Since the laundry is in the hotel premises, we can process linen immediately as we receive one load. The machines have little down time and loads are staggered to ensure all machines work to full capacity.
With the changing market scenario and guests demanding faster service, a hotel laundry will need to process garments super fast. The return time is down to one hour for pressing and three hours for dry cleaning. This would not be possible with an outsourced laundry service.
In case of outsourced laundry, any increase in the par stock of linen would affect the expense budget. It would also call for stocking extra linen creating a need for extra space for storage. “Another area needing very prompt service is the banquets where guests change set-ups at the last moment requiring immediate pressing of linen which also would not be possible if the laundry is outsourced.”
External laundries following good practices, ISO compliant and capable of handling expensive imported linen needing gentle handling are yet to hit the market. “Our discard ratio is well in control and with an external agency we may not be in a position to control this.” Imperial has 100% in house laundry. “Our laundry is very efficient in terms of guest demand and par stock. Since the laundry is in the hotel premises, we can process linen immediately as we receive one load. The machines have little down time and loads are staggered to ensure all machines work to full capacity. In fact, we have cut down on the night cycle by reworking our wash and dry cycles. Thus, each machine is used to its optimum level. “At the same time, the machines and chemicals used ensure that we achieve a longer linen life coupled with highest wash quality.Since laundry is the revenue earning department, our focus is to minimise the running expenses. We prefer the best quality equipment which may be expensive but in the long run ensures low maintenance and ease of operations.”
The Imperial laundry has state-of the-art machines, fully computerised equipment and open round-the-clock for guests. A highly skilled manpower looks after imported linen which needs a high degree of careful handling. The laundry is ISO14000 compliant. The laundry machines at the hotel include:
Union Dry Cleaning Machine (Italy make), a fully automatic machine of 12kg capacity with recovery up to 90%. The Solvent perchloroethylene which is being used is imported from Japan, USA, France and Netherlands. Washer Extractor are Pellrin Milnor (USA), Electrolux (Sweden) and Unimac (USA). These washing machines are tuned to maintain the perfect balance between low water and energy consumption. These are fully computerised with high spin extract, leaving low moisture content in linen which avoids long drying time and increases the life of linen.
Flat Work Ironer/Calendering Machine (Lapauw Holland make) is a heavy padded pressure roll for best ironing quality. A fully encased machine, it ensures safety at workplace and maximum production. It has an average production capacity of more than 100 bed sheets per hour. In order to get properly dry and crisp iron, the speed can be controlled and set according to the linen thickness.
American Tumble Drier has low noise emission and excellent drying performance. The clockwise drum rotation prevents the linen from wrinkles, the finishing easier and improving drying efficiency. Since fuel cost is becoming very expensive, Imperial has opted for the PNG operated dryers which also take minimum time to dry and cut down on operating cost making it cheaper than electricity and steam. “We have several presses (USA’s Forenta and Ajex) which we use to keep our uniforms and guests clothing crisp and well ironed.”
The Thermo Patch marking machine is used for tagging guest clothes before processing. “We process on an average around 200-300 pieces of guest linen from 25 to 30 rooms.” To ensure the right cleaning, chemicals and softeners are used at the appropriate water temperature & cycle and the automatic chemical injection is used to eliminate the need for adding chemicals manually and chemical overuse & waste. It is essential for hotels to ensure proper removal of stains and other contaminants from linen. Auto injection ensures items are properly cleaned every time. Typically, automatic chemical injection can result in a significant savings in detergent costs.
“Automatic chemical injection through automated dosing systems calculates the right amount of chemicals based on machine capacity & load weight with each wash cycle. Operator bias is eliminated, wastage is controlled and the linen gets the correct amount of chemicals required. We have DF-1 dispensing system which injects the chemicals to all washer extractor according to their programmes.” Now with personal laundry catching up like on-site coin or card laundry, which can be a smart and profitable addition to any hospitality location. “But as a luxury brand, a self help service in terms of expensive guest clothing is not something we would be looking at. Service is what differentiates us and the laundry performs an important task in this regard. Our clients wear designer labels and very delicate garments and the personal care our valets can take is not something a coin operated machine could copy.
“At times, when the guests express displeasure over a service, we quietly listen to him and come back to him after the task is done with apologies.”