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For some hotels and hospitality venues an on premise laundry (opl) is vital to provide the personal service they wish to offer guests.
It may handle everything, or send out bed linen and towels to a commercial laundry. And then there are establishments such as boarding schools where the decision to keep control of the laundry service ‘in house’ takes into account the unique needs of the housekeeping team and those they help to look after. Jean Anderson reports.
Avery good example is The Royal Hospital School, founded more than 300 years ago in Greenwich, but now based in 200 acres of Suffolk greenery beside the River Stour.
A co-educational day and boarding school for those aged 11 to 18, it’s retained a naval heritage and, as well as the standard uniform, there’s a naval version requiring the highest standards of finishing for ceremonial occasions. These days taking to the water most often involves sailing instruction on nearby Alton Water.
The school has a fleet of dinghies, but also Cornish shrimpers and power boats. Helping to keep everything ‘ship shape’ is the housekeeping team and recently, as part of an ongoing renewal scheme, the school contracted Girbau to install a completely new laundry including washers, dryers and finishing equipment.
The boarding students ensure there are always substantial quantities of linen to wash, as well as pupils’ clothes to launder, and then there is the need to ensure that ceremonial uniforms always look immaculate. The laundry order list included a Girbau HS-6017 (19kg capacity) washer, two HS-6024 (27kg) washers and one HS-6040 (44kg) washer, all of which are electrically heated and feature advanced and easy to use Inteli controls. For drying the school chose two energy efficient, gas-heated ED460 (25.5kg capacity) and two ED660 (37kg) dryers.
Suzanne Whiting, laundry supervisor at the school says: “Our new laundry needed to be able to handle a large quantity of washing and drying daily, as well as offering the highest standards of finish for our pupils’ uniforms. Girbau were able to supply and install all the equipment we needed for an energy efficient and productive laundry and we are delighted with the high quality finish we are now able to achieve.”
Efficiency to minimise monthly outgoings should always be a key consideration for those planning a new or upgraded on premises laundry, according to Mick Christian, regional training and demonstration manager for laundry, at Electrolux Professional. “Opl’s need to invest in equipment that takes into account sustainability, while also delivering maximum speed and productivity with an easy-to-use solution.
The Electrolux Professional Line 5000 series, for example, has been designed for 30,000 cycles of use, to requirements,” he says. Their washer-extractors and tumble dryers have cost-reducing features including an automatic saving system and efficient dosing system which determines the weight of each load and adjusts both water level and amount of detergent so only the exact amount required is used. There’s the added advantage that this can protect sensitive skin from irritation caused by oversoaping. Smaller hotels and sports clubs, which strive for best-in-class onsite laundry results but have limited budget to invest, need to invest carefully and consider ranges that offer a smaller footprint but the same high quality performance.
Electrolux Professional’s myPRO series was developed to bridge the gap between the domestic and commercial markets. The range utilises floor space better, without compromising laundry processing quality. The myPRO machines complete a wash cycle in half the time of their domestic equivalent – a normal 60°C programme takes just 82 minutes (starting with cold water at 15°C), which can be reduced by a further 12 minutes when the hot water inlet is used. Making the most of space available for an opl adds to the flexibility of those wishing to process their own linen in house, says Sheila Higgs of Dane Realstar.
This is where companies which not only supply equipment but give advice on the design of the laundry area, along with the correct machines, can make a real difference. “Ideally the laundry room should be located on the ground floor, in a well-ventilated area,” she says. “It is usual to mount washing machines on a plinth to aid drainage, and all equipment will require adequate working space behind the units in order to provide access for maintenance. “An analysis of the type of linen to be processed will provide the operator with an idea of what finishing equipment should be installed, such as a cabinet, ironing table or press ironer.
If a capacity of 40kg is required then it is advantageous to purchase a selection of machines with different capacities, this will allow for a better work flow rather that only have large machines, which would be uneconomical for small loads.” The machine size should be taken into account when designing the room layout, allowing for the likes of doorways. Space considerations also include an area for sorting soiled linen and trolleys as well as storage of clean linen.
Dane Realstar can supply all the equipment required for an efficient reliable service, including Realstar drycleaning machines and Aquastar washing machines. Available with pre-set programmes for standard laundry work and day to day laundry items, such as duvets, the machines can be supplied with a programmable microprocessor for wetcleaning. If you are short of space, Dane Realstar’s DOBLO system could be the right solution, doubling productivity per square metre, and available in a stacked washer and dryer configuration.
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