In any laundry, one of the factors that determine the choice of equipment and chemicals is the amount of laundry linen that needs to be processed in a day. Unlike other hotels, Oberoi processes three to four tonnes of linen per day. The linen that comes to the laundry mainly consists of room linen, guest linen, uniforms, etc.
Another factor which again largely depends on the kind of machine being used and which has become a global concern is the energy and water consumption. “With the present laundry system at Oberoi, the total electricity consumed in process is around 750 to 1000KWh. While water consumption remains around 50,000-70,000lt, fuel intake is to the tune of 750-1000cum. The wastewater is further processed in water sewage plants.” Most hotels consume recycled water for HVAC and gardening purposes.
The efficiency of the laundry equipment can be fully utilised through appropriate wash cycles related to the kind of linen being washed. Sorting the linen as per the stains and dirt is essential before feeding it into the laundry machine. Commonly, soil sorting can be broadly categorised into uniforms, food & beverage linen and guest laundry. A large percentage of hotel laundry consists of inhouse linen – uniforms and f&b linen. These linens need special wash cycles in order to treat the stains. “Sorting helps us to concentrate on both aspects – quality and quantity. At the same time, it also helps any possible mixing of linen and garments.Further sorting of soiled linen is done as per colour, type & soiled level. In case of stubborn stains, before putting the linen to wash we do spotting wherever required to minimise and discard the same thus helping us to maintain the quality. A good team is another benefit, which helps us to segregate normal and heavy soiled linens so that we can do spotting before putting it for wash.”
In order to get the desired wash results, the use of appropriate chemicals and in the right dosage is very essential.Hotels are looking at automatic dosing systems that are attached to the laundry equipment to eliminate human error in the dosage. “But at Oberoi, we are on manual dosage system and we use diverse washing chemical products. These are fed manually into the Milnor washers installed at our laundry. The other equipment at Oberoi laundry includes presses from Ajax & Forenta, flat ironer from Jenson, and Dry-cleaning machine from Real Star.”
Unlike earlier, hotel laundries have realised that sorting and scheduling of linen wash can largely contribute to energy savings. If all the uniforms are washed at the same time or for that matter f&b linen is taken up in the morning or in the evenings only, repeated wash cycles can be avoided. A lot of discipline goes into creating a schedule for washing with the right kind of equipment and accessories. “Yes, for instance because of Jenson flat ironer we are able to shut our operation in one shift which in turn saves steam & electricity consumption.”
Machines also need proper maintenance for longevity, proper functioning and of course, right power consumption. Faulty machines are known to consume a lot of power leading to extended electricity bills. “For equipment we always follow our PPM schedule made along with the engineering team as it helps us to prevent frequent break down of equipment.”