Lavatec, on Stand 528 at The Clean Show, 30 July – 2 August at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, Georgia is showing its revolutionary LAVACascade drying system, pictured, alongside the LAVAPress ULTRA 597S 60-bar extraction press, a system so massive there is nothing else in the marketplace that rivals it, says the company. “It will be good to see everyone again at The Clean Show. Times have changed from when we last gathered in Atlanta, and the marketplace is much different since the last Clean Show was held three years ago,” remarked Lavatec president Mark Thrasher.
“We introduced LAVACascade a year ago, (See LCNi report here) and now we have this opportunity to showcase it with LAVAPress ULTRA. Both machines are a result of listening to our customers, what strategic objectives they were pursuing, and the equipment they need to achieve their goals. Most of these discussions focused on energy conservation and plant efficiency. Together with our tunnel washers and other results-based equipment, we have a complete solution to help any laundry operator succeed.”
LAVAPress ULTRA is a prodigious new extraction press designed to speed workflow and conserve resources. With the ability to handle 265-pound loads using up to 60-bars of pressure, it processes more linen from a tunnel washer and compresses the time spent on each load before moving to a dryer. Thrasher says other exceptional features make it an ideal machine to maximise its throughput.
“We’ve engineered this press with conservation in mind. When the heated water leaves the oil cooling system, it will be recycled into the tunnel wash system,” said Thrasher. “A special friction-reducing compound membrane is highly temperature resistant, and the heavy-duty stainless steel drainage plate that fits under the conveyor belt is there to maximise extra water removal before it goes to the dryer. Over time, this adds up to significant savings.”
Similar engineering was used to design the LAVACascade drying system. Thrasher pointed to research conducted with Nuremberg Technical University in Germany indicating that while many of the nearly 4,000 laundries surveyed had systems to recoup or re-use wastewater, virtually none were re-using any waste heat from their laundry dryers.
He explained how Lavatec engineers realised this was a massive opportunity for optimisation within laundries worldwide. Operators now have a system that can produce an energy savings of 70% in comparison to a standard dryer, with a slew of other environmental and productivity benefits.
“The waste heat recovery of this continuous dryer system is an incredible way to save energy and related costs,” Thrasher said. “It reduces processing time, the throughput of linen is increased with less wear and tear, and downtime is reduced. At the same time, the operator can reduce the ecological impact of their operation. Less gas is used when you decrease the cycle time by 30%, and you also reduce CO2 emissions.”
Attendees can see LAVACascade with its three-tiered system. The first module introduces recirculated heat to the laundry load by using the exhaust air of the second dryer. Recirculation can be programmed easily, and when the first phase is completed the dryer tilts for unloading.
The load next travels by a conveyor belt to the second dryer. When it is loaded directly into the machine, heat loss is reduced during the transfer and the dryer remains hot so no energy is wasted to heat it again. The third dryer is the cooling stage, and each phase takes only a few minutes to complete.
“A customer in Germany is experiencing success with this drying system,” commented Thrasher, in reference to Coburger Handtuch. The regional service provider in Rödental, Germany, specialises in handling towels and cleaning mops and dust control mats.
“They took a holistic approach and built a comprehensive energy control system. The excess energy from their drying process is also used to heat the office and keep their driveway ice-free in the wintertime.”
Energy conservation is being addressed by laundry operators in the western US after drought conditions developed and have persisted the last five years. Emerald Textiles and Southern Oregon Linen Services completed installations of Lavtec equipment in the first half of 2022, including tunnel washers and other machines.
“These Lavatec CBW systems are right there with the most energy efficient tunnel systems on the market,” said Sean Mageean, general manager of Emerald’s facility in Commerce, Calif. Their new continuous batch washer system is expected to help the facility double its volume this year.
“Energy savings is very important to us. We do our part to preserve natural resources by regularly investing in energy and water saving equipment so our healthcare customers can feel good about choosing Emerald Textiles.”
Lav`atec’s booth will also house a LavaDry TT-756 batch dryer, an LX445 washer extractor, and a LT60 10-compartment bottom transfer tunnel washer. The management team at Southern Oregon Linen Services in White City liked what they saw of the tunnel washer so much they decided to invest in a 14-compartment machine. They completed installation of their equipment in May.
“For the capacity we handle, we’re now able to process everything in less than 10 hours compared to 14-18 previously,” said Antonio Casillas, the facility’s general manager. “With this new equipment, we anticipate saving over seven million gallons of water annually. In our first month we averaged a savings of 30,000 gallons of water a day.”
Lavatec representatives will be available on the stand to answer questions. If you are not attending The Clean Show and want more information, please visit the website.