Work flow is not a piece of equipment per se but optimizing work flow is a fundamental component of any successful laundry design. The manner in which you set up your laundry equipment is critical to the actual success of your laundry operations. Work flow in production is just as important as the performance of the equipment itself. You must prevent the creation of bottlenecks in your production because of improper equipment sizing and placement or the lack of invaluable automation equipment where needed.
Many factors are used to determine optimum work flow including:
- Volume of linens to be processed
- How far the linens have to move between production steps
- How tall laundry carts are and if they match the height of washer and dryer doors
- Where the washers are located relative to the sorting area
- How the product is moved from sorting to washing
- How are washers and dryers positioned relative to each other
- Are the doors on the washers and dryers easily accessible
- Are the doors able to open fully on each piece of equipment
- How tall are the folding tables and are they the optimum height for production requirements
- Do you need take-away conveyors or a sling system to move textiles around the laundry
- Do washers have rapid fill capabilities or are booster pumps needed
- Are dryers sized large enough and deliver high enough Btu/hr to achieve optimum performance
These are some of the areas of concern when organizing work flow in any laundry operation. Laundry Consulting uses all data of relevance when designing a laundry to facilitate optimum workflow.
PPOH – Pounds Per Operator Hour
Pounds-Per-Operator-Hour, or PPOH is one of the most important efficiency statistics you can calculate for a laundry facility. This average value represents just how much linen each operator is processing every hour. It is a reflection of the design parameters, management, operating conditions and workflow optimization utilized in a laundry facility. You take the volume of linen processed, divided by the number of hours needed to process it divided by the number of employees doing the work. The higher the number is, the higher the efficiency of production and the lower the labor cost is. PPOH is absolutely a function of how well you design, operate and manage your laundry. You want employees to be able to accomplish the highest amount of work with the least amount of movement to do it. This is achieved by strategic placement of the laundry equipment within the laundry, utilization of appropriate automation components and by having many years of experience with how to design a laundry for optimum efficiency.
No matter how efficient the equipment is and how much energy is eliminated from the process, the biggest savings by far will always come from reducing the number of hours or amount of labor needed to process the linens. That is a very hard fact. We all know how modern advances help to reduce the amount of labor required to deliver a product. Better equipment and computer controls have enabled companies to provide higher quality products and services with less and less labor. A laundry is no different. Labor is the most expensive component.