water treatment package consists of monthly feedwater quality inspections and an annual system inspection and report.

Fulton’s one-day boiler operator training courses – accredited by City & Guilds of London – has satisfied the boiler operational training requirements of hundreds of clients and bridges the gap between straightforward ‘toolbox’ training and the more expensive courses that can cost thousands per employee. Carried out on-site and supporting both BG01 (SAFed) and INDG-436 (HSE) guidelines, the course looks at the practical operation of controls and test equipment using a customer's own boiler, introduces the principles of steam and boiler operation in the form of a presentation and includes both theory and practical assessments..