TRSA Summit Opens on Plant Safety, Data Integration

Bruce Beggs |

DALLAS – Safety was at the forefront of Tuesday's opening session of the Textile Rental Services Association (TRSA) Tech/Plant Summit, but attendees were also treated to a birth announcement of sorts.
The Val Verde auditorium at the Hilton DFW Lakes was filled to capacity when Roger Cocivera, TRSA president and CEO, welcomed attendees and announced the association’s plans to ramp up its efforts in promoting workplace safety.
In the Summit’s keynote address, R. Dean Wingo, a 33-year veteran of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), discussed how textile service companies could enhance the safety of their operations and ensure compliance with occupational health and safety regulations.
And representatives from three industry vendors wrapped the morning session, describing how they have developed a new method for exchanging data between disparate equipment systems common in today’s laundries.MORE TO ENHANCE SAFETY
“While we have done much, there is always more that we can do to enhance safety, so long as there are any injuries or illnesses in our industry,” Cocivera says. “This is why we at TRSA have developed a new safety initiative for the association.”
The planks of this new initiative, Cocivera explains, will include education, service, tracking and representation.
Cocivera described various types of educational programs and resources, a plant safety inspection program, expanded OSHA data analysis to identify problem areas, and continuing efforts to represent the industry’s interests to legislators and outside entities.
TRSA has already begun discussions with the Uniform & Textile Service Association (UTSA) to develop industry-wide efforts for enhancing safety, he adds.
Finally, Cocivera says TRSA must promote the industry’s safety measures outside the industry, including through the mainstream media. “Through an industry-wide public relations effort, we can reshape the image of our industry while showcasing the positive steps we are taking to make our plants safer.”DATAFUSION IS BORN
Representatives of Pellerin Milnor Corp., Chicago Dryer Co. (Chicago®) and E-Tech took turns at the podium in describing their efforts to answer industry calls to integrate production data from everywhere in the laundry.
E-Tech, Milnor and Chicago®, each with different specialties, found that many laundries utilize their equipment and systems together. So, together, they’ve developed what they’re calling DataFusion for exchanging data between their products. The program can also be used by other vendors.
The nonproprietary XML program features consistent data formatting and secure data exchange. Operators can track personnel, follow batches of goods as they proceed through their systems and open up machine-to-machine communications.
Data may come from sorting, washroom and finishing equipment, as well as nonequipment sources such as time and attendance, human resources and route accounting.
Several other major vendors have reportedly expressed interest in joining the data integration effort.
The approximately 400 attendees separated for breakout sessions throughout the afternoon, featuring topics such as best practices, route planning, process controls, energy analysis, plant automation and more.
Today, attendees will visit four plants - Admiral Linen, ARAMARK, North Texas Health Care Laundry and HCA North Texas – and close the day’s activities with a Vendor Fair and reception.

About the author

Bruce Beggs

American Trade Magazines LLC

Editorial Director, American Trade Magazines LLC

Bruce Beggs is editorial director of American Trade Magazines LLC, including American Coin-Op, American Drycleaner and American Laundry News. He was the editor of American Laundry News from November 1999 to May 2011. Beggs has worked as a newspaper reporter/editor and magazine editor since graduating from Kansas State University in 1986 with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and mass communications. He and his wife, Sandy, have two children.


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