3 ways to cut down laundry dosing system costs
23 March 2015
Laundries operate in a crowded industry and are constantly seeking ways to reduce their overheads in order to remain competitive. This has a direct influence on chemical manufacturers and installation engineers, whose products’ and services’ value and price are questioned and fiercely compared by laundry owners.
As an installation engineer or a chemical manufacturer, you can do little to reduce the costs linked to your core products or services. The key lies in the choice of laundry dosing equipment you select and associate with your brand.
Contrary to popular belief, the purchasing price per dosing unit isn’t the main driver when it comes to reducing costs. Look beyond the acquisition cost and study the entire life-cycle of the installation. To ensure that you are providing the most cost-effective dosing solution to your customers, here are three important questions that you need to ask your laundry dosing system manufacturer.
1. What is the lifecycle of the laundry dosing pump tubes, and what are the alternatives?
The most common pump available in the marketplace is the peristaltic pump suitable for low and high flow. As laundry requires consistent and reliant dosage of chemical to achieve the best wash quality, the pump tube is a critical component in the performance of any dosing system.
Chemicals can react with a peristaltic pump tube in various ways. Chemical incompatibility may cause the tube to split and leak, or degrade the tube slowly over a long period of time. To overcome this, check to see if your manufacturer is willing to work with you to find the best tubing material to suit your chemical. Can they offer you free compatibility tests to ensure that you are equipped with the right peristaltic pump tube?
An alternative to peristaltic dosing is the membrane pump – also called diaphragm pump. Available mostly for high-flow applications, the membrane pump presents excellent dosing characteristics, with renowned stability of pumping rates. It also rarely needs servicing as the pump barely degrades with time, thereby eliminating the need for periodic pump tube maintenance. Its thick membrane and strong chemical resistance allows for the use of some of the most aggressive laundry chemicals. As all advantages come with a cost though, membrane pumps usually require a higher investment than peristaltic pumps.
2. Is the system simple to install and operate?
Space is precious in laundry environments and compact installations with multiple pumps are in high demand. Double pump-head systems such as those featured on Brightwell Dispensers’ BrightLogic OPL systems make the dosing station as compact as could be. These particular pumps are also easy to install and to maintain thanks to the quick tube change configuration.
As the business grows, industrial laundries often need to upgrade their dosing station to cater for a greater variety of chemicals. Make sure the dosing pump you have chosen or installed enables an easy upgrade to avoid extra equipment and maintenance costs. With certain dosing systems, you can add a pump in minutes, without even having to take the pump off the wall. You want a flexible unit that automatically recognises the number of pumps to avoid resetting the whole programming.
When it comes to the acquisition cost of the system, you need to consider the price of the computer software. Some manufacturers offer the software for free, while others treat it as a separate purchase.
Another aspect to look at is how user-friendly the computer software is. The aim is to be provided with a simple and intuitive solution that enables you to assume total control of the laundry unit. Wireless dongles are fast becoming hot property in the industry, and have been designed to make awkward-to-reach units more accessible to programme. These devices do away with the unruly task of climbing over cables to programme the laundry system located behind the machine.
Brightwell Dispensers have taken system programming to the next level with the introduction of the BrightLogic laundry iPhone App. The plug-in Bluetooth module on the main dosing unit allows data to be collected and transmitted via your iPhone, enabling users to generate and view customised reports on their phone. The app allows the Sales Manager to monitor actual chemical usage against chemical sales. Moreover, it serves to reduce expansion service call-outs as salespeople on-site can collect data and transmit it to service technicians off-site.
3. Is training provided?
Investment in equipment only provides long-term value if it is professionally installed and maintained correctly. The best way to gain this knowledge is through a comprehensive training session with your laundry equipment manufacturer. The course should cover the basics for selling and maintaining the systems, as well as in-depth guidance on full installation and programming. Once equipped with this information, you should be able to program units for optimum performance and ensure that your customer is getting the best from their unit.
After the unit is installed, it is important to train all users on operational procedures. Improper use of the system will result in underperformance, poorly washed fabrics and potential damage to the laundry equipment.
Want to know more about our laundry dosing systems? Contact Brightwell Dispensers today to speak about your business needs