Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Why We Seek Out Used Unipress Equipment

I love purchasing good quality used equipment.  In particular, I like to purchase later model Unipress Dry Cleaning and Shirt Laundry Equipment.  Let me just tell you why I seek out to purchase and refurbish this particular line of used equipment:

• Unipress is based in Florida, and all their equipment is Made in the USA.
• Replacement parts are readily available and reasonably priced.
• Repairs made to used pieces of equipment stick a good 5-7 years.
• Unipress carries the highest resell value.
• Most American dry cleaners are loyal to Unipress, and when they are looking to upgrade equipment they too seek out Unipress.
• Unipress spends a significant amount of money on research and development.

Speaking of research and development, Unipress is constantly tweaking and making advances in their technologies.  In the last 5 years, their advances have been noticeable changes but have not been so catastrophic as to change the way a plant operates.  Therefore, companies that are constantly going with the latest and greatest will benefit from these upgrades without impacting the setup of their operations. Companies that are looking to replace equipment from the mid-1990’s are recognizing significant increases in efficiencies when they upgrade to a good quality used piece of Unipress finishing equipment dated around 2005-10.

In September, I shared with you the reasons why you should consider purchasing used laundry equipment.  I touched on the fact that we clean and replace any broken or worn out parts on each piece of used equipment before placing them back on the market.  That’s just it – I touched on it.  I am certain that I didn’t stress how seriously we take this task, and I didn’t share with you the step by step process we’ve created for each category of used equipment – used laundry equipment, used coin operated equipment, used boilers, and used dry cleaning equipment.  We want every piece of equipment that comes from Tri-State to be in peak condition before it is installed in your place of business.

For information on how we go about refurbishing used Unipress Dry Cleaning and Shirt Laundry Equipment, and all other pieces for that matter, check out our Process for Cleaning Used Equipment found in the resources section of our web site. 

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Keeping a Tidy Evaporator Coil

I regularly go into lots of dry cleaning plants.  One thing I consistently notice is that owners and managers don’t take the time to properly maintain their equipment.  If you want to keep your equipment in top-notch shape and produce a quality product quickly and efficiently, you need to take care of your equipment.  One thing you can easily do to keep your equipment in top form is to prevent an excess build-up of lint at the evaporator coil.  Before we get into how to do that, let’s talk about what the coil does and why keeping it clean is important.

Solvent is turned to vapor due to the heat from the condenser/steam coil.  The vapor along with lint from the garments being cleaned, travels to the evaporator coil through the filter.  There the vapor is condensed to a liquid, consisting of both solvent and water, due to contact with the cold surface of the coil.  This liquid drains to the separator, where the solvent returns to the based tank and the water is expelled.  The air flow then goes back to the condenser/steam coil and the process starts all over again.

The filter is the only thing that provides protection to the evaporator coil.  If lint builds up and embeds in the coils, then the entire process is slowed and can become so bad that the evaporator coil will freeze as the lint insulates it from the heat.

Cleaning or changing the filters at the end of each load will help prevent equipment failure and will help keep cycle times fast.  If your coil is already embedded with lint, remove it (most are installed with quick fittings) and clean it with a HVAC coil cleaner.  Do not brush the coil because you could damage it.  After you clean and rinse the coil, put all water in your waste drum for proper disposal because of the lint’s contact with solvent.

I hope this information helps you understand the importance of keeping a tidy evaporator coil.  If you have questions about your evaporator coil, leave a message below or contact us at our office.  Be sure to check out our helpful hints section for additional information on evaporator coils.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Coin Laundry Payment Options

In July, we shared with you the proprietary method of accepting payment at self-service Laundromats offered by a company we like doing business with, ESD.  While there are advantages to going this route, there are also a few draw backs.  For owners, the equipment is quite expensive.  For customers, they don’t like that the cards are only good at that one particular location, which many times leads to leaving cash on the card.  They also don’t like that the cards themselves are expensive.

But think about our society.  Very few folks carry cash now, especially those under 30 – and many times those are the folks that utilize self-service Laundromats.  These days, Laundromats don’t have to choose which payment system they want to install.  Tri-State Laundry Equipment can now install coin-operated equipment and add on a system that allows customers to pay with coins, a credit card, a debit card, or a proprietary card.  Plus, Card Concepts Inc., another company we often partner with, offers a smart phone app that gives customers the ability to create an account, add value, and even check machine availability.

Today there are so many options.  And just like with the proprietary method, these systems allow owners to track sales and customize reporting.  Plus the equipment itself isn’t nearly as costly, so the upfront investment won’t be so steep.  There will, however, be card processing fees to consider.  Those fees vary depending on the system manufacturer as many times they partner with specific processing companies.

Lots of options to consider – options that will set your business apart from the competition.  If you are thinking of updating your current setup or if you are in the market to open a new facility, please contact us.  We will be glad to help you sift through all the information and figure out what’s best for your facility and community.  

Monday, September 1, 2014

Why Choose Used Laundry Equipment Over New Laundry Equipment

I had a brand new car – once.  Now we always purchase vehicles that are approximately one-year old.  We have a commercial grade zero-turn lawn mower.  We bought that used too.  I could continue on, but I think you get the idea.  Let’s go back to the car.  We have now purchased our third vehicle from a local business that has proven itself to be trustworthy.  On each vehicle we did our due diligence, researching both the make and model of the car as well as that particular car’s history.  For the mower, we did our due diligence there as well.  If you are like me, no matter what you are purchasing, you want to get a great deal without sacrificing quality or service.

You know, the same thought process and method can be applied to a piece of dry cleaning or coin laundry equipment.  You could purchase new.  Keep in mind that sometimes a new piece of equipment has a manufacturing lead time of 3-6 months.  You could wait and still purchase new, but don’t forget the freight costs that the manufacturer will pass on.  You could wait and pay the freight costs, but think about the long-term implications.  You’re paying a premium for that new piece of equipment that may or may not last just as long or perform just as well as a good-quality used piece of equipment.

What if you did your due diligence and got a top-notch piece of used equipment at a great price?  Both used laundry equipment and used coin operated equipment can save you hundreds of dollars over the price of purchasing new which translates to more money that can either be saved or put toward another project.  Plus used equipment, when properly maintained, can last for years before needing to be replaced.  That’s where Tri-State Laundry Equipment comes in.  We reveal the type of work that’s been done to restore every piece of used equipment to peak physical and functional condition. We like for our used equipment to look new again, too, so that you or your customers can tell the difference.

Not only can we help you with both used laundry and used coin operated equipment, we can help you with replacing your worn-out boiler with a refurbished used boiler so that your business can continue on with all the hot water you need to keep your laundry operating in the black.  What about dry cleaning equipment?  We can help there too.  We refurbish used dry cleaning equipment by cleaning the piece and replacing all the worn-out parts to keep it running in tip-top shape.  And we offer a 90-day parts-only guarantee on every piece of used laundry equipment that we sell.

For more information, please check out the resources section of our web site.  Contact us today if you would like to begin your search by browsing our used dry cleaning equipment products.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Top 4 Reasons Your Boiler Won’t Keep Up

Let’s keep this simple.  Here are four things to check if your boiler isn’t keeping up:

  • Do you have a tubeless-type boiler with internal flews? Do you clean them yearly as required by the manufacturer?  If not, clean them (and be sure to put on your soot suit when you do).
  • Check your water temperature.  If the temperature is too high, the boiler slows down significantly.  Keep the water around 180 degrees.
  • Check your return tank for city make-up water.  Most tanks have a float valve to maintain the proper water level by adding city water to compensate for water loss.  If the tank is constantly being filled by city water, your boiler is trying to boil much colder water extending the boiling point and holding down operation pressure. (Plus your water bill is probably high too.)
  • Makeup air is important for proper combustion, so make sure you have enough.  The rule to follow is 1 square inch per 1,000 BTU’s.

If the first four haven’t helped your boiler problem, then have it checked out by a qualified technician.  Be sure they check all the required settings like burner gas pressure, free air, and burner adjustment.  But 90% of the time, these four reasons apply.  So regularly check your boiler and increase production and improve energy efficiency.  If you have boiler issues that you simply cannot solve, feel free to contact us for additional support.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Payment Options – ESD Smart Cards

During my college years, I regularly visited the Laundromat.  Back then, the method of payment was quarters, and I carried a baggie full on each visit.  That isn’t the case today.  Self Service Laundry facilities are changing with the times, and now customers have a number of payment methods available to them.  

One popular method is ESD’s SmartCard System. Here’s what you need for this system: the cards, card slides, value transfer machines, and software.  Below is a simplified version of how it all works:

The Cards – This is what the customer uses as their method of payment.  They simply load a dollar amount onto the card, and then they can start doing laundry.  Cards can be plain white or be customized.

Card Slides – This piece of equipment is mounted on a washer or dryer and is adaptable to most equipment brands.  It checks the balance on the inserted card and will then send a signal to the machine to start if funds are available.  Then it deducts the price from the card’s balance.

Value Transfer Machines – The VTM allows the customer to add money to the card with cash or a debit or credit card.

Software – Allows the owner to maintain or adjust pricing, adjust wash and dry cycle times, run specials, run various reports, and change the language the system uses.  

If you have any questions about self-service laundry payment options, contact Tri-State laundry Equipment Co. at 866-882-5218.  We are here to help.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Tips for Maintaining Hotel Washing Machines

Here are a few tips from our experts for maintaining commercial laundry equipment, more specifically washing machines used in hotels. Keeping your commercial washing machine in good condition will help save money in repair and replacement costs, especially if you have multiple pieces of equipment.

·         Check the door lock and door seal daily for proper operation.
·         Wipe the door seal clean weekly.
·         Inspect the water inlet valve hose connections daily.
·         Allow the interior to dry by leaving the door open at the end of each day.
·         Check the drain discharge line to ensure proper drain operation.

Washers (Front- and Top-Load):
·         To avoid that "musty odor," let the washer drum dry by leaving the door open when not in use.
·         Every year, check the fill hose filter screens for debris or damage. Clean and/or replace the filters as needed.
·         Each month, check all of the hoses to each machine for signs of cracks, blisters, or significant wear. Replace worn or torn hoses immediately.

Keeping all of the parts of your hotel washing machine properly maintained helps reduce repair and replacement costs down the road. (Notes: if repairs are needed, we can help locate laundry parts). Also, though a hotel may have multiple machines, there is nothing worse than losing a machine and slowing down the process.
If your hotel also has self-serve coin laundry equipment, follow these same tips to keep them up and running!

If you have additional questions about maintaining your commercial washing machine, contact us today.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

The End of a Fantastic Press

For years, Tri-State Laundry Equipment installed and serviced the Model-A Pants Topper from Cissell Manufacturing.  That particular pants topper was in just about every dry cleaning plant from coast to coast.  It was incredibly easy to operate and super reliable.  Super reliable except for one little weak link – the return spring that tensioned the expander.  The part lasted for several years, depending on the pant volume, but then would wear out over time.  It was a pretty simple fix.

Several years ago, Alliance Laundry Systems purchased Cissell and stopped manufacturing the Cissell line of finishing equipment.  That also means that the return spring stopped being manufactured as well.  Suddenly dry cleaners everywhere were on the hunt for this little but important part.  In fact, it is probably one of the most sought after dry cleaning parts in the U. S.  

If you have a Cissell Model-A Pants Topper, you might want to start thinking about your next step.  There are some terrific options out there by Unipress, Forenta, and Sankosha.  As always, be sure to do your due diligence before making your decision.  If you have questions, you can call Tri-State Laundry Equipment at (336) 992-5218 or reach out to me on LinkedIn.

And on a side note, I have to admit that I get a little sentimental when I see a Model-A Topper in great shape, with the exception of the return spring, on a truck heading to the scrap yard.