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Laundromat Owner Develops Commercial Laundry from Scratch (Part 1)

Phase one processes up to 45,000 pounds a day just one year in

SAN DIEGO — Vended laundry owner gone commercial, Brian Voytovich recently completed the first phase of his newest endeavor—the development of 36,000-square-foot Revolve, a new commercial laundry here.

Featuring Girbau Industrial (GI) equipment and catering to the hospitality industry, the built-from-scratch operation churns out 35-45,000 pounds of customer-owned goods (COG) per day. And, it’s just a year in.

During phases two and three, a tunnel system and third ironing line will be added in order to reach a potential throughput of 100,000 laundry pounds per day. All of this is to serve a need.

IT STARTED WITH AN INKLING ABOUT HOTELS

Voytovich morphed from vended laundry owner to commercial laundry owner as a result of an inkling, which spurred him to action, which unveiled a market need. Previously, his Laundromats frequently processed overflow hotel laundry. It seemed there was ample hospitality laundry to go around.

Voytovich explored his idea.

“I walked into 20 hotels and did a sample study on who outsourced and if they liked the companies they used,” he says. “I discovered 13 of the 20 outsourced and all were dissatisfied with the service and/or quality received.”

PLANNING AND DEVELOPMENT

All in, he sold his Laundromats and secured a facility 100 yards from the U.S.-Mexico border. During the 14-month development process, Voytovich worked closely with Girbau Industrial National Sales Manager Seth Willer, who he credits with designing the laundry’s layout and equipment mix.

“Seth developed profit-and-loss and forecasting spreadsheets, the laundry layout and flow, and determined our expectations for laundry poundage,” says Voytovich. “He was a huge contributor.”

“Brian basically started the laundry from scratch, which doesn’t happen too often,” Willer shares. “He came to us asking what he needed for equipment. He gave us a space and we designed the laundry to be flexible in order to handle a variety of items and customer types. The idea was to start small and bring in additional automation in later phases.”

“At the time, I didn’t even know what ironers or tunnels were,” admits Voytovich. “I was familiar with GI through experience with Continental laundry equipment on the vended side. The machines are well built with high-extract speeds for more production and longer linen life.”

ECO-FRIENDLY, FLEXIBLE EQUIPMENT MIX

Revolve, which became operational in January 2018, is equipped with a combination of equipment and systems that make it highly efficient, flexible and eco-friendly. The washline is comprised of six 255-pound and six 130-pound, high-speed GI washers and matching moisture-sensing and reversing dryers.

Voytovich chose the washers for their programmability, soft-mount design and high extract speeds. The soft-mount design simplified installation since no bolts or grout were required. And, because the washers generate extract speeds up to 387 G-force, they remove more water per load, cut resulting dry time and lower gas consumption.

They’re also highly flexible in terms of programmability, allowing Revolve to properly clean a wide variety of items and soil levels, according to Voytovich.

“Every hotel is different, so we fine-tune our wash programs to fit them,” he says.

Finally, the washers seamlessly interface with the plant’s Voltea capacitive deionization system.

“Eighty percent of the water is recycled in the laundry and it is twice as clean as tap water,” says Voytovich. “We were the first laundry in the area permitted for water recycling and are among the greenest laundries in North America.”

On the dryer side, a thermal heat recapture system works to minimize gas usage, while moisture sensing eliminates over-drying and fabric damage. Altogether, 45% of the thermal exhaust used by Revolve is recycled and nearly 40% of its electricity is generated via solar power.

Check back Thursday for the conclusion!