Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Laundry Equipment Removal and Installation Project in California

In October, we shared an update on a laundry equipment removal project we’d been working on with RW Martin & Sons, Inc. out of Kent, Ohio.  That project, which was in Brockton, Massachusetts, led to another large hospital project, which was in Los Angeles, California.  Our company may be called Tri-State, meaning we are in Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina, but believe me, we are all over the place these days.

This was a big job, done in several phases.  During the first phase of laundry equipment removal, Tri-State staff tore everything out of the facility – Milnor tunnel washers, dryers with shuttle systems, and so on.  This was a large facility with a lot of big commercial laundry equipment.  In about 6 weeks, we got it down to bare bones.  After the tradesmen got the new electrical, plumbing, and such completed, Tri-State went back to receive the equipment on the docks, stage the equipment, and then complete the installation.  In about 3 weeks, we installed a large Milnor tunnel washer, dryers, a conveyor system – everything you would need to make a facility like this run smoothly and efficiently.

I must stop here because I’m making it sound way easier than it was.  This facility was going from a steam powered production plant to a plant running without steam, now using two Parker Boiler T6800s to heat their wash, no steam up needed.  This required assistance from our friends, Gulf Steam Company out of Florida, to get the plant running.

In all, we spent about 9 weeks making these changes, and I have to say that I couldn’t be more pleased with the results.  Check out the photos to see for yourself.  I couldn’t be prouder to be a part of an organization that gets to upgrade the equipment for some of the finest healthcare facilities in our country.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Ultimate Dry Cleaner Receives Award

In last month’s blog post, we shared with you a project we’d been working on with a long-time customer whose operation had been destroyed by fire.  After we posted the blog, we learned that that cleaners – Brothers Cleaners in Raleigh, North Carolina – received the grand prize from American Drycleaner magazine in the 57th Annual Plant Design Awards.

What made this plant so special?  The plant is designed so that the soiled work comes in the side door at the 5 - 90LB RealStar Heated Hydrocarbon machines, is sorted, and then cleaned.  Once cleaned, it goes to the adjacent finishing area and flow down isles to the Metalprogetti Assembly Conveyor where they are assembled by customer and continue through the auto bagging station and automatically sorted again to the corresponding customers route storage conveyor.  Besides the efficient workflow, this plant's boiler requirement of 75 horsepower led us to suggest that they install two boilers, a Parker Boiler 105-70 H.P and a Parker Boiler 104-50 H.P. The 70 H.P provides the needed steam to operate the plant on most any given day. Adding the 50 H.P and setting the on-off limits will have it fire only when the 70 falls a little behind.  In addition to Parker Boiler and RealStar, the plant boasts equipment from Sankosha, Leonard Automatics, and Covers, Etc.  Finally, their front counters are made of recycled glass bottles and resin product.

“We are honored to have been chosen by Brothers Cleaners to help with this project,” said Kevin Lawson, Vice President of Tri-State Laundry Equipment.  “They showed their complete confidence in our judgement and capabilities.  This was an all-encompassing project for our company, requiring most of our staff and capabilities for virtually two years. First by building a complete temporary facility in a leased building, while designing and planning for the rebuilding of their facility.  This project was a tremendous undertaking for Tri-State, and in my opinion, the most rewarding too.  All our folks were very proud to have been there for the Hilker Family and Brothers Cleaners when their whole world had come down around them. I will always be proud that they turned to us and put their total faith in our ability.”

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Steam Systems Design for the Ultimate Dry Cleaners

I recently designed a large, state-of-the-art dry cleaning and laundry facility for a long-time customer whose plant had been destroyed by fire.  The new plant would consist of five 90-pound Realstar heated hydrocarbon dry cleaning machines, six Sankosha dry cleaning finishing bays and four Unipress Double Buck shirt finishing bays with six Unipress hot head finishing units for jeans, touch up, and linen.

To ensure the plant ran properly, I had to calculate the steam requirements accurately, so I began by referring to all the manufacturers specs for each piece of equipment.  Then, I could take the boiler horsepower required and determine the pounds of steam per hour required and size the steam supply and return headers.

This plant's boiler requirement of 75 horsepower led me to suggest to the owners that they install two boilers, a Parker Boiler 105-70 H.P and a Parker Boiler 104-50 H.P. I know you’re adding this up, and it's greater than the 75-horse requirement I stated earlier.  That's because the 70 H.P will provide the needed steam to operate the plant on most any given day. Adding the 50 H.P and setting the on-off limits will have it fire only when the 70 falls a little behind. 

Here’s the logic behind my recommendation:
  • We can almost get enough BTU’s out of a stack economizer on the 70 H.P. to heat all their shirt laundry water with a storage tank and circulating pump.
  • Hot water generated from a stack economizer is truly free energy because you have paid for it, and it’s on its way out of the stack.  Why not harness all that energy?
  • The 70 will be the master and carry most of the load.  We want it on and firing on high as much as possible to carry the load and make hot water.  Additionally, flue gas heat exchangers don’t make a lot of ROI unless your boiler is 50 H. P. or higher.  You simply can’t get enough BTU’s to do the job.
  • One issue with this type of water heating system is that it’s making hot water the entire time the boiler is firing, and if you don’t have the demand, your storage tank weeps or pops off due to overheating.  Then you have wasted water down the drain, giving up your free BTU’s.  The 50 H.P comes in when, in the afternoon, they no longer have the demand to make hot water while perhaps finishing up some shirts or running dry cleaning for the next day.  They can turn off the 70 and finish up with the 50.
  • They will also just use the 50 on Saturdays to run dry cleaning machines only and maybe press some dry cleaning for a head start on the week.
  • The steam header is also designed with valves for the header to separate the high-pressure and low-pressure sides allowing them to open or close for fewer loads and not building steam pressure throughout the plant and wasting energy. Of course, this would be done using the 50 H.P because boiler requirements are low and there is no need for hot water.
  • One final detail that I consider to be very important but almost always overlooked or misunderstood is when designing steam headers, you should slope the supply and return so the system drains the condensate, and it is pushed by pressure on the return side.  A slope helps it drain completely after shutdown, avoiding corrosion and hammering on startup.  Parker Boiler engineers recommend 1” every 20’.
If you need to look at your plant’s steam system requirements and are unsure where to start, give Tri-State a call at 1.866.885.5218. We are happy to help.