Efficiency means making the best use of the resources you use to achieve best results. This concept is vital to any process, but if we are talking about businesses it is even more relevant, because their success is a question of achieving best results by making the best use of resources, be they financial, physical or human. This is why in today's blog we want to talk about how to create an efficient laundry.
In the case of laundries, one of the main costs is labour (40-60%), followed by water and power (15-25%), so keeping these down is the key to a profitable, efficient laundry. In this respect, three fundamental stages must be taken into account in designing efficient laundries:
Streamlining washing processes
This first phase involves assessing all the different factors connected with washing processes to make them as efficient as possible. It includes deciding how to organise work, automating the laundry, chemicals consumption, washing temperatures and times, water consumption, drying time and so on. Particular attention should be paid to drying and ironing processes as these account for higher energy consumption than washing, making this is an important stage to consider in terms of efficiency.
For this first phase, Girbau has specialist consultants known as Laundry Experts to carry out diagnoses, advise and train laundry staff in all these aspects to achieve best results.
Using efficient machines
Highly efficient laundries use top-class equipment which minimises consumption of water and energy. It should be borne in mind that of all the energy consumed in an industrial laundry, nearly 90% is in the form of heat (generally gas-powered) and just 10% is electrical power used for motors and wiring. 5% is used to heat the washing water, 25% for drying and the rest (70%) for ironing.
Therefore, to make a laundry as efficient as possible, it is essential to choose machines with low consumption and good thermal insulation to minimise energy losses. Heat energy lost through chimneys, waste hot water and poor combustion accounts for up to 50% of the energy used. So minimising these losses and using systems to exploit this energy can yield savings of up to 10% on production costs.
To this end, Girbau makes sure it produces the most energy-efficient machines, dryers with recirculation systems and flatwork ironers with high specifications in terms of water evaporation. Dryers and ironers feature maximum heat insulation in order to minimise energy loss.
Recovery and renewable energies
Using steamless systems with hot water produced by high-performance gas boilers is one of the most efficient ways of producing hot water, as they keep energy use and heat loss, which are generally high in steam or thermal fluid plants, to a minimum. Also, washing with hot water allows energy recovery systems to be used for pre-heating water (by means of heat exchangers in the flues and in the wastewater), allowing water to be heated using energy that is normally lost through these pipes. It should also be added that hot water systems are ideal for using renewable energies like solar pipes. Thus, energy recovery and solar thermal systems can reduce the consumption of gas to heat water by up to 60%.
The low-consumption systems in laundries with high standards of efficiency already feature additional systems for energy and water recovery. More and more laundries are treating wastewater and re-using it for washing. Depending on how complex they are, these laundry water recovery systems can save from 30% to 80% of water. Choosing the right recovery system involves considering the price of mains water, the drainage on each site, the amount of water drained away, the legislation in each place and the sustainability policy of each company.
At Girbau we argue in favour of creating sustainable, efficient laundries, which is why our solutions and laundry services department helps our clients to do just this.