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Laundry Plus Doubles Up Tunnels to Deliver the Goods (Part 2)

Added ironers help meet demand; open pockets key for food and beverage

BRADENTON, Fla. — Two are better than one. Craving additional capacity and production, Laundry Plus recently moved to a new state-of-the-art industrial laundry plant—and to keep pace with booming sales added a second Girbau Industrial (GI) TBS-50 Continuous Batch Tunnel Washing System.

The twin tunnels—capable of processing up to 70,000 pounds of laundry in an 11-hour day—opened the door to new business, dropped water usage to 0.6 gallons of water per laundry pound, and more than doubled production, officials say.

Each system features a 12-module TBS-50 washer, SPR-50 Water Extraction Press and associated conveyor and shuttle systems. These systems share 10 inline ST-100 Dryers (250 pounds of capacity each). All system components are controlled from a central station where customer goods are color-coded and tracked throughout the washing, extraction and drying process.

“We didn’t expect to grow so much so soon,” says owner Rick Rone, who installed the first GI tunnel system just four years ago.

Even though that system added 30,000 pounds of laundry capacity per 10-hour shift, Rone quickly found himself at a production threshold. Business boomed as Rone took on new accounts.

Laundry Plus—focused on delivering a quality product and excellent customer care—promises a 24-hour turnaround on customer-owned goods (COG), and Rone believes it’s this commitment that sets his laundry business apart.

“We were running the first tunnel 24/7 and couldn’t take on any more laundry,” he says.


GI ironing lines were added in 2011 and 2014. They feature GI PC-120 two-roll ironers (130- and 138-inch widths), DRF Feeders and FL-King Folders with dual stackers. They complement two existing lines—featuring a Chicago® ironer and folder, and a two-roll Jensen ironer.

“We have a total of four ironing lines and use the GI lines as our two primary lines because they produce the best quality,” says Rone.

Each line has the same customer programs in case one requires routine maintenance and shutdown. The GI lines are most productive, according to Rone. “Without pre-sorting, we process 600 pieces per hour. If we pre-sort, we can go to 800-900 pieces per hour, or 1,100 for twins and 850 for kings.”

One of the benefits of linen rental will be the ability to pre-sort laundry for quicker ironing and folding, according to Rone. “It allows us to get higher productivity out of the machinery,” he says. Four employees operate the GI ironing lines: three feed and one catches.


Because Laundry Plus caters to the hospitality COG market, it also handles an influx of food-and-beverage laundry.

“Our mix of conventional open-pocket washers take on a lot of food-and-beverage, as well as accounts that are smaller than our business model,” says Rone. “We run laundry through the open pockets and use a little more water per pound, but we are heating up a smaller machine to 160 degrees.”

A lineup of Continental Girbau E-Series Washers in 20- to 255- pound capacities is used to process these smaller-volume accounts. Rone chose them for their softmount design and high-speed extract, which reaches 387 G-force. Half of the laundry’s open-pocket washers were relocated to the new plant. The others were added later. The soft-mount design simplified the transfer since no bolts or grout are required for installation. And, because the washers generate high-speed extract, they remove more water per load and cut resulting dry time.

Check back Tuesday for the conclusion, which will look at programmable capabilities and efficiencies.

If you missed Part 1, you can read it HERE.

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One attendant at Laundry Plus loads the tunnel conveyor, which automatically moves goods into the tunnel washer. (Photo: Girbau Industrial)

Have a question or comment? E-mail our editor Matt Poe at [email protected].