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DRIVING SUCCESS WITH VECTURA – SACRAMENTO LAUNDRY COMPANY

One thing is for sure: introducing Vectura, a fully automatic stack management system, was a complete success! And still one drop of bitterness remains. Seeing how well the Vectura works in the terry department, Keith Pooler, president and owner of Sacramento Laundry, regrets not also having implemented the stack management system for other flatwork. Keith Pooler is impressed by how much his operation benefits from the new conveyor system: “That was huge in terms of efficiency! The improvements in the terry department had the biggest impact on our 35% increase in productivity.”

Sacramento Laundry Company is a family-owned and operated textile service provider for over 35 hotels in Northern California. The company started out as a local coin-operated laundry in downtown Sacramento over a decade ago. Today, Keith Pooler and his team of over 350 employees serve a customer range from boutique hotels in San Francisco to military base hotels, luxury ski resort hotels around Lake Tahoe, and 1,000+ room convention center hotels.

With the installation of six new XFM Speedline drywork folding machines, Sacramento Laundry had to face a major logistical challenge. All the produced towel stacks had to be sorted and dispatched for every customer. This is anything but a piece of cake if it needs to be done by hand, given the wide variety of articles and large number of customers. Manual picking up and sorting stacks behind the folding machines would reduce productivity, slow down dispatch and cause sorting errors, which ultimately leads to dissatisfied customers. There was only one solution to the problem: Vectura from Kannegiesser – the fully automatic stack management system.

Vectura uses belt conveyors to automatically sort and transport laundry stacks to a central pick-up position. The system tracks each individual stack and sorts according to customer, article or machine. When receiving the laundry stacks, big displays show operators which stack belongs to which customer to ensure smooth dispatch.

At Sacramento Laundry, the key to success was the integration of the six new towel folding machines with an automatic sorting function and the Vectura stack sorting and transport system. Previously, one or two employees were required behind each folding machine to receive the laundry stacks. The Vectura now provides a central discharge position for the laundry stacks which makes it possible to receive the stacks of six folding machines by only two employees. If it wasn’t for the central pick-up position, operations required up to twelve employees for pick-up behind the machines.

Faced with labor shortages, Vectura offers textile service providers the opportunity to expand and accelerate production volumes without having to rely on filling open positions. Furthermore, the automated stack management eliminates the threat of sorting errors. However, in the end the biggest beneficiary of Vectura is the customer, who receives a guarantee of complete and fast deliveries.

The advantages of Vectura at a glance:

Fast and complete delivery
Easy dispatch through automation and guaranteed complete delivery.

Significant cost reduction
Reduce your personnel expenses in the expedition area.

Reliable processes
Avoid sorting errors and gain valuable delivery time.

Complete documentation
Collect and access all relevant information at any time.

The Smart Laundry – Witteler & Burkhardt

DIVERSITY, PRODUCTIVITY AND RELIABLE DELIVERY

As one of the largest providers of leasing textiles for hotels in south Germany, the laundry Witteler & Burkhardt processes an enormous variety of articles. The textile service provider's many customers expect nothing less than immaculate results, top quality as well as on-time and complete delivery. How is it possible to productively process sheets, table linen and terry-toweling from such a wide range of articles and colors while achieving high levels of customer satisfaction?

THE TASK

Many customers with a wide variety of articles do not make it easy for the textile service provider from Ladenburg, Germany. Machine programs have to be changed constantly, laundry batches are expected at different stations and every piece of laundry should end up with the right customer. This would not only have caused a great deal of confusion, but could also have led to reduced productivity and delayed delivery. Witteler & Burkhardt faced a major logistical challenge.

THE SOLUTION

The key of success for Witteler & Burkhardt was the automatic Process Control of the SmartLaundry by Kannegiesser. The Process Control  allows to...

  • increase productivity, because the continuous flow of goods enables a consistently high output.
  • master diversity, as the machines automatically select the correct program.
  • guarantee on-time and complete delivery, as the flow of goods is constantly controlled, monitored and documented.

The automatic control of the processing programs and the flow of goods in the laundry is made possible by the integration of machine and data technology. Each laundry batch is weighed and assigned to a customer and an article category from the database. Based on this information the batches are transported to the correct machines and processed with the optimum program – fully automatically.

THE IMPLEMENTATION

  1. Sorting and storage of soiled linen
    On the sorting platform the laundry is weighed and sorted into laundry bags according to customer and category. The batches are stored in the monorail bag storage and distribution system for further processing. Category, customer and weight are linked to the batch and stored in the database.
  2. Washing, Extraction and Drying
    The PowerTrans batch washer is automatically loaded with batches from the bag storage. Following the washing process, rinse water gets extracted in the press before the batch is loaded into the dryer via lift shuttle conveyor. All machine programs are automatically selected according to information from the database.

  3. Post Wash Storage
    After drying, batches are stored in the monorail bag storage for clean linen. The white laundry bags get automatically assigned to the correct processing machine in the finishing area.

  4. Finish
    As soon as a new batch is delivered from the storage to one of the ironer lines or dry work folding machines, the operator only has to press the batch change button before feeding. Machines retrieve the batch information from the database and select their programs accordingly. For ironer lines by Kannegiesser this is possible due to to the Central Program Control. Both the ironer and folding machine adapt their programs at a push of the batch change button on the feeding machine. The program changes are executed without interruption during flow of goods, as each individual item is tracked during the ironing process.

  5. Commissioning
    After folding, the laundry stacks are sorted according to customer, article or machine by the Vectura stack management system. Belt conveyors transport the stacks to the assigned take-off stations. Displays show employees which stack belongs to which customer. This guarantees quick, correct and complete delivery.

THE SUCCESS

Thanks to the Process Control by Kannegiesser, machines at Witteler & Burkhardt are continuously supplied with goods and can work efficiently. Under constant control and separated by customer and category, the laundry automatically runs through the entire process, from sorting to commissioning. This ensures reliable delivery and high customer satisfaction.

Discovering the batch washer – Flesch Laundry Services

WASHER EXTRACTOR OR BATCH WASHER?

“Tunnel washers are only for big laundries!” – This misconception still persists with many textile service providers. For small batch sizes and a large variety of articles, washer extractors are supposed to be the best choice. Flesch Laundry Services from Eisenberg in Eastern Germany however is proving everyone wrong. The old washer extractors were replaced by a new PowerTransVario JET with an integrated centrifuge. And the result is remarkable: The well-established textile service was able to increase its performance by 30%. At the same time, washing results improved while resource consumption and personnel requirements were reduced. The new washing system has also saved the laundry a lot of space and significantly improved ergonomics at workplaces.

THE TASK

The company‘s old washer extractors had become obsolete and had to be replaced. When purchasing new equipment, Managing Partner Jörg Bornschein wanted to keep the flexibility of washer extractors. After all, the laundry processes a vast variety of articles for a wide range of customers. In addition to flatwork and drywork from hotels und guesthouses, the laundry also processes work wear for a various companies and all kinds of residential linen from nursing homes. Therefore, a tunnel washer initially appeared to be unsuitable. “But then I was convinced”, the experienced manager concluded..

THE SOLUTION: POWERTRANS VARIO JET-CENTRIFUGE

After comprehensive consulting by Kannegiesser and specialist advice on energy efficiency by an independent agency, Flesch Laundry Services decided to invest in a PowerTransVario JET with an integrated PowerSpin centrifuge. The compact batch washer is loaded automatically by a monorail bag system.

Since its installation in October 2019, the new fully automatic washing and extraction system has already achieved great success.

THE SUCCESS

  • Mastering diversity
    The PowerTrans’ true bath separation allows for flexible loading. “We do not have to run empty baths to avoid discoloration”, Jörg Bornschein explains. Linen of different categories and colors can be loaded into the PowerTrans directly in sequence without empty empty compartments.
     
  • Increasing performance
    With 880 lbs/h, the performance of the PowerTrans JET centrifuge is 33% higher compared to the previous washing system consisting of 6 washer extractors.
     
  • Improving wash quality

    The ActiveDrop mechanical wash action works deep into the fibers, allowing wash performance, textile care, and a guarantee of hygiene as never before seen or felt. In difference to conventional batch washers and washer extractors, the PowerTrans‘ large drum diameter and high lifters allow perfect throwing and compressing of the batch. Flesch CEO Jörg Bornschein confirms: “We managed to cut our re-wash volume in half".

  • Saving resources
    The innovative JET rinsing process produces excellent results with the lowest possible use of fresh water. In addition, a large part of the chemical and thermal energy is recycled. With the new washing system, Flesch Laundry Services saves 27% electrical energy, 66-100 oz of water per kg of laundry and 75% steam.
    Automatic loading and unloading saves the laundry about ¾ of an employee. Enormous savings of space also open up possibilities to expand the operation.
     
  • Easing the workload
    The staff at Flesch Laundry Services also benefits greatly from the new washing system. Thanks to the PowerTrans‘ automatic loading and unloading exhausting operations are eliminated. “Employees are rare”, Jörg Bornschein emphasizes. For that reason it is important to eliminate hard work and thus make the workplace more attractive.


Photo: Managing partner Jörg Bornschein and his team of Flesch Laundry Services

The Company

A family business since 1948.
Founded by Dipl. Ing. Herbert Kannegiesser.

Since time immemorial we see the laundry
as an overall system with the aim of SmartLaundry.

Headquarters is in Vlotho in Germany.
Another 6 locations, one in the UK and one in the USA.

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Product Highlights

YOU CAN’T SEE HYGIENIC QUALITY.
But it’s always there.

The removal of dirt stains is regarded to be the primary task of the washing process. But when we talk about professional laundering, it is also about the kind of dirt that is invisible to the human eye.

The PowerTrans Vario is setting new hygienic standards in all kind of applications – whether it be in the hotel sector, the healthcare or the work wear business. Your customers can be confident that the laundry is not just clean, but also hygienic.

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