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.
JENSEN USA, FOR HOSPITAL CENTRAL SERVICES ASSOCIATION
Hospital Central Services Association (HCSA) recently commissioned a new, ground-up cooperative healthcare laundry covering 144,000 square feet. The facility built in the Seattle suburb of Auburn, Wash., is owned by five local hospitals.
The previous laundry, located in downtown Seattle, resided in a building built in the early 1900s and until the 1960s was home to a bread factory. The size of the laundry required it to operate approximately 100 hours per week to produce the required poundage, which forced the organization to turn down potential customers despite its ability to produce high-quality linens and uniforms.
The building site, being located within the immediate area of Seattle University, made it desirable, simplifying its sale to help justify the move to a much larger, energy-efficient building. The degree of innovation in the new laundry can be considered impressive, from a full reverse osmosis water treatment system, to the Senking Universal batch washing system’s water reuse system, to the flatwork ironer heat reclamation used to preheat the warehouse space.
HCSA’s planning time was approximately five years to build a new automated, high-production, high-quality laundry. Its board of directors approved the project in 2012, and HCSA prepared and distributed an RFP for equipment considerations. Jensen USA was awarded the project in late summer 2012.
Jensen provided the principal equipment recommendations for the batch tunnel systems, flatwork finishing equipment and clean-side automated rail system. Its design staff worked closely with the HCSA staff, and prepared multiple AutoCAD layouts before a selection was made. Its Engineering Department reviewed and made changes to proposed equipment built specifically for HCSA.
Jensen’s management team was highly involved with HCSA’s project management, as well as all the trade companies involved in planning and executing the project. Scott Clark was retained early in the project’s conception, and then later as HCSA’s project manager.
Work started in September 2012 and was completed in July 2013. The seventh-coldest and -wettest winter on record in the Seattle area caused several delays due to deep mud, drainage concerns and concrete-pouring complications, but the project was completed on schedule despite it all.
HCSA purchased all-new equipment, with the exception of a couple relocated items. The package included two Jensen Senking Universal Maxiline 250-pound, 12-module batch washers; two Jensen Senking SEP120SEP 57-bar extraction presses; 16 Jensen Senking DT140 single-batch tumbler/dryers with central lint system; three Jensen DTX450, 450-pound stand-alone tumbler/dryers; two Jensen Express cornerless 2-station large piece spreader/feeders; five Jensen EX12 48-inch 3-roll steam heated flatwork ironers; five Jensen Classic S large-piece folder/crossfolders with dual sorting stackers and conveyors; a Jensen Bottom-Up Stacker for ironed small-piece accumulation and stacking; a Jensen Classic Blanket folder/crossfolder with stacker and conveyor; two Jensen Tematic Pro small-piece folders; and a Jensen Futurail complete automated clean-linen storage and delivery system.
Currently, the laundry processes 20 million pounds annually operating six days per week, with the capability of expanding up to 30 million pounds without adding hours. The laundry design has pre-planned for expansion up to 48 million pounds a year by adding processing equipment only.
For the owners of the Cooperative, the benefits are significant. Substantially lower operating costs in labor and utilities are the largest advantages, Jensen says. Instead of a laundry that was old, conventional and outdated, the hospitals share a modern, state-of-the-art processing facility, and will do so for decades to come. HCSA included space for increased production of reusable OR linens, and has expanded its cart exchange program at the hospitals.
The customers benefit by having more service options provided by HCSA, plus the finished goods are brighter and whiter, Jensen claims.
Check back throughout the month for more Designing Success stories!