As commercial laundry services grow into a more profitable industry, technological solutions for this sector continue to improve. From top-of-the-line washing machines that are more intelligent than an average smartphone to laundry tracking software, optimising service delivery is now easier than ever. In this regard, which solutions are most appealing to commercial laundry services? Anand Dubey, Acting Country Manager, India, Nepal & Bhutan, Alliance Laundry Systems maps out the latest tools, and a helpful guide to estimate load size.
Polymer bead technology
From almost waterless designs to improved efficiency, modern washing machines are nothing like their clunky predecessors. Using the latest technology, certain models even rely on cutting-edge polymer beads. Mixed with minor amounts of water and special detergent, these soapy solutions suck in stains and dirt, proving to be a more effective and gentler method of cleaning.
With a lifespan of around 100 washes, these beads are even recyclable, moving back into the polymer supply chain – zero wastage. With this solution, commercial laundry services can expect an 80% reduction in water usage, a 50% reduction in energy usage, and a 50% reduction in detergent use.
Smart laundry management
Another innovation in the commercial laundry services industry is the introduction of software-driven management systems. Here, everything from washing loads to transport services is optimised through the use of automated solutions. Thus, recording wash loads throughput, entering textile counts, and maintaining customer credits for returned textiles is made significantly more convenient.
In addition to this, customer supply is also managed through the use of touch-screen functionalities. Such systems are also useful when it comes to the reporting stage, given the extensive record-keeping tools employed and the automatic analytics provided.
Laundry and IoT
The Internet of Things (IoT) is another technological advancement making waves in the commercial laundry industry at present. From smart tagging to optimised wash cycles, commercial laundry services now benefit in a number of ways from this digital infrastructure.
Here, various items can be tagged, toting information covering fabrics, usage, and washing directions. Washing machines then read these tags and launder linens as required, minimising inefficiencies and potential damage.
Apart from this, users are also able to alter the washing process using various cleaning criteria if they’re not satisfied with the first cycle of cleaning. Through this process, IoT-driven tech cuts down on the time necessary to wash and dry each laundry load.
Another technological advancement enjoyed by many laundry companies is Radio Frequency Identification (RFID).
Here, computer chips are embedded in various pieces of linen, allowing laundries to track where their items are going and which stage of the washing cycle these items need to be directed to.
Through the use of an RFID reader, a special type of software is used to determine the type of fabric being read, directing it to the right machine. This makes the laundering process more expedient and provides surprising control to workers; giving them an idea of exactly where each piece of linen is located.
For commercial laundries that rent out their stock to hospitality and healthcare companies, this minimises the risk of loss, mix-ups, and unnecessary washing.
Dryers aren’t frequently touted among the many technological advancements commercial laundry services enjoy. Nonetheless, improvements in these devices have rendered the laundering process not just more efficient but also more soothing on the linen itself.
New condensation-based models protect laundry from the wear and tear commonly associated with tumble dryers and are far more efficient compared to their outdated counterparts.
Technological advancements in the commercial laundry service industry are only second to the pace of demand for these services. By leveraging the hardware and software solutions highlighted above, companies can improve their performance and value addition; increasing efficiency, savings, and profits.
Thus, in addition to remaining competitive, these technologies allow commercial laundry services to maintain sustainable operations; meeting emerging industry regulations and the challenges inherent to the commercial market.