Row of washing machines in launderette

Managing the Energy Behind Industrial Washing Machines

This article will explain why inspections as part of a CMMS software solution are essential to monitoring laundry operations.

CMMS Management of Industrial Washing Machines

It is all about the G-force

It takes a lot of resources per pound to get linens clean. When you think about it, each pound of laundry uses 3 gallons of heated water and then has the water extracted before it is put into a dryer and eventually run through a folder or ironer.

The water extraction process during the wash is critical to the overall energy use of modern industrial laundry facilities. The reason is simple, the more water that is extracted from lines the less time the laundry will need to be in the dryer. This not only lowers energy use but also lowers labor costs as more loads can be done in the same amount of time.

Accomplishing an efficient and effective water extraction process requires the washer drum to spin at very high speeds in order to generate a G-force (drum diameter times rotation rate) up to 350 G’s. The high G-force can move an out-of-balance machine right across a floor if not properly secured.

In addition to the potential physical damage to the washing machine itself, an out of control washing machine can break pipe fittings, damage walls, rip up floors as well as cause liability issues should someone be injured.

Reducing Laundry Operating Costs with Preventive Maintenance and Inspections

Inspections are part of any good preventive maintenance program and they can be performed on any laundry asset. When performed with the aid of CMMS system, inspections can identify problems early enough to avoid major repairs. In laundry operations, inspections can be used to make sure washers are secure, power/fuel lines are good and perform checks for corrosion, piping and electrical issues.

Once a problem has been discovered preventive maintenance or repairs can be scheduled using CMMS. This will keep laundry assets in optimal operating condition which has a number of additional
benefits that include but are not limited to:

  • Making sure hard or soft-mounted washers are performing as expected.
  • Maximizing up-time so that labor costs are minimized because employees are not idle waiting for machines to be fixed.
  • Lowers energy costs because well-maintained machines require less power to operate.
  • Enables inspection results to be transmitted back to maintenance management for analysis and maintenance planning.
  • Lowers maintenance, repair and operations costs as machines break down less often.
  • Lowers maintenance costs by reducing the amount of time consuming paperwork needed to get a work order approved and acted upon.
  • Will decrease the amount of surprises attributed to non-machine issues such as corrosion, pipe blockage and electrical failures etc.

CMMS also keeps track of the work history of each asset. This allows laundry asset managers to make better informed repair or replace decisions. More importantly, CMMS will enable asset and maintenance managers to always know the condition of each asset at any point in time.

Implementing a laundry CMMS will not only help washers operate with fewer problems but the same CMMS can be used to maintain dryers, ironers, folders and every other piece of laundry equipment and facility asset.

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