CHICAGO — Not every equipment matter may require a service call, so it’s important that a store owner/operator understands what they’re able to maintain and repair on their own and what tasks they should leave to a professional. American Coin-Op asked some equipment manufacturer reps to weigh in on equipment maintenance and repairs.
Q: How extensive are the service schools or seminars offered by your company (or your distributors)?
Russ Cooper Manager of Technical Support Dexter Laundry
Our Dexter Authorized Distributors offer service training events along with their open houses or as standalone events. Many distributors offer these a couple of times a year at various locations. The material covered is customized to the event, with information ranging from general maintenance all the way up to electrical schematics and troubleshooting. We hear from owners everywhere that they continue coming back year to year to pick up new things that they either missed, or didn’t have the frame of reference to understand at previous events.
Nick Koukourakis Senior Product Development Manager Maytag® Commercial Laundry
Ongoing training in the form of service schools and seminars remains an important part of our business. We work to provide our distributors with the resources and tools they need to host open houses or scheduled training for their customers. We believe these types of events give customers opportunities to reconnect as well as gain new insights on new products and services. In addition, ongoing training and education allows our distributors and customers to keep up to date on existing products as well.
Shannon Rose Commercial Technical Service Manager Continental Girbau
We currently only offer service schools to our distribution. In 2020, Girbau North America (GNA) is going to provide some regional service schools for our distributors. GNA is also developing service-related webinars that will be broadcast live.
Tony Berton Field Service Manager Alliance Laundry Systems
Service schools conducted at the factory offer a hands-on approach, electrical wiring breakdown, and provide attendees the opportunity to review the production process on equipment. Service schools at the distributor level are time-limited, so it depends on time and equipment what topics are covered and how extensive the class will be.
Q: What are the signs that a store has—or doesn’t have—a good preventive maintenance program in place?
Koukourakis: One thing to note may be the cleanliness of the store and the equipment. This can help signal how seriously an owner takes maintenance. Clean barrels, dryer screens, and hoses would also indicate a regular maintenance schedule. Beyond the general aesthetic of a store, the number of machines out of order at any given time may also indicate that an owner is slow to maintain equipment. A store with a good maintenance program endeavors to have all of their machines up and running at any given time.
Rose: A bad preventative maintenance program is easy to identify. Facilities with poor PM programs generally have more equipment routinely broken down. These facilities usually are dirtier with more dust accumulation.
Berton: The number of machines out of order or not performing correctly.
Cooper: Generally, you can tell what effort is being put forth by how clean a store is. If they are cleaning regularly, then the dryer lint screens and door glass gaskets are clean. Someone is observing the equipment and investigating symptoms such as reduced water levels or slow drains which indicate a cleaning is needed before the problem becomes an issue. Maintenance is performed by owners that take an active interest in their stores and care about their customer’s experience with their store and equipment.
Q: Anything else related to equipment maintenance or repair that you’d like to mention?
Rose: GNA is in the process of creating service-related videos and bulletins to better assist both end-users and distributors to help diagnose common service-related issues. Visit our website to access videos, webinars, equipment manuals, and bulletins.
Cooper: I cannot stress enough following the manufacturer’s guidelines for installation whether it’s new or you’re replacing equipment that was previously installed. This goes a long way in preventing future issues and eliminating maintenance complications in your store. Installation deficiencies can cause owners more maintenance and service issues and can negatively impact the customer’s experience.
For dryers, proper makeup air, exhaust ducting and gas pressures should be planned for and checked beforehand. Poor makeup air or back pressure issues can cause excessive lint accumulation in the dryers and potential overheating issues.
When installing washers, proper concrete thickness, bases construction and grouting procedures prevent shaking issues that will slowly damage your equipment. It is also important to make sure that voltages are checked and that the controls have been set accordingly.
Finally, properly sizing your water inlets and drain line outlets can prevent nuisance issues as well. A proper installation will ensure that your equipment will run fast and efficiently cycle after cycle.
Koukourakis: Regular maintenance, combined with a routine schedule that includes cleaning and inspection tasks, can help keep the machines running smoothly as designed and help reduce downtime—a win for customers and owners alike.
If you missed Parts 1 and 2, you can read them HERE and HERE.