SerClean , a start-up commercial laundromat based here, provides the local hospitality industry with high-quality, customer-focused laundry services.
In its first year of operation, SerClean doubled the number of customers, from 16 to 30, and increased laundry production to more than 20,000 pounds per day.
Beginning with a small number of washers, dryers and small ironers, the laundry followed a step-by-step growth, adding Girbau industrial equipment and automation tools based on demand.
A group of friends pooled their talents to open SerClean in 2020.
They include Pablo Cano Ponte and Jessica Montaño, who have 20 years of laundry experience and currently own a hotel laundry in Argentina; Micaela Varela and Sebastian Romero, who have worked in hospitality for years and have business development experience; and Facundo Yebne, who also worked in hospitality for years and owns a property management company in Miami.
“Together, we decided to develop a new hotel laundry concept that is customer-focused and provides premium service,” Varela says. “We guarantee superior quality and service, and for that reason we are investing in GI technology.”
STEP 1 – IRONING MACHINE AND FOLDER
To gain a foothold, the group purchased an existing laundry room already equipped with four washers and dryers and two ironing machines.
But a GI (32-inch) PC80 twin-roll ironing machine and FRB folding machine were quickly added in Phase 1 to achieve high quality finishes, folds and stacks of linens and table linens.
Once on the floor, the existing ironers were removed. The PC80 and FRB Folder natural gas ironers immediately launched ironing production at 200 to 600 pounds per hour.
“The quality of the GI ironing machine is incredible,” Varela says. “It’s much faster than other ironers and offers very high quality.”
Delivering a flawless finish at high speeds while maintaining up to 93% energy efficiency, the PC80 standalone ironer features highly flexible touch controls with customizable programmability for different types of items, from pillowcases and stretch sheets to comforters and table linens.
Wet laundry is fed directly into the ironing machine, where it is automatically ironed and then folded with the FRB Folder according to pre-programmed parameters. This ensures consistent folds and stacks for a high-quality presentation.
“Over 6,000 pounds of laundry go through the ironing/folding machine a day,” Varela shares. “These are great machines.”
STEP 2 – WASHING/DRYING AND AUTOMATED DRYING
Four months after installing the ironing and folding machine, with SerClean still showing significant growth, the company installed additional wash/dry capacity with two 255-pound GI tilt washers and a 140-pound ST1302 dryer.
Easily programmable padded washers provide automatic tilting for easy loading and unloading and achieve 381 G-force extraction speeds. They remove more moisture from laundry thanks to high-speed extraction, which reduces drying time, improves wash quality and helps extend the life of laundry.
The ST1302 dehumidifier features vacuum loading and automated Spirotilt convenient unloading. It efficiently dries 140 pounds of laundry in less than 15 minutes.
SerClean rents out hotel laundry and also handles customer-owned items. They pride themselves on providing customized services to meet each customer’s needs.
“We never mix our clients’ linens,” Varela says. “We work with one customer at a time and provide daily shipping and delivery.”
While washers and dryers have helped increase linen production, the FT MAXI dry-erase folder provides perfect and quick folding and stacking of fully dried items – cutting with one hand, overtime by 30 percent.
“The FT MAXI is a game-changer compared to manual folding,” Varela says. “It allows the towel department employees to do other tasks in the laundry room.”
While it takes one person an hour to manually fold 200 towels, the FT Maxi automatically classifies, folds and stacks up to 700 towels per hour. It also handles everything from pillowcases and washcloths to bath mats and blankets.
This eliminates manual pre-sorting and allows a single operator to quickly feed pieces of various sizes one by one. Items are then automatically stacked and unloaded onto a conveyor belt for distribution.
WAITING FOR STAGE 3.
As a result of Phases 1 and 2, SerClean is keeping up with the demand for laundry services by demonstrating industry-leading quality. Plans for Stage 3 include putting in a new facility to accommodate even more washing and ironing capacity.
“We are constantly growing and will continue to invest in GI machines,” Varela says. “We handle at least 800 pounds of laundry a day for each of our hospitality clients, and we continue to grow every day.”