CHICAGO — For Al Adcock, vice president of sales and marketing for laundry equipment manufacturer B&C Technologies, installation and operation manuals form the critical bridge necessary to install, operate and maintain a new machine.
“Keeping the manuals safe, handy and available allow the laundry personnel to quickly access information that is required to do their jobs most efficiently by providing guidelines for most efficient operational techniques as well as helping to solve issues and explain any error messages in much greater detail than can be found on a typical display,” he says.
Equipment manuals can provide laundry and linen services with vital information on their machines, along with helpful ways equipment can be used more effectively … if the laundry makes use of the manuals.
In this first of a three-part series, we examine reasons and methods for using manuals.
TOP REASONS/METHODS FOR USAGE OF MANUALS
Equipment manuals are useful for a variety of reasons, according to Gary Lazarre, vice president, product support, Pellerin Milnor Corp., including programming and parts information, simple troubleshooting, instructions on how to read schematics, and important safety information.
“Beyond the initial installation, equipment manuals are useful for the long term ownership of a machine,” says Russ Cooper, manager of technical support for Dexter Laundry. “They are used to walk operators through installation, manual programming, preventive maintenance, troubleshooting, larger service procedures and parts identification.”
Tony Schult, service director for Kannegiesser ETECH, adds, “In our experience, the main purpose is for operators to utilize the manual information to safely and efficiently maximize uptime and minimize downtime of equipment.”
Adcock believes one of the most valuable portions in an equipment manual is the routine maintenance chapter, which describes preventative maintenance steps to be performed on a daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, semi-annual and annual basis.
“Ensuring that these steps are completed in time will add years of life to the machines, as well as significantly reduce any unplanned downtime in the laundry, again adding to the efficiency of the laundry’s operation,” he says.
Another valuable segment Jeanne George, inside sales manager for Rennco, sees included in manuals is a parts listing with “exploded views that offer listing of parts on the machine in the event a replacement part is needed.”
The JENSEN USA Service Team agrees, saying equipment manuals are valuable for referencing electrical schematics and spare parts.
“It is almost impossible to troubleshoot issues without the wiring diagram,” the team says. “When a customer calls in for phone support, and that is the first question asked, our helpdesk will ask customers, ‘Do you have the electrical schematics?’
“This is to ensure both parties are on the same page and our helpdesk can explain machine function—that what should be happening compared to what is actually happening.”
“We find that our customers utilize their machine manuals when they are unclear of a process or procedure necessary to complete a specific non-routine task,” says Douglas Konke, professional service director at Miele Inc. “Or, they need to understand what steps they should take to correct an unknown operating issue.
“We always recommend that customers go through the manual to make sure they understand the extensive capabilities of a Miele machine and to ensure they can get the most operational efficiency and flexibility out of their systems.”
Rick Gaston, technical support department manager for Miura America Co., offers straightforward advice for when customers should use their manuals: “When installing the boiler system, when first starting up the boiler system, when configuring auxiliary equipment to the boiler system, when there is a problem. Following the correct procedures.”
“I have seen in plants that operator staff use manuals in all different ways, from helping to fill out an online preventative maintenance program to propping a door open and everything in between,” shares Bob Fesmire, president of Ellis Corp.
Check back Thursday for Part 2 on overlooked uses for manuals and strategies for using physical copies.