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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.


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.

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

Sodexo Laundry Services Technology Recognized By CIO Magazine

GAITHERSBURG, Md. — An innovative use of computer technology that increases operational efficiency by providing key metrics for its commercial laundry operations and has saved more than $100,000 since its implementation has earned Sodexo, Inc. IDG’s CIO magazine’s 2010 CIO 100 Award. The award recognizes organizations around the world that exemplify the highest level of operational and strategic excellence in information technology (IT). Sodexo’s Laundries Dashboard is a central decision-support tool that combines information from multiple systems to monitor core processes in Laundry and Linen Services businesses.

The dashboard presents Sodexo leadership and field management with key metrics in a customized, easy to use presentation. The dashboard uses Pureshare® Active-Metrics® software to gather and display appropriate information in the form of metrics for each level of management; the metrics are used to make business decisions. Because the dashboard is web-based, it can be accessed from any computer or mobile device. It also sends realtime email alerts that enable management to resolve operational issues immediately. Sodexo’s Laundries Dashboard allows for the effective management of critical areas as well as providing detailed analysis and comparisons.