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Going Industrial: Quality Linen Makes the Leap from Coin (Part 1)

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Quality Linen's building exterior
The Quality Linen Services building. (Photos: Continental Girbau)

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Quality Linen's tunel washer
Quality Linen’s seven-module Eco-Tunnel.

SALISBURY, Md. — By successfully serving small commercial accounts from one of his two coin-operated laundries, Mitch Wyatt nurtured a reputation that today has him handling the laundry needs of major hospitality, healthcare and food and beverage clients. Recently, to meet increasing production needs, Wyatt moved his commercial business into a newly constructed industrial laundry facility here.

The Quality Linen Services building turns out 1,700 laundry pounds per hour, using minimal labor, water and energy — giving Wyatt the opportunity to draw new clients and boost profits.

DEVELOPING COMMERCIAL ACCOUNTS FROM COIN LAUNDRY

“I serviced five hotels, two assisted-living facilities, one university, and two restaurants out of one washer at my coin laundry,” says Wyatt. “We used a 55-pound-capacity Continental E-Series Washer that would maintain a temperature of 140 degrees and stay at that temp. I was getting stuff so clean, my clients were amazed.”

Once cleaned, tablecloths, linens and napkins were pressed and finished using a Continental Flatwork Ironer. Wyatt’s staff then folded, stacked and delivered the items to clients.

PRODUCTION NEEDS SURGE

All went smoothly until Wyatt secured a five-year contract with a local hospital. “I knew I needed significant industrial equipment to fulfill growing production requirements,” he says.

So, he sought help from Operations Manager Doug Colonna, who holds 15 years of industrial laundry experience; Deke Sheller of Fowler Equipment, a laundry equipment distributor in Baltimore; and Joel Jorgensen, vice president of laundry equipment manufacturer Continental Girbau.

The 10,000-square-foot industrial facility required careful planning, a partnership of experts, and a mix of highly efficient industrial laundry equipment engineered for bolstered productivity, according to Wyatt.

DEVELOPING AN INDUSTRIAL LAUNDRY FROM SCRATCH

“We worked with the engineer constructing Quality Linen’s building and all elements of laundry design, construction and utilities,” says Jorgensen of the project. “We went on to define specific laundry production needs, the equipment mix, and solidified financing over an eight-month period.”

In the end, the new building featured a Girbau Industrial Continuous Batch Washing system capable of processing 13,600 pounds in an eight-hour shift.

The facility’s powerhouse is its seven-module Girbau Industrial TBS-50 Eco-Tunnel with four-stage water reclamation, water filtration and drain-water heat recovery. Complementing equipment includes a Girbau Industrial ICP3 Incline Loading Conveyor, SPR-50 Press, Dual-cake Delivery Shuttle, three ST-100 Dryers, a PSN 80 single-roll gas thermal ironer, FT-LITE Folder, AP LITE Stacker and an FT-MAXI triple-sort dry goods folder.

Two Continental Girbau CG-120 Dryers, and two Continental E-Series washer-extractors (55 pounds and 90 pounds, respectively) round out the lineup.

CONTINUOUS BATCH WASHING

The system not only boosts laundry productivity to 95,200 pounds per week using a single shift, according to Wyatt, it takes just one employee to operate and manage, is stingy on water, and produces high-quality results.

Key to Wyatt’s equipment decision was his need to properly manage and process laundry for a variety of accounts. “Unlike most of our competitors, we provide rental service, as well as service for clients with customer-owned goods,” he says. “We required equipment programmable by customer, so items would be properly cleaned according to each client’s unique needs.”

Check back Thursday for the conclusion!

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