Maximizing Efficiency and Capacity in a Landlocked Facility: A Braun Success Story
In the world of commercial laundry operations, efficiency and capacity are paramount. The Braun Project Management Team faced a unique challenge in the Denver area when teaming with Service Uniform of Englewood, Colorado to meet the demands of a market growing twice as fast as the rest of the country.
The existing facility needed to increase capacity but was constrained by aging equipment and limited floor space in its current configuration. Through collaboration and innovative solutions, the Braun team has managed to overcome these limitations and significantly expand the laundry’s capacity. The Braun Project Management Team was able to turn restrictions into opportunities, and work with Service Uniform from the initial site visit right through to the start-up in October 2023.
The Initial Challenge
In May 2018, Braun embarked on a mission to explore growth potential for the Service Uniform facility that was both aging and landlocked. A site visit involving the client’s decision makers and Braun’s Project Manager, set the stage for a comprehensive assessment. The planning during the site visit extended beyond merely replacing existing equipment. Braun began to contemplate the relocation of the boiler room, which would free up much-needed space within the facility. By reorganizing and relocating some of the existing equipment, Braun was able to map out a feasible solution for the customer. The plan includes space for up to five (5) Braun 450-pound capacity Open Pocket Washer/Extractors, three (3) 500-pound capacity Pass-Thru Dryers, One (1) dryer bypass conveyor, a Braun OPSH Automated Shuttle System, and a clean goods takeaway conveyor. At full buildout, this strategic investment will allow Service Uniform to double their capacity without changing their labor costs.
Another phase of the building improvement project was to upgrade the existing wash alley, which included six Braun washers (some of which were still in production after 20+ years) as well as three non-Braun dryers. This portion of the building was being operated as a very labor-intensive process, which has presented a problem to laundry operators in recent years. Braun’s solution for this area involved the replacement of 5 of the 6 existing washers and integrating an automatic shuttle system. Because the original dryers were not Braun’s, the shuttle solution would need to be custom designed and installed. This was completed in the Spring of 2023 which resulted in a reduction of labor in the wash alley by 50%.
Braun’s Project Manager took charge and provided the customer with all-encompassing equipment layouts, specifications, and requirement details. These were incorporated into the architectural drawing package, a crucial step for obtaining the necessary permits for the building’s construction/renovation.
“The Service Uniform projects presented several unique challenges that were both complex yet exciting to overcome,” said Joshua Risewick, Braun’s Senior Project Manager. “Through multiple phases and extremely detailed planning, we were able to integrate two Braun shuttle systems into a building where the previously there had been none!”
The Project Manager solidified a fluid working relationship with both the customer and contractors for a smooth construction schedule. Special attention was given to overcoming layout and scheduling obstacles throughout the renovation, all while completing the required scope and limiting impacts on the plant’s production.
The Countdown to Success
This achievement is a testament to Braun’s ability to turn challenges into opportunities and utilizing innovative solutions to maximize efficiency and capacity within the constraints of an aged and landlocked facility. The automation and new equipment significantly improved transfer times, quality, and capacity resulting in greater efficiency with less labor. That, in turn, enabled Service Uniform to boost production to meet current and future demands.
By exploring growth potential beyond only equipment replacement and strategically locating automated systems, Service Uniform has nearly doubled their wash capacity.
Service Uniform’s Corporate General Manager Dennis Tschida had this feedback regarding the expansion: