CHICAGO — Performing certain daily, monthly and yearly tasks can prolong the life of your laundromat’s equipment, thereby keeping your customers happy. But there are a couple aspects to a preventive maintenance (PM) program aside from the work itself that can, as they say, “make or break it.”
Scheduling those PM tasks—determining future dates/times to perform certain work like cleaning out machine components or replacing wearable parts—can help ensure this critical labor is done and equipment continues to operate like it’s supposed to.
Tracking the work—logging the chores that are performed and when—can help a laundromat’s staff chart a piece of equipment’s useful life and maybe even anticipate when it will need to be replaced.
American Coin-Op sought the input of several equipment distributor representatives from across the country about the importance and benefits of scheduling and tracking PM work.
THE MAKINGS OF A GOOD PROGRAM
What does a good PM program look like?
“A good preventative maintenance program maximizes efficiency and minimizes machine downtime,” says Cheo Cruz, service and install manager for CLEC Distribution in Dallas. “Reduced repair costs are another key to having a good preventive maintenance program.”
“(The store is) well maintained, (there are) written records, (and it’s) organized, clean and safe,” says Bob Macauley, service manager for Curtis Equipment, Lowell, Michigan.
“Good maintenance plans reduce stress for customer and owner, reduce downtime, prolong life of equipment, promote safety, increase efficiency and maximize revenue,” adds Trampis Kelly, service manager for SLM (Service Laundry Machinery) Corp. based in Belton, South Carolina.
“The best operators not only have schedules in place, but also have daily or weekly task sheets for employees to assist in PM on an ongoing basis,” comments Andy Wray, sales manager for ACE Commercial Laundry Equipment, Westminster, California, “which allows them (to) usually have the most equipment working and running optimally in the market.”
According to the reps interviewed, a laundry’s personnel should be able to handle the more basic maintenance tasks that might include:
- Cleaning of interior and exterior of machines
- Checking/cleaning of soap boxes, water filters, drain valves, lint screens/filters, coin drops/card readers, pressure switch tubes
- Checking/replacement of hoses, door gaskets, belts
- Lubricating easily accessible points on equipment
- Testing dryer temperatures
Work that involves the main bearings and motors, dealing with electronics, troubleshooting electrical issues, disassembling/cleaning interior components, as well as tasks that require specialty tools or training is probably best left to service professionals.
Investors with brand-new stores in the pipeline can reduce their maintenance headaches later by ensuring certain aspects of their laundromat are designed and built properly, according to Terry Risner, service manager for Laundry Solutions Co., headquartered in Springfield, Missouri.
“Adequately sizing utilities at the beginning of a project can significantly reduce the amount of maintenance issues over the life of the equipment as well as make routine maintenance easier,” he says. “This increases the equipment’s ROI and (reduces) the amount of maintenance-related headaches for the operator.”
Check back Tuesday for Part 2!
Have a question or comment? E-mail our editor Bruce Beggs at [email protected].