Whether for a small laundry business or a big one processing 10,000 kilos, Covid-19 has meant needing to meet new challenges in terms of putting procedures and systems in place to ensure safety.
We've therefore discussed disinfection with Roser Zapata, Laundry Business Expert at Girbau, to find out how laundries have had to adapt to this new situation. Don't miss the interview with Roser in our blog today!
How has Covid-19 affected the way laundries are organised and operate?
The pandemic has highlighted the work and importance of laundries, as they have become a key factor in ensuring hygiene and well-being. This has meant that any business with a laundry, whatever its size, needed to work on its procedures and organisation to ensure maximum safety for both its employees and its users, by offering fully hygienised and disinfected linen. This aspect had not been considered so much in the past as the risk was not so high, but now special attention must be paid to it. We don't often think of all the intermediate processes and handling as factors that can contaminate linen in a laundry where high volumes are processed. In places like hotels, for example, this factor is vital as their laundries are responsible for ensuring that all linen is properly treated in order to guarantee proper disinfecting and help to create a secure environment. Therefore, as well as 100% disinfectant washing systems and working procedures to guarantee hygiene and safety, laundries must adapt their facilities to ensure the success of the methods implemented.
In this respect, taking into account the market's demands, here at Girbau we are working to place all our know-how at the disposal of the laundry sector to help it respond to the current challenges, in the form of a manual in which we highlight the key aspects to take into account, such as the design of premises, the washing, drying and ironing processes and everything to do with the collection and transport of both dirty and clean linen.
What does equipment have to be like to ensure proper standards of hygiene and disinfection, as well as excellent-quality washing?
It must consist of versatile, tough machines that care for fabrics throughout the washing process and protect and enhance their texture and colour, while taking into account efficiency and sustainability, two concepts that are very closely linked. Ideally, therefore, dryers and washing machines must offer maximum energy efficiency, to help save power and costs, and be as ergonomically designed as possible to make employees' job easier. Connectivity of equipment is another feature that adds value and which is taken into account more and more in choosing the right machines to meet a laundry's needs. In this respect, systems like Inteli Control, featured on Girbau machines, make it possible to adapt, personalise and programme the parameters of washing and drying cycles in Wet Cleaning processes.
How can technology help in this area?
We at Girbau have developed a pioneering solution, created specifically to ensure hygiene and disinfection in laundries. Known as the Disinfection Monitoring Package or DMP, this new feature added to Sapphire is suitable for hotels, old people's homes and the like, to ensure proper disinfecting of fabrics by guaranteeing procedures that meet the demands of the new normality. In this respect, DMP plays a key role as it provides a remote data recording system ensuring traceability in terms of time and temperature for proper disinfection when washing each batch, making sure the process is successfully completed.
In this respect we have also forged an alliance with the Swiss company HeiQ in order to offer our clients HeiQ Viroblock NPJ03, an antiviral and antimicrobial textile technology for industrial laundry facilities in the healthcare, hospitality and food industries, where hygiene and safety are essential. Made with 100% cosmetic grade ingredients, HeiQ Viroblock is one of the first textile technologies in the world to prove its effectiveness against SARS-CoV-2 (the virus responsible for COVID-19). It combines two attack mechanisms which result in over 99.9% destruction of different kinds of viruses and bacteria, according to tests carried out in accordance with ISO 18184 and ISO 20743 standards. Like this, a single wash with a high concentration of HeiQ Viroblock and subsequent drying provides a protection against contamination by germs and microbes that lasts for up to 30 conventional washes, after which the treatment needs repeating to restore antimicrobial protection in the fabric.
What do you think is the most important factor to bear in mind to avoid any mistakes in all kinds of laundry?
The highest cost in a laundry is the personnel cost. Therefore, generating a good working atmosphere and above all setting up a continuing training system boost productivity and limit the errors that lead to insufficiently hygienic linen. This is why Girbau has set up initiatives like Girbau University, the first laundry training portal (physical and online) for professionals in the industry and made up of expert trainers with extensive experience.