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Halifax Linen Services Adds a Machine and Eliminates a Finishing Line

ROANOKE, NC – When Halifax Linen Services (HLS) began facing problems keeping up with their growing laundry volume, they sought out equipment to hasten operations and cut back on the laborious finishing process.

“Five years ago we handled 175,000 pounds of laundry a week. Today we handle 350,000 pounds,” explained Preston McElheney, vp of operations of the family run business that processes hospital and hospitality linens for 15 hospitals, 100 beds and under. “We were doing all hand feeding and a partial fold.”

And Halifax was faced with yet another challenge- finding a manufacturer who would assure them that their machinery could run fitted sheets on their spreader feeders to cut back on hand-feeding into the ironer, a labor intensive process.

Solution

Halifax eased their finishing dilemma with the addition of Braun equipment - the high production Braun Alpha 1800 Spreader/Feeder, and two Braun Sigma Small Piece Folders which enabled them to designate a specific customer to each finishing line.

After Braun technicians installed interconnection cables to allow the spreader/feeder to work in unison with the existing ironer and folder, a representative spent two additional days training the HLS employees on the equipment and helping them re-organize their dry fold area. In just a few days, expectations were exceeded at the HLS facility.

Prior to adding the Braun Alpha 1800, Halifax was using four ironers, four folders and four spreader / feeders. The addition of the Alpha 1800 which replaced only one spreader surpassed production expectations and allowed them to completely eliminate one of the existing ironer lines (ironer, folder and spreader feeder). It also allowed them to add a previously hand folded item to the production line.

“The more efficient high production process also benefits the Halifax facility by energy and time savings,” adds John Stokes, G.A. Braun’s Regional Sales Manager.

Meeting their Needs
To accommodate plant volume Halifax rounds out their equipment needs with two Pellerin Milnor tunnel washers, 11 Pellerin Milnor gas fire dryers, a
Braun Omega Sheet Folder with dual stacks (allowing Halifax to fold and separate different sizes of sheets,) four American and Jensen flatwork ironers and two towel folders. An automated Kannegiesser 150 bag soil sort system and a Speed Check sling bag system are also used. Ninety-five employees work at the 57,000 square foot facility.

Savings
While total savings are still being calculated, Halifax Linen has already reaped a number of benefits from the estimated $115,000 installation. The new equipment has resulted in a labor savings of four less full-time employees. Their “retired” finishing line also enables them the ability to grow and project future expansion of the facility without the expense of having to purchase more machinery. And last but not least, the design of the spreader/feeder gives Halifax the flexibility to operate and customize machine programs at the front end via microprocessor controls.

When considering the future, Preston McElheney smiles, “We’re ready for the world.”

Quick Rinse - News From Around The World

Textile Services Industry Gets National Spotlight

WILIMGTON, Mass. — Textile service executive Ronald Croatti recently appeared on the CBS-TV show “Undercover Boss.” Croatti is CEO of UniFirst Corp., in Wilmington, Mass. For most Americans watching “Undercover Boss” it was their first view inside a commercial laundry, which typically process between 10 million and 25 million pounds of uniforms, table linens, bed sheets, towels and more every year “The reusable textile services business is the original green industry,” said Ricci. “Commercial laundries reuse linen instead of filing landfills with disposable alternatives and continually discover new, innovative means to reduce energy consumption and recycle water. Our huge economies of scale allow laundries to use about two-thirds less water, energy and detergent than alternatives, such as washing at home, while hygienically cleaning textile products, improving disease control and reducing contamination.”