Installing or Upgrading an In-House Laundry

When it comes to installing or upgrading an in-house laundry, it is advisable to speak to the experts for guidance through the minefield of up-to-date products, environmentally-friendly options and space-saving ideas.

AMG spoke with three of Australia’s leading laundry suppliers, Aqualogic Laundry Systems, Dependable Laundry Solutions and Electrolux Laundry Solutions, to find out how to choose the best products. So many industries require and rely on laundry facilities from hotels, resorts, motels, B&Bs, hostels and caravan and camping parks, through to hospitals, day surgeries, age care nursing homes, boarding schools, childcare centres, pubs, restaurants, function centres, government departments, the defence force and the health and beauty industry. There is no one-size-fits-all product as each accommodation complex has different needs and laundry requirements, so without the help of a professional laundry supplier it can be difficult to work out which is the best product for your individual business.

Owned and operated by the same family since 1968, Aqualogic caters for laundries of all sizes. Lisa Horne, managing director of Aqualogic, says experience has shown that virtually every accommodation business can profit from operating their own on-premise laundry. “The benefits include reduced costs, guaranteed availability of fresh, clean laundry, increase life of linen, a reduction in linen inventory and the flexibility of laundry on demand,” she says.

Ms Horne explains that it is also advisable to engage a company that specialises in design and installation of in-house or on-premises laundries as they can provide valuable advice on which products will suit the available space, which products will be energy-efficient and which will actually suit the needs of the company.

“We work closely with leading architects and consultants to design laundries that work, so after an initial consultation with clients we can provide designs using CAD systems so clients can plan and visualise the end result,” she says. “We look at the requirements of the customer from ‘dirty off to clean on’ ensuring our system works as a process. We install and implement the system, provide training and any ongoing maintenance services required including a telephone support hotline and emergency service response.

“Customers need to ensure they are working with a reputable partner able to support the future technical and service demands of a commercial operation.”

AN44-1-HK-Laundry-2Ms Horne says there are many factors to consider when choosing washers and dryers, such as which fabric types are to be laundered and the finishing processes to be used. Accommodation providers need to consider whether or not there will be enough machines to cater for laundry needs during peak seasons, which machines will be more energy-efficient and save money for the business in the long run and design their laundry to utilise the space while considering health and safety aspects. “We don’t just sell ‘boxes’. There are pros and cons for every scenario but at the end of the day it is about choosing the right products for your individual laundry needs to ensure a cost effective solution,” Ms Horne says.

Another reputable supplier in the industry is Dependable Laundry Solutions. Owner David Worthington began in the commercial laundry equipment field over 30 years ago selling, servicing and repairing machines and his ‘hands on’ experience has led to his expert knowledge in the supply, installation & repair of the world renowned Maytag brand of commercial laundry equipment. His wife and fellow owner Gabrielle works in the business too and today Dependable specialises in the prestigious Maytag machines and Huebsch industrial dryers. Ms Worthington believes most businesses have only a vague idea of their real needs when it comes to planning their laundry so seeking professional advice can help save time and money.

“We have a design and consultancy service that includes on-site evaluations and appropriate recommendations, taking into account the space available and the volume of laundry the business will be doing.” Ms Worthington explains that laundry equipment is a big investment for any business so making sure they are informed about which machines will best suit their needs is vital.

“Bigger is not always better, the most expensive brand is not always the best and the cheapest brand is not always the worst,” she says. She advises consumers to ask themselves what their needs are and to research various brands, as well as enquiring about the servicing capabilities their preferred supplier can offer. “We sell Maytag products and they largely sell themselves as they have a strong reputation for their honest, robust and reliable machinery,” Ms Worthington says. “These products are made in USA and it is the only manufacturer to offer a five-year warranty.”

She says although there are many different brands, washing machines basically come as either a top loader or a front loader and it simply comes down to choice and which machine is most suitable for a consumer’s needs. “The biggest selling washing machine for us is the MAT15MN top loading washer, a robust washer that has all the features required in demanding usage situations. The MDE17MN dryer is our biggest seller for the same reasons,” she says.

Ms Worthington says they are excited to announce their new stack washer/dryer combination is due in Australia in the coming weeks and this will provide another option for those with limited space. She says a laundry specialist can help consumers find the right match for them.

AN44-1-HK-Laundry-3A global leader in home and professional appliances, Electrolux has a variety of products including finishing equipment, washers, dryers, ironers and ancillaries. Business development manager, Elver Pascolo, says planning is the key to installing an in-house laundry. “It is important to plan the flow, location and access for both machinery and staff taking into account equipment size, occupational health and safety matters, long term costs and water and energy efficiencies,” he says.

“Every laundry is different so we have created an extensive range of products designed for low energy, water and detergent consumption and for low emissions into the environment. Our products use design innovation based on a holistic approach rooted in Scandinavian design, incorporating functionality, usability, touch, feel, visual appearance and the overall user experience.”

Electrolux provides an initial concept and design through to commissioning and service, and offer a unique Windows-based software program called Certus Management Information Systems to record and monitor every parameter of the wash and dry process. “At the touch of a button a comprehensive report of the laundry process can be generated showing machine up-time, water usage, utilities usage, cycle times and validation information.”

Mr Pascolo explains that monitoring usage is just as cost effective for businesses as choosing the right laundry products. “Commercial laundry products are very different from the domestic market as commercial washer extractor/dryers have been designed for 30,000 wash/dry cycles whereas domestic machines have essentially been designed for only 3000 cycles, so commercial machines are able to work in more demanding environments,” he says. “This is why choosing the right machines and monitoring their effectiveness long term can ensure good productivity.”

Ironing products are also an important option and Aqualogic offers the Chicago range of finishing equipment that Ms Horne says is the world leader in flatwork finishing solutions. “They manufacture goods to feed, dry, iron and fold everything from napkins and bath towels to sheets and duvet covers,” she says, adding that the Tristar All-In-One Ironer is also popular within the accommodation industry as it is very effective in processing large volumes of sheets.

Also on offer, Electrolux has gas, electric and steam irons. It has created the first Plug and Play ironer making flatwork ironing accessible to everyone and has introduced the Direct Ironer Moisture Management System that ensures linen is dried to perfection. It has also patented the unique Dubixium cylinder, patenting the thermal oil flow inside the cylinder that evenly distributes heat throughout the length of the ironer. The control panels of this machine can also be networked to track and record the drying and ironing process.

With such an enormous range of energy-efficient, space-saving and high volume productivity machines available, it certainly makes sense to talk to the experts when choosing the best laundry products for your business.

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