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.
MAYTAG COMMERCIAL LAUNDRY, FOR SHRINERS HOSPITALS FOR CHILDREN®
Following a recent transition from a 30-bed acute-care hospital to an outpatient facility, Shriners Hospitals for Children® – Erie (PA) Ambulatory Surgery Center and Outpatient Specialty Care Center was looking for ways to green its operations. A primary target area was its laundry room—specifically, the equipment and labor needed to operate it.
The facility now has a four-day-a-week laundry operation, which cleans approximately 3,400 pounds a month, consisting of towels, sheets, surgical scrubs, cubicle curtains and blankets.
The main obstacle standing in the way of a greener laundry was an older, 135-pound washer. When coupled with a Maytag® Commercial Laundry 50-pound washer-extractor installed at the facility eight years ago, the less-efficient 135-pound washer had become excessive. This led to inefficient use of staff labor hours, as well as unnecessary energy and water costs.
The solution to this dilemma was twofold—installing new, energy- and water-efficient equipment to make the facility greener and reduce utility costs, and ensuring that the new equipment was the proper size to meet current laundry needs. Through the latter, the hospital could decrease the time taken to launder linens, which would allow staff members more time to work in other areas of the hospital.
“We’re trying to be more energy- and water-efficient these days, and running more correct-sized loads is a smart decision,” says Laurie Bowe, CHESP, manager of environmental services for Shriners Hospitals for Children. “It was difficult for us to operate as efficiently as possible, in regards to staff hours and energy and water consumption, using older, oversized laundry equipment. With the change in facility services, we saw an excellent opportunity to upgrade to new, appropriately sized laundry equipment that would better meet our needs.”
For guidance in its equipment choice, Bowe and her team connected with veteran Maytag distributor Equipment Marketers. The Cherry Hill, N.J., company presented them with energy- and water-saving equipment options appropriate to the size of the hospital’s laundry operations. This ultimately led the hospital to its second Maytag Commercial Laundry Energy Advantage™ 55-pound Soft-Mount Washer-Extractor.
“We were pleased with our first Maytag Commercial Laundry washer-extractor and the company’s customer service; not all manufacturers offer the same high level of support to their customers,” Bowe says. “I also did my research, compared other manufacturer offerings and received feedback from a local coin-store owner who installed Maytag Commercial Laundry equipment and is very pleased. The team at Equipment Marketers was personable and well versed in product options, our application and the needs of our facility. They provided us with all of the information we needed to make the best equipment decision for our facility.”
In addition to helping the Shriners Hospitals for Children team understand all product options, Equipment Marketers also discussed installation requirements and the flexibility offered with Maytag equipment.
The 55-pound model is designed to fit through a standard 36-inch opening. In replacement situations, this is especially important. Adding to the installation flexibility, the soft-mount suspension system reduces the need for machine bolt-down, so installation is possible on above-grade floors, helping to save time and other installation costs. While the washer is gentle enough to operate in centuries-old buildings, the 304-grade stainless steel cabinet is tough enough to withstand ongoing use.
“There was no downtime with the installation of the new equipment, which is so important to our type of facility, which needs clean linens available at all times,” Bowe says.
Right-sizing laundry equipment in on-premises laundry facilities is gaining ground as an effective way for greening daily operations in the hospitality and healthcare industries, due to its multiple benefits.
“Being environmentally conscious and finding new ways to operate more efficiently and within budget is crucial in the laundry rooms of today’s healthcare facilities,” says Bob English, general manager at Maytag Commercial Laundry. “Upgrading to appropriately sized, multi-load high-speed washer-extractors allows more laundry to be done in less time and increases staff efficiency. This type of equipment can significantly reduce energy and water consumption, leading to lower utility bills, which collectively benefits the facility’s bottom line.”
Since installing the second washer-extractor, the hospital has seen positive results.
“Our laundry facility is now optimally sized, and we’ve seen further reductions in energy and water consumption reflected in our utility bills,” Bowe says. “We’ve also become more efficient, can complete more loads of laundry in less time, and our staff has more time available. We’ve been able to cross-train them to also work on our facility’s environmental services department. Everything has turned out wonderfully.”
Check back throughout the month for more Designing Success stories!