- Created on Saturday, 03 May 2003 03:30
- Written by Jamie Kiffel
Although Foxwoods, which has been open since 1992, had more laundry than Mohegan Sun, whose hotel only opened in July of last year, "[Chairman Reels] is a realist and knew that we were growing," Brown explains.
Both Brown and Reels had been struggling to find a time-efficient, high-quality facility at which to clean roughly 20,000 pounds of laundry apiece, daily. Atlantic City Linen Supply, which opened a $14 million ultra-automated facility in Atlantic City in 2001, had planned to expand to serve the Connecticut casinos. "Because of our reputation in Atlantic City, they took the time to come visit us, and liked what they saw," says Victor Nappen, Vice President of Sales for ACLS.
When the laundry offered to use its extensive trucking system to transport the Connecticut casinos' laundry to and from its Atlantic City facility, both casinos agreed. It was expensive, but "there was no one in Connecticut that could handle the magnitude of our laundry," Brown says.
"We overcame the cost of transportation through cost savings in other places," says Nappen. "We had linen controls that reduced losses through proper wash formulas, handling procedures. We do a good job the first time out."
"They wanted us, we wanted them," says David Goldberg, President/Chief Executive Officer of ACLS. With a combined total of 2700 hotel rooms (Foxwoods is slightly larger) as well as 50 restaurants, room service, banquet halls and spas, "We saw a tremendous opportunity to expand," says Thomas D'Onofrio, Vice President of Operations and Strategic Planning for ACLS
An $8 million deal was struck. The new facility would be a 35,000 square-foot version of the 63,000 foot Atlantic City plant, accessible by both casinos, located 25 minutes apart. It will also be utilized by ancillary hotels in the area: Mystic Hilton, Norwich Inn and Spa, and Two Trees. It would include space for an additional 12,000 ft. expansion.
The Connecticut facility will mimic the state-of-the-art Atlantic City laundry on a smaller scale. Using equipment supplied by PAC Industries and Yankee Equipment, the system starts with a Hercules cart dumper that automatically deposits soiled linens on an E-tech conveyor belt. Five employees will sort the linens by type (including sheets, pillows, towels and robes; spa sheets for massage tables; napkins, banquet tablecloths and environmental services cleaning materials). Everything will be automatically weighed and, once the hanging bags reach 120 lbs each, they will be lifted by hydraulics into one of two 12-pocket Milnor CBWs, two 165-lb and two 55-lb open pocket washers. From there, the E-tech system will transport the laundry through two Milnor dryer tunnels to eight 330-pound capacity Milnor dryers. A Chicago Pik-Quik robotic arm will lift the finished sheets from onto a conveyor belt leading to the finishing equipment: five Chicago irons, heaters and auto-folders.
Employing approximately 60 employees, the system will operate on an eight-hour shift, distribute 24 hours a day, and process 5,000 lbs per hour. It saves energy as well as manpower: "The continuous batch washers recycle rinse water," explains Nappen. "We also have a heat reclamation system through Kemco," adds VP of Operations Michael Greico.
And there's another kind of energy being maintained: that of brotherhood. "I see too many businesses spend more money on competing," says Chairman Reels. "I think that we should be working with the Mohegan Sun who are our relatives, our cousins, to reduce our operational costs and increase our profit margins."
"This is a very important time," says Chairman Brown. "Either one of us could have done it alone, but it made more sense to do it together.".
Quick Rinse - News From Around The World
Ecolab Acquires Dober Chemical’S Textile Care Business
ST. PAUL, Minn. — Ecolab Inc. a leader in cleaning, sanitizing, food safety and infection prevention products and services announced it has purchased the commercial laundry division of Dober Chemical Corporation. The acquisition includes Dober’s laundry chemical and waste water treatment and Ultrax dispensing businesses as well as an exclusive partnership to market and provide key components of its Spindle monitoring software.
“Dober is respected throughout the industry for its innovative monitoring technology, product chemistry and commitment to service – qualities that complement our own strengths at Ecolab,” said Brian Henke, vice president and general manager, Ecolab Textile Care North America. “As we expand our North American commercial laundry business, innovation and service excellence will continue to be our top priority as we partner with our customers to deliver unsurpassed value to run their operations more efficiently, sustainably and cost effectively.”
“Ecolab and Dober share the same customercentric approach to service and innovative technology,” said John Dobrez, president Dober Chemical Corp. “This is an exciting development because it builds on the strengths of both companies to move the industry forward.”
Through this agreement, Spindle Technologies,a division of Dober, is forming a strategic alliance with Ecolab Textile Care in an exclusive licensing agreement for its ChemWatch Software technology and the OPTRAX Utility Module.
“There will be no movement of people as they currently all operate remotely,” said Henke. “The Dober leadership team is very skilled and respected in the industry. We plan to have them as part of the team moving forward. During the transition, both businesses will operate as usual and we do not expect there to be any changes in the service the customers are used to receiving.”