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Start-Up Miami Laundry Enjoys Quick Growth

Laundry follows phased growth approach, adding machinery, automation based on demand

MIAMI — SerClean, a start-up commercial laundry based here, is providing the local hospitality industry with premium, customer-focused laundry services.

In its first year of business, SerClean doubled customer accounts, from 16 to 30, and boosted laundry production to more than 20,000 pounds per day.

Starting small with a few washers, dryers and small ironers, the laundry followed a phased growth approach—adding Girbau Industrial machinery and automation based on demand.

A group of friends combined their talents to open SerClean in 2020.

They include Pablo Cano Ponte and Jessica Montagno, who have 20 years of laundry industry experience and currently own a hospitality laundry in Argentina; Micaela Varela and Sebastian Romero, who have worked in hospitality for years and bring business development experience; and Facundo Yebne, who has also worked in hospitality for years and owns a property management company in Miami.

“Together we decided to develop a new concept of hospitality laundry that’s customer-focused and delivers premium service,” says Varela. “We guarantee our quality and service is superior, and we invest in GI technology for that reason.”

PHASE 1—IRONER & FOLDER

To get established, the group purchased an existing laundry already equipped with four washers and dryers and two ironers.

But to achieve the high-quality finish, folds and stacks of bed and table linens, a GI (32-inch) PC80 Two-Roll Ironer and FRB Folder were quickly added as part of Phase 1.

Once on the floor, the existing ironers were removed. The natural gas PC80 Ironer and FRB Folder immediately launched ironing production from 200 to 600 pounds per hour.

“The quality of the GI ironer is unbelievable,” Varela says. “It’s much faster than the other ironers and offers very high quality.”

Producing a flawless finish at rapid speeds, while maintaining up to 93% energy efficiency, the PC80 self-contained chest ironer features a highly flexible touch-screen control with customizable programmability for a variety of item types—from pillowcases and fitted sheets to duvets and table linens.

Damp linens are fed directly into the ironer where they are automatically ironed and then folded by the FRB Folder according to pre-programmed specifications. This produces consistent folds and stacks for a high-quality presentation.

“More than 6,000 pounds of linen are processed through the ironer/folder per day,” Varela shares. “They are great machines.”

PHASE 2—WASH/DRY CAPACITY & AUTOMATED DRY WORK FOLDER

Four months after the ironer and folder installation, with SerClean still experiencing significant growth, the company installed additional wash/dry capacity with two GI 255-pound capacity tilt washer-extractors and an ST1302 140-pound capacity dryer.

The highly programmable soft-mount washers offer automatic tilting for easy loading and unloading and reach 381 G-force extract speeds. Thanks to the high-speed extract, they remove more moisture from linens, which cuts resulting dry time, improves laundry production and helps extend linen life.

The ST1302 Dryer features vacuum loading and automated, user-friendly Spirotilt unloading. It effectively dries 140 pounds of laundry in less than 15 minutes.

SerClean rents hospitality linens as well as processing customer-owned goods. They take pride in providing customized services to meet each client’s needs.

“We never mix our clients’ laundry,” says Varela. “We do one client at a time and provide daily pickup and delivery.”

While the washers and dryer helped amp laundry production, the FT MAXI dry work folder ensures fully dried items are perfectly and quickly folded and stacked—single-handedly cutting, overtime hours by 30%.

“The FT MAXI was a game-changer when compared with hand folding,” says Varela. “It allows employees in the towel area to take on other tasks in the laundry.”

While it takes an hour for one person to hand-fold 200 towels, the FT Maxi automatically classifies, folds and stacks up to 700 per hour. It also processes everything from pillowcases and washcloths to bath mats and blankets.

In doing so, it eliminates manual presorting and allows a single operator to quickly feed pieces, of varying dimensions, one after another. The items are then automatically stacked and discharged onto a conveyor for distribution.

LOOKING FORWARD TO PHASE 3

As a result of Phases 1 and 2, SerClean is keeping pace with laundry demand while demonstrating industry-best quality. Plans for Phase 3 include locating a new facility to accommodate still more washing and ironing capacity.

“We’re always growing and will keep investing in GI machines,” Varela says. “We are processing at least 800 pounds of laundry per day for each of our hospitality clients and we continue to grow daily.”

Start-Up Miami Laundry Enjoys Quick Growth

The company’s growth dictated the addition of two GI 255-pound capacity tilt washer-extractors. (Photo: Girbau Industrial)

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