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Girbau UK: Doing well by doing good

Installs laundry for Street Soccer charity in Scotland

Girbau’s Carole Wise (center, with glasses), and members of the charity’s new training center in Dundee, Scotland.

Girbau UK is supporting the work of Street Soccer Scotland by providing laundry equipment for the charity’s new training center in Dundee. Girbau has given the charity one of its heavy-duty HS-6008 commercial washing machines, an Econodry dryer and a commercial ironing board for the training center’s laundry room. The equipment is ideal for years of all-day, everyday use.

Street Soccer Scotland uses football inspired training and personal development as a medium to empower people who are affected by social exclusion. It works across Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh and Glasgow using the power of football to inspire young people and adults to change their lives.

The charity runs drop-in soccer sessions and tournaments, a personal development program for prisons and a women’s program. It also selects, coaches and mentors the Men’s and Women’s Homeless World Cup teams who represent Scotland.

The new laundry will allow volunteers to wash and dry sports kit for all players and staff and also be available to Street Soccer participants who may need a place to wash and dry clothes of any kind. A welcome facility which most of us are lucky enough to be able to take for granted.

“I would like to thank Carole and the rest of the Girbau team for their very kind donation to Street Soccer Scotland to help facilitate a laundry space at the flagship Change Centre Dundee,” said Scott Hollinshead, business development manager at Change Centre Dundee for Street Soccer Scotland.

“The washing machine, tumble dryer and ironing board now take pride of place in the laundry room to help further our social mission within the city, by enhancing a safe and welcoming place for all our players. The equipment was in fantastic condition and will be used to wash and dry players kit, towels, and training bibs. Thank you for all your support and we look forward welcoming the Girbau family back at the Change Centre very soon”.

“Girbau UK is proud to be able to support the fantastic work of Street Soccer Scotland by equipping the laundry at its Dundee Training Centre,” says Peter Rankin, managing director of Girbau UK. “Their work is an outstanding example of how coaching and playing football can absolutely turn people’s lives around. I would also like to pay tribute to the hard work of Carole Wise our area sales manager in Scotland who has worked tirelessly to make this happen along with our partners Bill Mclachlan of Gailarde who supplied the towels, DLS (Drycleaning and Laundry Services) in Edinburgh who installed the equipment and Malcolm and Andy Drummond of Trichem Scotland who supplied detergents for the equipment.”

Emerald Textiles plans to double capacity in 2022

Emerald Textiles, recognized as the largest commercial healthcare laundry and linen service business in the western part of the U.S., with headquarters in San Diego, prides itself on being an environmentally responsible healthcare laundry provider. Therefore, each equipment purchase decision is based on the strict California regulations and what’s best for their customers.

The company purchased a new Lavatec continuous batch washer system (CBW) for its Commerce commercial linen and laundry facility in Los Angeles. The purchase is part of a multi-million dollar commitment to meet the growing demand and need for energy efficiency improvements at the location.

Emerald installed a Lavatec CBW system in 2019 that exceeded its expectations. A new rail and conveyor system that is scheduled for installation this summer. It will be the next phase to help the facility nearly double its volume in 2022.

Key management team members at the Emerald Textiles facility in Commerce include: (L-R) Jim Hernandez, Director of Engineering; General Manager Sean Mageean; Operations Manager Alicia Silva; and Chief Engineer Luis Lopez.

“These Lavatec CBW systems are right there with the most energy efficient tunnel systems on the market,” explained Sean Mageean, the Commerce facility’s general manager. “Energy savings is very important to us. We do our part to preserve natural resources by regularly investing in energy and water saving equipment so our healthcare customers can feel good about choosing Emerald Textiles.”

Major acquisition expected to propel growth

Timing of the new equipment and increased volume projections coincide with a December 4 announcement that Emerald Textiles had acquired the west coast assets of the Angelica Corporation, a national healthcare linen service provider. The acquisition included nine facilities, allowing Emerald to expand its western footprint into Phoenix and Las Vegas and strengthen its northern and southern California markets.

“We are focused on building out our strong network of customers and expanding our footprint of facilities, while investing $35 million in capital across our locations to create world-class linen and commercial laundry facilities in the west,” said Andy Kratky, Emerald Textile’s CEO. “At the Commerce facility, we have welcomed several newly won healthcare customers that is the primary growth for 2022, along with 100% renewals of linen services to all our acute hospitals and medical centers.”

The plant in Commerce is one of the oldest in Emerald’s portfolio. Located in a business park, the 70,000 square-foot building opened in 1950. But the energy crisis in the early 1970s would lead to new regulations for businesses in the state.

The California Energy Commission was created and in 1978, it adopted stringent energy efficiency standards requiring businesses to decrease the energy intensity and carbon emissions of their equipment and buildings. Emerald has championed those efforts and it led to their San Diego facility winning a Savings by Design Award in 2011, which is sponsored by the California Public Utilities Commission and San Diego Gas & Electric. In 2020, the Commerce facility was recognized by the Los Angeles County Sanitation District for converting waste into resources by reducing the amount of wastewater.

New equipment to meet greater demands

Emerald’s new CBW system went online the first week of October 2021. It included a custom built, 12-compartment bottom transfer tunnel washer, a new 50-bar, LP583S washer extractor speed press, six pre-owned TT-745 gas dryers, a 4-pocket loading conveyor and shuttle conveyor, and a dryer shuttle control cabinet. It’s the second time in the last three years the company has chosen Lavatec.

A dryer operator removes linen from one of the 11 Lavatec gas dryers in operation at the Commerce plant.

“In 2019, we purchased a Lavatec CBW system to replace one from [another company] that had reached the end of its useful life,” said Mageean, who has worked in the linen and garment service industry for 26 years. He’s been with Emerald for the last three.

“The system installed then included a new loading conveyor, a 12 module, 200-pound pocket CBW, 50-bar press extractor, shuttle system and five dryers. This new system replaced another [older system] and compliments the other. Price, dependability and support were all factored into the decision to go with the Lavatec systems in our facility.”

Mageean indicated his facility is ready to take on a greater workload after the new acquisitions announcement was made in December 2021.

“The expectation is that, at a minimum, the new CBW system will handle approximately 50,000 pounds wash capacity per shift,” he said. “With the addition of 15 new client hospitals, our plant has transitioned to a two shift, seven days a week schedule.”

Jim Hernandez, Emerald’s director of engineering who oversees all major projects, handled this installation with Luis Lopez, the chief engineer in Commerce. Mageean said both men and Jim Slatcher, Lavatec’s western regional sales manager, were responsible for a seamless transition.

“The new CBW system has allowed us to increase our overall throughput so we are processing more poundage in a shorter amount of time,” he noted. “The used TT745 dryers run two shifts, seven days a week, along with five more Lavatec dryers we have and eight others. They were available to be shipped fast and are doing well for their age. Since replacing the older, inefficient systems, we are experiencing resource savings with water and steam. Running more poundage in a shorter amount of time is also good for our people and the environment, and great for our bottom line.”

The new Lavatec 12-compartment bottom transfer tunnel washer installed last December.

Still some challenges

Mageean said the controls upgrade and discharge conveyor system will help him manage operations at the facility.

“As with most businesses, we have experienced some trouble finding qualified workers. Washroom and dryer operator positions, which require some level of technical skill, have been particularly difficult to maintain,” acknowledged Mageean, who has 209 employees working at the Commerce plant. “The addition of discharge conveyors and their corresponding controllers will allow for the reduction of some of these workstations and increase the ease of work overall for our employees.”

Having Lavatec’s support available anytime to maximize production uptime now that operations have expanded to the two, eight-hour shifts everyday schedule is reassuring to Mageean.

“Our overall impression is the new CBW system is running great and exceeding our expectations. The Lavatec team was here onsite throughout the entire installation, and again during the training phase once the system was up and running. I know if any issues arise that require support beyond our local engineering team, Lavatec staff can connect to the system remotely and assist our engineers.”

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This article is based on information supplied by Lavatec. If you have news about installations or other projects, contact Becca Anderson, Editor.