Designing Success: Chicago Dryer Co., Milnor and Turn-Key Industrial Engineering Services, for Florida Hospital Laundry


(Photos: Chicago/Milnor/Turn-Key)


(Photos: Chicago/Milnor/Turn-Key)


(Photos: Chicago/Milnor/Turn-Key)

Each year, a number of laundry projects are completed around the country, resulting in brand-new or retrofitted plants primed and ready to convert soiled goods to clean textiles for the benefit of end-users and customers.

But before one of these plants goes online, there are months, sometimes even years, of effort spent in preparation. As a way to celebrate all the hard work that goes into funding, designing, building and equipping a modern laundry plant, American Laundry News has created this feature coined Designing Success to feature portraits of memorable plant installations.

Here, institutional/OPL, commercial and industrial laundry equipment manufacturers, as well as firms that offer design/build, engineering and mechanical contracting services to the laundry industry, were invited to tout their latest and greatest projects of the past two years.


After nearly 50 years of processing linen for healthcare facilities in and around the Orlando area, Florida Hospital Laundry’s (FHL) 27,000-square-foot facility was bursting at the seams. It could no longer process cost-effectively, and was operating with some outdated laundry and mechanical equipment kept running by a skilled engineering staff.

In July, FHL opened a new 64,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art laundry facility just 200 yards from the old plant in Seminole County. The new plant is designed to process 50 million pounds of linen per year operating two shifts, six days per week. The project took approximately 18 months from design to completion, with construction taking about 10 months. FHL director Marvin Burske, and the late James Skidmore, his assistant director, led the design phase.

Before design or construction were ever contemplated, Burske and his team knew that they needed to investigate all options to determine the best possible ways to increase capacity and efficiency, while ensuring improved quality and minimizing operational redundancy. FHL engaged Turn-Key Industrial Engineering Services, an industrial engineering and consulting firm.

Turn-Key President Chip Malboeuf led the project, working collaboratively with the FHL team and Turn-Key’s stable of consultants and engineers to develop several options. Once FHL chose a high-level conceptual design, Turn-Key assisted with site and building selection; designing the production space, including building and equipment layout; developing budgets and opinions of probable cost; developing RFPs for equipment; assisting FHL in analyzing RFP responses and making equipment selection; and working as project managers through the completion of construction, equipment commissioning and plant start-up.

“Turn-Key is proud and honored to have been chosen by Marvin and his team to work on this project,” Malboeuf says. “FHL’s management, staff, contractors and vendors were a pleasure to work with, and this new facility is a testament not only to their vision and commitment, but also represents a new era for productivity, throughput, quality and efficiency.”

Distributor Steiner Atlantic Corp. was the primary equipment vendor; its manufacturing partners were Chicago Dryer Co., Pellerin Milnor, E-Tech, Energenics Corp. and Integrated Environmental Solutions (IES). The new facility was built by Hardin Construction and RLF Architect.

The goal was to get the new facility running prior to relocating some existing equipment from the old location. Commercial Installations, owned by James Everett, skillfully and timely rigged in all of the equipment and relocated the existing equipment without interrupting services to the hospital customers.

“We were all extremely excited to continue our 30-plus-year relationship with Florida Hospital,” says Steiner-Atlantic’s Bill Bell. “The project was bittersweet as we went from the excitement of building the plant with Jim Skidmore to building it in memory of him.” (Skidmore died unexpectedly in October 2012.)

The E-Tech soil-sort system is designed to handle the facility’s healthcare mix at roughly 10,000 pounds per hour, sending full 150-pound slings to Milnor continuous batch washers and washer-extractors. The wash system is comprised of two 12-module CBW® washers with PulseFlow® EXD (EXtreme Dilution) Technology, capable of delivering 80 to 84 loads per hour with water consumption as low as 0.45 gallons per pound.

With the Milnor/E-Tech Press-to-Bag-to-Dryer material-handling configuration, Milnor’s Dryer Pod design eliminates the need for shuttles and prevents bottlenecks, keeping the PulseFlow EXD operating at maximum efficiency. The E-Tech Clean Rail System delivers post-dry goods to the Chicago® finishing systems or directly to the Chicago flatwork ironer department. This streamlined wash system design keeps the plant running at its optimum capacity.

Flatwork equipment consists of four complete Chicago chest ironer lines. Two utilize Powerhouse 2-roll, 5200 self-contained gas-heated ironers with Edge Maxx cornerless feeders and Skyline sheet folders. The remaining lines use Century 2-roll, 5200 steam-heated ironers relocated from the older facility. The towel folders and isolation gown machine are a mixture of the Air Chicago and Air Chicago Express. There also are two Chicago Blanket Blaster Systems, one Chicago Skyline Mini and three Chicago Flippers for washcloths.

The new feeders and folders have Chicago’s state-of-the-art touch-screen processor. CHI•Touch PC-Based Touch Screen Control offers a complete package of operating, management, engineering controls, diagnostics and production data. It features all traditional CHI functions, such as automatic operation, self-testing, fault display and built-in diagnostics, all incorporated into an even faster full-color touch screen and control.

Energenics provided a double Kartwash, a fully automated and programmable cart washer with the ability to process up to 75 carts an hour.

Twenty-four SonicAire fans by IES were installed to assist in removing lint buildup on the rafters.

“It has been exciting to see this project come together,” Burske says. “We have faced many obstacles, including sorrow and sadness, but through it all, everyone—contractors, vendors and employees—pulled together to deliver a beautiful facility,” he says.

Check back throughout the month for more Designing Success stories!


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