Higher Output; Less Labor

5 Star Chicago Laundry Selected Braun to Help With Their Growth

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Pamela Simonetti, Director of Marketing, G.A. Braun, Inc.

5 Star Chicago Laundry Selected Braun to Help With The Growth of Their Processing Capabilities

5 Star employees feed sheets into a Braun spreader/feeder after processing in the Chicago plant's tunnel.

Five Star laundry facilities are responsible for processing approximately 120 million lbs. of hospitality laundry per year… smoothly and economically. These laundries are equipped with four Braun tunnel systems, multiple open-pocket systems, and an array of Braun’s textile-finishing equipment solutions.

Five Star’s Chicago facility had to meet the needs of a quickly growing market. To meet this growth, it was necessary to automate the soil sorting, rail delivery, and clean rail storage systems to free up space to add additional washroom processing capacity.

Although their existing Braun tunnel system was 14 years old and still running strong, the growth of 5 Star resulted in the addition of a new Braun 150 lb., 11-chamber tunnel. Through this addition, 5 Star was able to increase its tunnel volume by 223%, while at the same time cutting down to two shifts in its peak season.

Another solution was to retain the four existing 450 lb. open-pocket washers and two 500 lb. PT dryers that would yield an additional 28,000- 36,000 lbs. of goods during their 16-hour operating period. A rail loop was added to support the efficient loading and unloading of washers and dryers in that cell as well. This greatly improved machine turn times and enhanced the ergonomics and material flow.

“We are very happy with the quality, production and energy efficiency we receive from the Braun tunnel systems,” said 5 Star Chicago Laundry Manager, Maria George. “The tunnels are consuming on average .5 gallons of water per pound of processed linen, while providing sub 1%-2% rewash and exceptional finished quality.”

While 5 Star's 14-year-old Braun tunnel washer was still running strong, the company needed the additional throughput capacity provided by this 150 lb., 11-chamber tunnel.

The Braun solution resulted in a 9% reduction in labor and a 20% improvement in productivity. It also allows for the greatest level of processing redundancy in the event of a planned or unplanned outage so that their clients can rest assured that their shipments will be on time.

Braun’s thorough plant assessment also found that material movement represented the greatest loss of production at the facility. The installation of a completely automated clean side rail solution from E-Tech was the answer. This eliminated the likelihood of any tunnel system constraints due to manual processing protocols. It also eliminated the need to have multiple full-time staff managing the movement of the materials through the plant.

This investment enabled operators on the finishing lines to remain stationed and productive, instead of moving carts around the floor throughout the shift…these man-hour savings met the increased production of the second tunnel system and freed up valuable floor space. Higher Output; Less Labor 5 Star Chicago Laundry Selected Braun to Help With The Growth of Their Processing Capabilities

Braun’s equipment and facility solutions allow for a two-year return on investment and eliminated a full shift in a seven-day work week.

“With the addition of this equipment, the Chicago facility has the capacity to handle approximately 20% more poundage annually,” says George.

Braun’s equipment and facility solutions allow for a two-year return on investment and eliminated a full shift in a seven-day work week.

“We find the new patent-pending chute-loaded dryer solution for tunnel systems that Braun developed to further optimize the efficiency and simplify the production planning of multitunnel operating environments.”

This is the fifth large-scale project that Braun has executed with 5 Star and the fourth tunnel system that it has installed with them.

Success has been achieved because of the strong partnership that exists between the two companies, and due to the passion of the team at 5 Star to constantly improve their customer experience.

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