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HHSC Consolidation Achieves Energy Savings

ABILENE, Texas – The Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) elected to consolidate 12 of the department’s laundries in the state into five large, regional wash rooms designed to provide clean laundry economically to their school and hospital customers for a number of years.
Tour Andover Controls (TAC), a world leader in energy solutions that offers comprehensive energy-related services from energy reduction to flexible financing solutions, has been overseeing the project.
TAC is best known for performance contracting. Simply put, it guarantees it will save a client a certain amount of money over the 15-year-life of the project or it will pay the difference.
The Texas Public Finance Authority can allocate certain state funds for performance contracting if the contractor can generate savings as a result of utilizing such funds. State officials hired TAC, which in turn utilized a group of subcontractors to install new energy-efficient equipment to fulfill the contract.
HHSC chose Pellerin Laundry Machinery Sales Co. to renovate and install the state-of-the-art laundry facilities because of its reputation as a laundry equipment dealer and its relationship with manufacturer Pellerin Milnor Corp.
Danny Moran, TAC’s project manager, has been working with Scott McClure of Pellerin Laundry Machinery Sales Co. on the HHSC laundry consolidation over the last two years.
TAC decided to go with the Milnor CBW® tunnel washer because it could process the laundry efficiently and effectively using only one gallon of water for each pound of dirty goods. HHSC’s laundry had been using 4.46 gallons of water per pound of goods, so installation of the tunnel reduced its water consumption by 78%.
Economics wasn’t the only criteria TAC used in the decision-making process. Both HHSC and TAC went to great lengths researching laundry equipment, according to Moran, and it was Milnor’s that stood out.
“Their equipment is extremely well built and well engineered,” Moran says. “I have been very impressed with the performance of the Milnor CBW washer, especially with its automation. Both Pellerin Laundry and Milnor provide unparalleled customer service and technical support. Their installation and service personnel are outstanding. Scott McClure and Pellerin Laundry have been there for HHSC, the taxpayers of Texas and TAC to make the project an overwhelming success.”ABILENE FACILITY SERVES WEST TEXAS
There are 22 state-operated hospital and school facilities throughout Texas that launder their goods in the various state-run facilities. The regional laundry sites are Kerrville, Abilene, Wichita Falls, Richmond and Mexia.
The Abilene facility launders goods for San Angelo State School, Lubbock State School and Big Spring State Hospital as well as Abilene State School. It launders clothing, linen, terry and everything else that the residents of these facilities use.
The Abilene laundry runs one shift per day, five days per week, for a total of 40 hours per week. It employs 29 full-time workers, down from 35 FTEs (a 17% reduction in labor costs). All of the previous employees either retired or were moved into other positions within the facility. While the Milnor system handles the wash-aisle labor, residents of the state school complete the finishing work.
The facility processes between 13,000 and 15,000 pounds of linen a day on average; its record one-day throughput is 31,000 pounds. Because the laundry stores a four-day supply of linen for each school it serves, the daily poundage depends on the linen usage at each school. The Abilene laundry surpassed its goals for efficiency by processing more than 3.7 million pounds during its first year of operation.
The laundry is equipped with a seven-module tunnel washer, a single-stage press, four gas dryers, a lint collector, and equipment controls and a computer management system, all from Milnor. Other equipment includes a water reuse system; soil-sorting and tunnel-loading systems from Speed Check Conveyor; and a cart washer from Energenics.
The national rewash rate averages between 4% and 6%, but the Abilene laundry is above the curve with a rate of about 1.3%. The laundry previously required a 600-hp boiler to operate the facility. Now, even after adding more equipment, the laundry has reduced its boiler size to 300 hp, thus greatly reducing steam costs.
The HHSC has also been pleased with the performance of the laundry’s computer network, which provides staff with the ability to monitor operations and gauge efficiency in each of the five regions. Having this information readily available is a key component to effectively manage the state facilities.
“Since the addition of the Milnor CBW tunnel, even employee morale has increased, because the laundry is a more cohesive unit and all components of the laundry work well together,” says John Hennington, assistant superintendent for the Abilene State School.
“The automated loading is much easier on employees and does not provide the physically demanding strain on them as with the previous laundry. We’re now up to par with automation standards seen in many of today’s laundries. In addition, we’ve created a much nicer working environment, with a well-lit laundry facility, painted walls and epoxy floors.”
And as the staff goes about its work each day, it fondly remembers Joel Butts, the school’s longtime laundry manager who envisioned the HHSC laundry consolidation but died before the Abilene system was installed.
To show their appreciation and fondness for Butts, they named the tunnel washer after him and spelled his name across four of the tunnel modules.

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